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  1. #1461
    Randy randyrls's Avatar
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    I noticed that in some of the Videos on YouTube, the poster actually counted the grid to make sure the drawing was sized correctly and fit on a sheet. I was playing with ESTLCAM and found out there is a DIMENSION TOOL. Under Help, Help: "Press and hold the Center mouse button". You get a readout that shows Dx, Dy, and Length coordinates. Mine has one but I know some mice do not.... I don't want to switch to Linux to find out if the support is there.

    Hope this helps... My winter project is to setup an MPCNC.
    Randy S. How do we change the world? ARK --- one Act of Random Kindness at a time -- Evan Almighty
    Captain Midnight! Terror of the Skies!

  2. #1462
    dkj4linux's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by randyrls View Post
    I noticed that in some of the Videos on YouTube, the poster actually counted the grid to make sure the drawing was sized correctly and fit on a sheet. I was playing with ESTLCAM and found out there is a DIMENSION TOOL. Under Help, Help: "Press and hold the Center mouse button". You get a readout that shows Dx, Dy, and Length coordinates. Mine has one but I know some mice do not.... I don't want to switch to Linux to find out if the support is there.

    Hope this helps... My winter project is to setup an MPCNC.
    Randy,

    I apologize but I can't tell where you are with all this and what you are really asking... can you be more specific?

    It's sometimes tricky to keep consistent "units" (mm, inches, etc.) when importing data from one program into another... and a grid can be used as a quick check to insure it imported properly. Or, using a grid in your gcode sender program to insure your toolpaths will fit the material you're cutting/engraving. There's nothing wrong with using a grid to check/double-check your work along the way.

    What videos are you talking about? Also, it's some of us Linux users that are at a loss wrt Estlcam... it's a Windows program. To be honest, I don't use it very often primarily for that reason... but I'd like to and, if I can ever get it to run properly under Wine, I'll definitely use it more. If you are able to use Estlcam now, you certainly don't have to "switch to Linux" to enable any functionality.

    What platform and OS are you using? Mice can usually be swapped out pretty easily and/or other button combos can be programmed/used in lieu of a missing center mouse button; i.e. simultaneous L/R buttons, etc.

    Please provide more detail about where you are and what you are trying to do so we'll know better how to help you. -- David

  3. #1463
    Posted a thousand or more times jhitesma's Avatar
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    Sounds like one of my videos Though in a later one I found that estlcam does have the ability to define a workspace so I don't need to count grids anymore - unfortunately something happened to the audio in that other video so it's on my list to redo.

    I actually thought that was a new feature of estlcam10 but then went back and...what do you know, there it was in 9 as well I just kept overlooking it :P

    I'll have to try that middle mouse button for measurements - would be handy for confirming size on things when scaling! I figured it had to have something like that but never found it. That's my one big complaint about estlcam...the way the docs/help are setup I find it very difficult to find information about tools that aren't covered in the official estlcam videos.
    Stop in and say hi in the unofficial FT IRC channel!

  4. #1464
    Randy randyrls's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dkj4linux View Post
    I apologize but I can't tell where you are with all this and what you are really asking... can you be more specific?
    David; Not really asking for anything, I just found the thread and building FB planes. I have been a computer geek since computers occupied large rooms and small didn't exist. Hard drives back then were the size of washing machines. Worked on everything from embedded controllers to the largest mainframe IBM makes. Retired now.....

    I've added MPCNC to my winter project list. Just back from the flying field....

    What platform and OS are you using? Mice can usually be swapped out pretty easily and/or other button combos can be programmed/used in lieu of a missing center mouse button; i.e. simultaneous L/R buttons, etc.
    My personal computer is highly unusual. Usually runs Windows. The boot drive only has OS and software on it in a slide tray. Different drives for DATA, DOWNLOADS, and ARCHIVE. Just shutdown, pull out Windows, and slide in Linux (ubuntu is my favorite) and boot up.

    Please provide more detail about where you are and what you are trying to do so we'll know better how to help you. -- David
    Just looking at getting into CNC. Have been following chains of video and threads of discussion. I already have and use Inkscape, downloaded and tried the conversion of the plans using EstlCAM, (Seems pretty easy) and will get further into it when flying season winds down and building season ramps up here in central PA.

    Thank you and everyone who contributed to the thread. Take care my friend.....
    Randy S. How do we change the world? ARK --- one Act of Random Kindness at a time -- Evan Almighty
    Captain Midnight! Terror of the Skies!

  5. #1465
    I like Estlcam. Simple to use and I can run my gcode (.nc) from it to my Ramps board. I don't have to resize in Esltcam, I set my workspace to 20x30 and open the .svg file. Thanks to jhitesma for pointing out that I use Import and not Open in Inkscape to a 20x30 workspace and it can't get simpler. All I ever have to do is move the drawing to fit the space.

    MPCNC is a great machine. Very cost effective especially if you have a 3D printer to print your own parts. I have nothing bad to say about it. But eventually, I'm going to retire it in favor of a OpenBuilds V-Slot frame. It will have a slightly smaller footprint and will be easier to keep square and true as well as being more rigid. But if you're going MPCNC, use the 1" stainless tubing. Regular electrical conduit comes with a rough zinc coating that you have to sand smooth and it's anyone's guess as to it's straightness. The commercial tolerances is "mostly straight". And yes, that is mostly good enough for cutting foam board. But an OpenBuilds frame, just the V-Slot rails, is only about $155 and total build price is only a couple hundred more if you're not printing your own MPCNC printed parts. Research everything.

  6. #1466
    Posted a thousand or more times jhitesma's Avatar
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    So I found this youtube channel "blackfish" (nothing to do with the sea world movie) and his designs amaze me: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-P...cx__zvW5ja9ZOw

    But cutting all that cardboard by hand sounds like no fun. I could laser it...but...then the edges are all charred and smell like smoke. But I remembered David cuts cardboard with his needle...so let's give it a try.

    I'm trying his walking robot first since it's the simplest design. Heck I could cut it out by hand and build it in less time than I've spent playing with CAD and the needle. But I'm not trying to be fast, just trying to learn some new techniques. If I attempt one of his firearms cutting it with the needle will almost certainly be quicker (Though his drawings are all just bitmaps so converting them into cuttable designs will be a decent time investment...but given my accuracy with a blade probably well worth it.)

    I mocked up the parts in onshape enough to generate DXF's....I may also actually work on fully assembling the robot in onshape to learn more about mates...but since some of the parts get folded that would require drawing one version for cutting and another for the mockup:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Onshape project: https://cad.onshape.com/documents/ac...df7ae4a9294142

    And my google drive where I've got my exported DXF's and some estlcam projects:
    https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B5...lFXWk1UalpyX3M

    The estlcam projects probably aren't too helpful for anyone else. I'm using a bunch of girl scout cookie crates since I have a big pile I saved from my daughters sales last year. But they're all different sizes so I have to keep changing my workspace size for each piece. And due to some mistakes and errors on my part I've had to re-do some pieces. But the DXF's should be usable.

    Cutting cardboard initially looks great. When it cuts the little 6mm holes for straw bearings the top of the cardboard just falls right out. The top cut is gorgeous. But...I'm not getting a full clean cut on the bottom. I've tried cutting deeper and slower but neither seems to have helped. I've also tried running the needle faster and slower but again doesn't seem to make a big difference. The bottom of the cardboard is strong enough that I can't just pop finished parts out, I need to use the knife to finish the bottom. Not super hard since it's obvious where to cut and the knife follows the cut...but I'd really like to get full cuts.

    I can see the needle dragging quite a bit while cutting but slowing it down just doesn't seem to be helping. My needle is super sharp...so I'm just at a total loss as to why I'm not getting full clean cuts out of cardboard

    It does put more stress on the needle it seems. I actually had a flying needle last night when it slipped off the bearing. That was when I decided to call it a night

    I don't get super clean bottom cuts on DTFB either currently...but it's good enough that I can easily pop parts out by hand. I believe mobeast said his parts just fall out and I'm using the same speeds he is now. So I'm back to wondering if it's needle speed...guess I'll have to do some more experimenting still.

    (And yes I fully accept that at this point I'm enjoying working on the tools more than working on the actual project. I could have built 3 robots in the time I've enjoyed messing with this but I'm enjoying the experimenting.)

    The other problem I've run into is the girlscout cardbaord isn't going to cut it for the small pulleys. He doesn't specify size for them so I figured 10mm on the center and 15 on the shoulders. But cutting circles that small out of this girl scout cardboard there isn't enough corrugation to hold them together anymore. I need to look through my material stash for some cardboard with tighter corrugation. (which honestly is the big issue I suspect I'd run into with all of his designs. A lot of it is based on the dimensions of the cardboard he's using...like the mechanism that holds the clip in on the MP5 which uses the corrugation as a retainer. But still seems like fun and a homemade cardboard gun seems way cooler than a nerf )
    Stop in and say hi in the unofficial FT IRC channel!

  7. #1467
    Posted a thousand or more times jhitesma's Avatar
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    So...still not having a ton of luck with cardboard. Tried slowing it down even more and it seemed to be doing ok...but then the needle slipped off the other side which...did some not so pleasant things to my flywheel:

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    Kind of hard to tell from the photo...but that's my ground down washer melted into the flywheel Thankfully I was able to pry the needle and the washer out of there and run a sharp knife across the face of the flywheel to clean things up. Re-assembled and runs well again:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Thought that was a neat angle how you can see the needle through the blur

    Slowed it WAY down to an agonizing crawl and was able to cut the cardboard without dislodging the needle again, and saw very little drag on the needle....but still didn't get a full clean cut on the bottom surface

    Still, got all the parts cut for the robot except the wooden linkages. Considered doing them with the laser but I think I'll just do them by hand And still have to dig out a suitable motor...somewhere I have one I pulled out of an old walkman that should be perfect. Just have to remember where it is.

    Don't think I'll try cardboard again unless I swap to mobeasts retainer or find a suitable bearing with a groove (since my attempts at grooving a bearing went so poorly and I'm running out of dead motors to steal bearings from.) Will probably just use the laser for any further cardboard cutting at this point. I don't use the laser enough anyway

    Heck, this robot could probably just be made from foamboard...I only did it out of cardboard out of hopes that it would be a little more sturdy...but I'm not convinced it will be any better than foam would have been.

    Just waiting on it to cool down a bit so I can go searching for that motor in the attic of my shop....our pool is still holding at 95f so the attic is probably a touch warm for a few hours after sunset
    Stop in and say hi in the unofficial FT IRC channel!

  8. #1468
    dkj4linux's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jhitesma View Post
    ...
    Heck, this robot could probably just be made from foamboard...I only did it out of cardboard out of hopes that it would be a little more sturdy...but I'm not convinced it will be any better than foam would have been.

    Just waiting on it to cool down a bit so I can go searching for that motor in the attic of my shop....our pool is still holding at 95f so the attic is probably a touch warm for a few hours after sunset
    Yep! You could really do MUCH better with foamboard, Jason. If that cardboard robot appealed to you... then our old friend Tom McGuire does some stuff that should be right up your alley...





    You and your daughter could go wild with this stuff... and it's a ton of fun. We did home-made Christmas presents one year and I did a fairly large and complex, personalized kinetic sculpture for my youngest son and his family -- using these videos as inspiration. Foam, skewers, straws, hot glue, CD's, rubber bands, etc... warm up that new cutter and have some fun! -- David

  9. #1469

    LOL foam toys

    OMG That's awesome to see these old projects showing up on this thread. I had forgotten about them. Thanks for sharing. Let me know if you need some more ideas.
    Tom

    Quote Originally Posted by dkj4linux View Post
    Yep! You could really do MUCH better with foamboard, Jason. If that cardboard robot appealed to you... then our old friend Tom McGuire does some stuff that should be right up your alley...





    You and your daughter could go wild with this stuff... and it's a ton of fun. We did home-made Christmas presents one year and I did a fairly large and complex, personalized kinetic sculpture for my youngest son and his family -- using these videos as inspiration. Foam, skewers, straws, hot glue, CD's, rubber bands, etc... warm up that new cutter and have some fun! -- David

  10. #1470
    dkj4linux's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by atomicwire View Post
    OMG That's awesome to see these old projects showing up on this thread. I had forgotten about them. Thanks for sharing. Let me know if you need some more ideas.
    Tom
    Hey, Tom. Good to hear from you. Yeah, I found those sculptures to be a lot of fun to build and play with. I had a picture at one time of the one I did for my son for Christmas but I'm sure they (picture and sculpture) have gotten lost... I doubt they even exist anymore.

    Are you still building foam cutting machines? I was always attracted to the foam-cutting machine from your Instructable but, once I started putting needle cutters on general-purpose machines with a real Z-axis, that interest subsided. But now (in these forums) we've come full-circle and once again looking at building relatively lighter-weight, dedicated machines... laser, needle-cutter, drag-knives, pens/markers, etc. Conduit and 3d-printed parts -- and garden variety hardware (ala MPCNC) -- have become our construction materials of choice and you'll see numerous examples of machines built that way in this (and other) threads.

    A few of us are looking at a modest Z-axis lift mechanism that shows promise.... its construction is in keeping with the conduit and printed parts approach that we commonly take. I'm specifically looking to retrofit it to my MPCNC-inspired CoreXY machine... seen here



    I'd love to hear of some of the stuff you're doing and are interested in. Please don't make yourself scarce. You're welcome anytime!

    -- David

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