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Anyone figured out how to print directly to DTFB yet? And don't mention another home brew CNC machine. Not what I'm asking for.

#41
That's interesting and looks like it might work.
I've always wondered about the Maslow router, which is similar, for cutting DTFB.
https://www.maslowcnc.com/

Anyone have experience?

Has anyone had any luck (or attempted) using a XY wall plotter or Polargraph? I posted a link to the video but it might have been glossed over. It looks like it can be made to hang on a whiteboard. I imagine that it could be used to plot directly to foamboard using a fine tipped felt pen.

Just wondering if anyone has tried and if it worked.

Here is another example:
https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/hanging-wall-plotter/
 

jross

Active member
#42
I use an mpcnc with a needle cutter.
Did you print your own parts or buy a bundle? What size, 3/4 or 1 inch. Planning to build one but know SFA. Any direction would be appreciated. Just taped together tiled plans and started laying out an Otter. Realizing how much time that takes now I'm on my umpteenth plane. Would really like to cut the build time down and get more accurate parts.
 

Headbang

Well-known member
#43
Did you print your own parts or buy a bundle? What size, 3/4 or 1 inch. Planning to build one but know SFA. Any direction would be appreciated. Just taped together tiled plans and started laying out an Otter. Realizing how much time that takes now I'm on my umpteenth plane. Would really like to cut the build time down and get more accurate parts.
A buddy printed the parts for my first one, did not have a 3d printer at the time. Since I have printed for others and for a new heavy duty 1" version for myself (for routing aluminum and wood only in my garage)

My basement unit is 3/4" emt conduit. Works great! Just cut a legacy for that same buddy this weekend. Big advantage is once you have setup the files for a plane, you can cut it out over and over with very little work. Down side is you have setup the files. As well the mpcnc becomes a hobby of it's own, stuff to learn, build, perfect, ect.
 

jross

Active member
#44
As well the mpcnc becomes a hobby of it's own, stuff to learn, build, perfect, ect.
Slowly learning this, but like you, I'm a geek. I get bored easily doing the same thing over and over. Love to learn new stuff. They say it's a good way to keep your brain healthy. I know building and flying planes has made me feel younger. Being an old codger, I could die tomorrow but feel like a kid when building and flying.

Thinking I'll just purchase the 1 inch bundles. Probably about $450 CAD for both bundles. I have a laminate router that would make a good cutter for wood but mostly want it for cutting foam at this point. One thing at a time. Is that a sensible way to proceed?
 

Headbang

Well-known member
#45
Slowly learning this, but like you, I'm a geek. I get bored easily doing the same thing over and over. Love to learn new stuff. They say it's a good way to keep your brain healthy. I know building and flying planes has made me feel younger. Being an old codger, I could die tomorrow but feel like a kid when building and flying.

Thinking I'll just purchase the 1 inch bundles. Probably about $450 CAD for both bundles. I have a laminate router that would make a good cutter for wood but mostly want it for cutting foam at this point. One thing at a time. Is that a sensible way to proceed?
The bundle is the way to go, in the end V1 has priced it very reasonable. If you can tho, I would find someone to print the parts for you. V1's printed parts are fairly course. I assume it is because the print setting are maximized for speed. I am sure they are fine, just not as clean looking as something you would print your self.
The other thing is, get the full sized Rambo, not the mini. The mini works, but if you want to tinker and expand the full sized board has more option.

As far as the cutting. A basic crank needle cutter works well, and is easy to build. A more complicated version like what @jhitesma uses would be the long term solution. Read the crap out of the needle cutter thread, good way to spend 3 days lol
 

jhitesma

Some guy in the desert
Mentor
#46
If you really don't want something that can cut as well then you may want to look into used large format plotters. They can be found fairly cheap if you watch craigslist. I started with a B&W HP that I got for free from someone who wanted it out of their storage space. (Though I did have to do some minor repairs and serious cleaning to it due to the storage space having a mouse infestation.)

Some might be able to work directly on foamboard...the one I got wasn't. But rolls of paper for it are pretty cheap and one big print at least means not having to deal with tiling prints.

In fact. Mine is pretty much just gathering dust now. Not sure where you're located but if you're near southwest AZ at all you'd be welcome to it. Now that I have my CNC I could use more space in my shop - though it is kind of nice as a storage shelf right now....
 
#47
I sort of remember a technique where you lay the printed plans over the foam board, wet a cloth with acetone, and very carefully rub the cloth over the plans. The acetone will transfer the printing to the paper. Go easy on the acetone. Otherwise you'll melt the foam. I haven't done this method in years so I might not be remembering it perfectly but it works well.
 

Keno

Active member
#48
Working on it. I have found some reasonably price "Drawing plotters" but their working space size is smaller than desire. I am trying to find a drawing plotter that can handle hopefully a 20" X 30" board. but none has yet to come close to that working area. Because we do not wish to get into the price range of 1K plus it is difficult. What we desire is possible but it is obvious that if we find one in the price range of 1K or less. However it is found it will probably be very slow in producing your drawing. I'll keep looking and in the mean time ,keep what is best for you, templates, pasted drawings and a very sharp knife.
 
#51
For printing directly on foam board, if you wanted to try it without laying out the cost of the printer there are a couple of print shops that print directly on foam board for signage. The one near me, minuteman press, does so. I am sure if you walked in with some adams board and a crazy idea they would try to make it work. It wouldn't be cheap however. You are paying the price for commercial signage, not a regular print job. I would expect 30$ a sheet at least. That is cheaper then 400$ for a large format specialty printer however.
 

dkj4linux

Active member
#52
Psychron,

I made the mistake of reading this thread through just before going to bed last evening... and then spent half the night tossing and mulling it over. I'm a 73 year-old, tired/retired, electrical engineer, who introduced the needle cutter to the RC community a number of years ago, and who is often too outspoken and border-line senile... but what do I know? So, to keep this at least partially on-topic and answer your question...

YES... some of us have "figured out how to print directly to DTFB".

This is not intended to anger or offend but IMO you're "over-constraining" the solution to your problem and being a bit short-sighted with only wanting only to "dip your toe" into the CNC/automation "pond". There is no reason you couldn't be cranking out your own custom "speed-build kits", by the boatload... in relatively short order and for essentially the same $$$/time/effort you are willing to expend now for a much lesser "solution".

You want to BUY a machine to AUTOMATE the process of DRAWING/PRINTING (nothing more) plans directly to DTFB... which you will then CUT OUT MANUALLY. The truth is that, for essentially the same $$$ or less, you could easily have a machine that can not only DRAW on your foamboard... but CUT it as well. And, simultaneously, eliminate the need to DRAW your plans on the foamboard in the first place.

Further, and more difficult, you'd like this machine to be ready to go right out of the box, handle 20" x 30" foamboard sheets, have little/no learning curve, include all required hardware and software, have dead-simple controls that requires only minimal knowledge/effort to operate, and costs less than $300 or so. Otherwise, you feel...

"Ain't nobody got time for that."

Perhaps recognizing that machine doesn't exist -- at least, not off-the-shelf and in your price range -- you're now looking to spend $$$/time/effort on RE-PURPOSING and ADAPTING a vinyl cutter or printer to simply pen-plot on DTFB... and basically retrace the steps of the RascalCNC folks and others. That rarely, if ever, works as one would hope... and the RascalCNC's existence might well be proof of that.

What folks are trying to tell you... is that you could easily have a PURPOSE-BUILT machine that can do EXACTLY what you say you want to do... and FAR MORE. It will cost you a bit of well-spent time/effort to learn how to use your new tools but the reward is that you'd gain a quantum leap in capability and attain a few new skills that will serve you incredibly well for the remainder of your life and/or "building/flying career"; i.e. it's a "game-changer".

This more complete solution would save even more of that precious "build and fly" time on down the road... and virtually every build from here on out could start with essentially a custom "speed-build kit".

There are several relatively-inexpensive machines that can not only DRAW, but also CUT, your plans... all documented and in use, right now, in the FT community. And, as a result, there are plenty of friendly, helpful, experienced folks willing and able to help you get going... just a keyboard away. RascalCNC and MPCNC are both well-engineered machines that can easily do the job and are a relatively inexpensive, fun, and educational way to get into the CNC "game". And my current favorite... Mark "moebeast" Moebes, of FliteFest fame, designed and developed an even simpler, less expensive, machine called "Foam Ripper" that would IMHO be a RC scratchbuilder's dream

https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2520214

https://www.flitetest.com/articles/another-cnc-foam-board-cutter

So, mount a pen/marker/dragknife/router/needle-cutter on any of these machines (the FoamRipper/router combo, probably not...) and you'll never look back. Can they DRAW? Yep... not a problem

20180901_145612.jpg 20190311_223704.jpg 20190426_194052.jpg

Can they CUT? Yep... and it eliminates the need to draw anything at all

20190405_222339.jpg 20190405_223147.jpg 20190405_223216.jpg 20190405_215545.jpg 20190405_231545.jpg 20190405_231845.jpg

Yes, there are a couple of pretty steep learning curves... about on par with 3d printer hardware/software. Yes, these machines can become very addictive... in, and of, themselves. Yes, it takes a little time to CAD up a plane design -- and for a "one off" makes little/no sense (unless you just want to do it...) -- but you'll RECOUP YOUR TIME IN SPADES every single time you make COPIES and/or REPLACEMENTS.

But you're in control of that. And you're in control of whether you want take the time now to make the effort to get an education that yields a more complete "solution"... and greatly enhances the enjoyment level of your RC building future.

Again, I meant no offense by any of this. But I've been around long enough that sometimes you've just got to speak up and take your chances. Ignore me completely if you want... I'll not clutter up your thread anymore unless invited. And I apologize in advance if you feel I've been out of line with what I've presented. It's just that there is so much myth/misinformation/ignorance of what's possible nowadays with the incredible and inexpensive technology we now have at our disposal... and I felt it necessary to try to address some of your voiced apprehension and concerns.

Anyway, that's my $0.02.

-- David
 

TEAJR66

Flite is good
Mentor
#53
Psychron,

I made the mistake of reading this thread through just before going to bed last evening... and then spent half the night tossing and mulling it over. I'm a 73 year-old, tired/retired, electrical engineer, who introduced the needle cutter to the RC community a number of years ago, and who is often too outspoken and border-line senile... but what do I know? So, to keep this at least partially on-topic and answer your question...

YES... some of us have "figured out how to print directly to DTFB".

This is not intended to anger or offend but IMO you're "over-constraining" the solution to your problem and being a bit short-sighted with only wanting only to "dip your toe" into the CNC/automation "pond". There is no reason you couldn't be cranking out your own custom "speed-build kits", by the boatload... in relatively short order and for essentially the same $$$/time/effort you are willing to expend now for a much lesser "solution".

You want to BUY a machine to AUTOMATE the process of DRAWING/PRINTING (nothing more) plans directly to DTFB... which you will then CUT OUT MANUALLY. The truth is that, for essentially the same $$$ or less, you could easily have a machine that can not only DRAW on your foamboard... but CUT it as well. And, simultaneously, eliminate the need to DRAW your plans on the foamboard in the first place.

Further, and more difficult, you'd like this machine to be ready to go right out of the box, handle 20" x 30" foamboard sheets, have little/no learning curve, include all required hardware and software, have dead-simple controls that requires only minimal knowledge/effort to operate, and costs less than $300 or so. Otherwise, you feel...

"Ain't nobody got time for that."

Perhaps recognizing that machine doesn't exist -- at least, not off-the-shelf and in your price range -- you're now looking to spend $$$/time/effort on RE-PURPOSING and ADAPTING a vinyl cutter or printer to simply pen-plot on DTFB... and basically retrace the steps of the RascalCNC folks and others. That rarely, if ever, works as one would hope... and the RascalCNC's existence might well be proof of that.

What folks are trying to tell you... is that you could easily have a PURPOSE-BUILT machine that can do EXACTLY what you say you want to do... and FAR MORE. It will cost you a bit of well-spent time/effort to learn how to use your new tools but the reward is that you'd gain a quantum leap in capability and attain a few new skills that will serve you incredibly well for the remainder of your life and/or "building/flying career"; i.e. it's a "game-changer".

This more complete solution would save even more of that precious "build and fly" time on down the road... and virtually every build from here on out could start with essentially a custom "speed-build kit".

There are several relatively-inexpensive machines that can not only DRAW, but also CUT, your plans... all documented and in use, right now, in the FT community. And, as a result, there are plenty of friendly, helpful, experienced folks willing and able to help you get going... just a keyboard away. RascalCNC and MPCNC are both well-engineered machines that can easily do the job and are a relatively inexpensive, fun, and educational way to get into the CNC "game". And my current favorite... Mark "moebeast" Moebes, of FliteFest fame, designed and developed an even simpler, less expensive, machine called "Foam Ripper" that would IMHO be a RC scratchbuilder's dream

https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2520214

https://www.flitetest.com/articles/another-cnc-foam-board-cutter

So, mount a pen/marker/dragknife/router/needle-cutter on any of these machines (the FoamRipper/router combo, probably not...) and you'll never look back. Can they DRAW? Yep... not a problem

View attachment 130821 View attachment 130838 View attachment 130839

Can they CUT? Yep... and it eliminates the need to draw anything at all

View attachment 130834 View attachment 130818 View attachment 130819 View attachment 130837 View attachment 130820 View attachment 130849

Yes, there are a couple of pretty steep learning curves... about on par with 3d printer hardware/software. Yes, these machines can become very addictive... in, and of, themselves. Yes, it takes a little time to CAD up a plane design -- and for a "one off" makes little/no sense (unless you just want to do it...) -- but you'll RECOUP YOUR TIME IN SPADES every single time you make COPIES and/or REPLACEMENTS.

But you're in control of that. And you're in control of whether you want take the time now to make the effort to get an education that yields a more complete "solution"... and greatly enhances the enjoyment level of your RC building future.

Again, I meant no offense by any of this. But I've been around long enough that sometimes you've just got to speak up and take your chances. Ignore me completely if you want... I'll not clutter up your thread anymore unless invited. And I apologize in advance if you feel I've been out of line with what I've presented. It's just that there is so much myth/misinformation/ignorance of what's possible nowadays with the incredible and inexpensive technology we now have at our disposal... and I felt it necessary to try to address some of your voiced apprehension and concerns.

Anyway, that's my $0.02.

-- David
Buying the stuff from V1 Engineering, and getting into their forums takes a lot of the learning curve out of the equation. Makes things pretty simple and straight forward.

Once you have a file ready to cut and saved to an SD card, doesn’t get much easier than inserting the SD card, selecting a file and then letting the machine do its stuff.

Not one regret about taking the time and spending the money to build and learn to use the MPCNC. So many planes, both FT and self designs cut on that machine in mere minutes per sheet.

In the end, a printer is just a CNC.
 

Keno

Active member
#54
I agree with above. I have come to two conclusions from time spent. The price range of 300 to 400 for a 20 X30 board will only get you a "roller fed" printer if you can find it. Problem is, this type of low cost printer does produce consistent accuracy. A little jiggle/slip in the their feed roller and your work is wasted. As you know, when printing tiled plans it is difficult to consistently produce perfect aligning pages. I am going with dkj4linuxh needle cutter.
 

kilroy07

Well-known member
#56
There isn't any real "programing" involved anymore (unless you WANT to hand code Gcode...You don't BTW) :LOL:

As the others have mentioned the MPCNC is not only a great place to start it's almost foolproof if you follow their step by step instructions.

You will have to modify the "firmware" to match the dimensions of your machine. But that's simple text edits. Then that is uploaded (downloaded :unsure:) to your controller board (the brains of the CNC) from your computer via USB. Once that's done it's off to another application (usually PC based) to make "cut files".

There are a couple of free ones out there and v1 clearly offers help. I took their advice and ponied up for a copy of Estlcam.

Basically you take a DXF (CAD) file import the lines in (inkscape can take a PDF and save a DXF btw.)
Define what lines are cut and score (usually with a color) and the program creates what's called a Gcode file. Line by line instructions for the CNC machine to follow.

Take that Gcode file and if your machine has an SD slot (I suggest you do) then just plug it in, load foamboard, zero the machine and off you go. ;)

Pretty soon you'll be trying new things and flying a lot crazier 'cause a new plane is just minutes away!

Good luck!