• This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn more.

Cutting foam sheets... with a needle!

Ok - I created the Thingiverse Design as a Work in Progress. More info coming, along with additional sizes.
https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4685504

Working on creating the assembly video today. I only have the prototype of the materials, and it's in full operation. Amazon arrives today with all the remaining parts I need to provide a full demonstration of assembly, or at least the method I used.

I have nephews that are in need of some chuck gliders for x-mas, and I have to get them, cut, assembled, painted, and wrapped for their big day. Last year I made them cars, and year before I made them large cardboard racecars out of boxes. Here's one of them :) . So there expectations are high, of course.

And of course, this goes without saying!
A huge thank you to @dkj4linux and @Edwardchew for all the efforts and inspiration to the community.
 
I'm getting an error when i try to follow your TV link.
Not sure what's going on there.. but I found if I am not logged into Thingiverse, or use a Private Windows in FF, it gives me a 404.
However, If I login to my Thingiverse account, it comes right up. Not sure why. I've submitted a ticket to Support for TV regarding this.
 
Oh.. so this is crazy.. I normally use FireFox normally. I created everything in Thingiverse with FF, latest version. When I don't login to TV, I get 404. When I use Chrome, I got 404. Login via FF, and it comes right up. Then just used FF to 'Publish' it on TV. Did not login with Chrome, after Published with FF, Chrome can load it now. Login with Chrome, everything works. Moral of the story... Looks like I need to migrate OFF of FF, and move to Chrome. :confused:
 
So trying to make EZ-Flywheel more universal, and not having to create all the variations of shaft size, bearing sizes, and different linkage stopper available in the market, I will be putting my efforts towards creating a 'Customizer' on Thingiverse to allow the community to make it specifically for each of their setups..
I've done programming before, so this looks very straight-forward for implementation.
 
Ok - So I have completely re-created the EZ-Flywheel in OpenSCAD, which is required to put into the 'Customizer' on Thingiverse. I am adding all the variables and selections to be user modified. Should be completed first thing in the morning (CST.)

I will be looking for some feedback on the sizes of bearings, etc., on what you all would need additionally to be able to modify.
The ones I latched onto, 4x8x3, and of course the 3x6x2 for ERC-TimSav of course, but I have some rather larger values that may not be necessary or required.
 
I'm delayed on posting. I uploaded it once, but realized the 'Customizer' doesn't work exactly the way I thought it did.. having to re-do some things, and add some 'flow-control' into the SCAD file.
Exported EZ-FLywheel out of OpenSCAD and everything from a modeling perspective looks right. :)


UPDATE - Dec 29, Twenty - Uploaded .SCAD file for customization. Should work. If there are issues, please let me know, and I will work to correct.
 
Last edited:
Happy new year to all you guys building (and using) our little homebuilt CNCs!
This is an after Christmas story. A friend made a beautiful chess board using glue/up black walnut and Aspen squares. Only one problem, when he showed it to the wife, she immediately noticed it is 8x7, not 8x8. Bummer! He had sanded all the edges, so couldn't just add a row. He gets creative, searches and finds a board game that uses 7x8 squares! Called Smess, and apparently "sort of " chess like, except the moves are defined on the board, not by the piece. So he draws up the circles and arrows in an autocad .dxf file and sends it to me asking if I could burn-engrave them in the board. I was able to import the .dxf into sketchup and after some back and forth tweaks, got a gcode file (using wafer plugin) that I felt pretty confident would work. Did a run on paper to check registration, moved a few characters, tried again. After the third round, I figured I'd just do it. The results came out "acceptable". Took hour and a half for the shapes plus another half hour for the lettering with my 2.5 watt diode laser at full power. Interesting project, and biggest I've done with laser.
 

Attachments

Phin G

Elite member
All,

Thurmond "Tritium" Moore informed me that several FliteTest "residents" ("RAM", "Bricks", "Tritium", etc.) had discovered my CNC-driven foam cutter... I found their posts in the "$150 Laser Cutter" thread. After snooping around a bit more, it appears there is interest in an economical alternative to lasers, modified plotters, sewing machines, etc. for cutting foam sheets.

Basically my foam cutter is a very fast reciprocating needle -- like a sewing machine -- mounted on your CNC machine. Set in a feed rate that yields 10-15 strokes/mm and you can cleanly cut DTF (paper on), blue-cor fanfold foam, etc. Pin a sheet of foam board onto the bed of your CNC, load in the plane's gcode, set the origin, and start the machine. Twenty minutes or so later you have a sheet of parts that are accurately cut, easily punched out, and hot-glued together. Score cuts are no problem.

The foam cutter itself can be built and easily adapted to your CNC machine for less than $20 worth of parts (less if you're a scrounger) and a little bit of your time. If you are interested in building one for yourself, I'm more than happy to monitor this thread, answer questions, and further interact here but rather than repeat *everything* I'll also provide (in a following post) links to other threads/sites that deal with the active design/development of this foam cutter and Ryan "Allted" Zellars' fantastic Mostly Printed CNC... and provides you with all the information you need to build and adapt one to your needs. -- David "dkj4linux" Johnson

Awesome i must build a tiny virson of it with a 6" drone motor and have it set up like a mill machine and keep it in my dads room.
 

TEAJR66

Flite is good
Mentor
I have been looking around and it seems like the laser out of a CD/DVD drive would work to cut foam board.... just a thought
There are several posts in this thread about diode lasers. Here is one, for example.

20W Ortur Laser Master 2 Foam board settings | FliteTest Forum (well, different thread, but same group of folks)

Take a look through, i know it is a long thread, but there is tons of info in here.
You can also do a search through the forums for diode lasers. It has been discussed in other threads as well
 
Last edited:
I have been looking around and it seems like the laser out of a CD/DVD drive would work to cut foam board.... just a thought
Matthew,

If you've "looked around" in this lengthy and eclectic thread for very long, you've undoubtedly noted that most of us are DIY'ers and free-thinkers... and ideas and "out of the box" thinking is generally welcomed and encouraged. And, while simply sharing an idea/thought might invite a bit of discussion and opinion/testimony, it often wanes and dies on the vine. Build/make something to demonstrate your idea, however -- and *document* it (i.e. "pictures, or it didn't happen") -- and it has the potential to become something tangible and truly useful to the community. So, if you can do so safely -- keeping in mind that invisible lasers are especially dangerous! -- I'd encourage you to build and demonstrate your idea and then share it... so we can all walk around it, take a look, and talk to "specifics".

Good luck! And... welcome to the party!

-- David
 
Matthew,

If you've "looked around" in this lengthy and eclectic thread for very long, you've undoubtedly noted that most of us are DIY'ers and free-thinkers... and ideas and "out of the box" thinking is generally welcomed and encouraged. And, while simply sharing an idea/thought might invite a bit of discussion and opinion/testimony, it often wanes and dies on the vine. Build/make something to demonstrate your idea, however -- and *document* it (i.e. "pictures, or it didn't happen") -- and it has the potential to become something tangible and truly useful to the community. So, if you can do so safely -- keeping in mind that invisible lasers are especially dangerous! -- I'd encourage you to build and demonstrate your idea and then share it... so we can all walk around it, take a look, and talk to "specifics".

Good luck! And... welcome to the party!

-- David
yesss... I totally agree... I just have to find the time to steal the CD player from my dads car... or not...
my first plan is just a pen that you use like a super accurate razor blade... so I will see how that goes, and I will definitely take pics and some videos (so it did happen).
Gute Nacht, Matthew
 
I have a MPCNC build with a Eric TimSav needle cutter converted by David. I cannot seem to get more than one sheet cut without breaking the needle or melting the mounting screw out of the flywheel. I think I have fixed my issue with the flywheel melting by fabricating my own small washers that set on the inner bearing race. I will probably have to break down and buy those M3x5mmx0.3mm thick washers. The needle breaks about one inch from the mounting screw in the flywheel. I believe the stress is happening at the needle guide bearings slapping against them. The needle is sharp (dremel style). I have tried different needle holders out there (teardrop style) in hopes to solve the needle issues.

The main issue I have with the teardrop style needle holder is that I cannot get the .025" wire through the hole. I have tried heating up a pin to enlarge hole. How does one get the wire through on the needle type holder?

Can I remove the top set of bearing for the needle guide to eliminate the stress on the sire? Last, How can I eliminate the bearing mounting screw from melting out of the flywheel?

cutter settings:
6000-8000 rpm
600-800 mm/min feed rate