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Cutting foam sheets... with a needle!

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.
 
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
 

jhitesma

Some guy in the desert
Mentor
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.
 
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.....
 
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.
 

jhitesma

Some guy in the desert
Mentor
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-PN1tfiDcx__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:

Screen Shot 2017-08-13 at 10.21.51 AM.png

Onshape project: https://cad.onshape.com/documents/a...25497812747fad4950/e/b1cc6bbe1bdf7ae4a9294142

And my google drive where I've got my exported DXF's and some estlcam projects:
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B5JVPXZ3vDfBNlFXWk1UalpyX3M

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 :D )
 

jhitesma

Some guy in the desert
Mentor
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:

20170813_171656.jpg

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:

20170813_172511.jpg

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 :D 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 :D

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 :D
 
...
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 :D
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
 
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

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
 
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
 
drawing

Alright! Several of you have already spoken up so here's the post with all the links I promised and a bit more information about both my foam cutter and the CNC machines I've used during its most recent development. I've been using this method for several years now to machine-cut my planes out of fanfold foam insulation sheet and DollarTree foamboard. Never again will I hand-cut designs. I know it appears a bit crude but I have cleanly cut "miles" of foam using this method with minimal fuss.

Basically my foam cutter is a very fast reciprocating needle... like a sewing machine. The needle is formed from a length of 0.025" music-wire and attached to a small ball-bearing mounted eccentrically on the flywheel. The flywheel is mounted on the shaft of a 2826/2822 brushless motor (with ESC and servo tester) and spun at 8000-10000 rpm, resulting in a stroke/perforation per revolution. A feed rate of 600-1000 mm/min yields 10-15 strokes/mm and cleanly cuts DollarTree foam board (paper on), blue-cor fanfold foam, etc.

In the past couple of months, I have built three of Ryan "Allted" Zellars' fantastic Mostly Printed CNC (MPCNC) machines for myself and a couple of friends and it is the perfect vehicle to mount a foam cutter and cut sheet foam materials (DTF, blue-cor FFF) accurately and cleanly. The foam cutter itself can be built and adapted to your CNC machine for less than $20 worth of parts (less if you're a scrounger). But if you also need a CNC machine -- and if you (or a friend) are "handy" and could tackle a large erector set project -- you can build a complete 48"x48" (or smaller/larger) MPCNC and foam cutter for less than $500 (<$300 if you can 3d print) and a weekend or two worth of time. It is easily IMHO the most flexible and economical way to get into CNC at the current time -- even if you have to buy the hardware and plastic "bundles" from Ryan's website. I'm not at all affiliated with Ryan or MPCNC... I'm simply an old retired engineer who appreciates good engineering when he sees it.

If you are interested in building one (or all) of these for yourself, please check out the links below. I'll continue to monitor this thread, answer questions, and further interact with folks here but rather than repeating everything I'm providing links to threads/sites that deal with the active design/development of this foam cutter and Mostly Printed CNC. Please check them out.

Foam Cutter design/development --

A fairly lengthy thread featuring brushed-/brushless-motor versions of the foam cutter, a Mostly Printed CNC (MPCNC) build log, user build(s), and general DTF cutting thoughts:
http://www.rcpowers.com/community/threads/mostly-printed-cnc-and-cutting-foam.18808/

User build(s) and further needle guide development:
http://openbuilds.com/threads/brushl...eet-foam.5862/

Universal MPCNC quick change/release system for assorted tools (including foam cutter) and user build(s):
http://www.vicious1.com/forum/topic/...unting-system/
http://www.vicious1.com/forum/topic/...s-foam-cutter/

All 3d-printed versions/parts --

Brushed motor versions:
http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1138627

Brushless-motor versions:
http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1211039

Universal MPCNC mounting system, including foam cutter head:
http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1245848

Mostly Printed CNC:
http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:724999
http://www.vicious1.com/specifications/

etc...

Please feel free to join in the conversation and/or ask questions.

-- David Johnson (aka "dkj4linux")
can i just attach a pen and draw the plans with it ?
 

jhitesma

Some guy in the desert
Mentor
I should probably post this somewhere more obvious but....in anticipation of the eclipse on Monday (which we'll only get 60% coverage on :( ) I build a solar viewer out of DTFB today.

20170819_124339.jpg
20170819_124342.jpg
20170819_124348.jpg
20170819_130748.jpg

More details later...but...onshape project for sketches to use for cutting: https://cad.onshape.com/documents/2...1b61c9dd8f40da36ea/e/9f77d9259c1d1be4326723e3

It uses the lens from a pair of +2 reading glasses from dollar tree as the primary. The other lens is a 2x barlow from my daughters telescope, that's the one thing that may be hard to come up with on short notice - sorry about that. If you're in or near a big city you may be able to find one at a camera store or telescope shop if you have one. This one was about $16 off amazon last summer when I bought it for her.

All just really simple DTFB construction. The support rail is an experimental airlines style fuselage tube I had on hand...but I'm going to make something sized more like the tube on an FT Explorer and some matching collars under the lens holders to make it easier to use. I also need to lengthen the rail. Right now it only gives about a 1" view of the sun...but with a longer rail it can give an almost 3" image. ( tested that just holding things in the air - but didn't have enough hands to get a photo of that setup!

Could all be cut by hand...but I wanted the barlow held securely and I suck at cutting circles by hand :) So just ran it all on the MPCNC...took 5 minutes to cut so probably quicker than I could have done it by hand.

Tonight I'll build a better rail and focusing setup. Fingers crossed her teacher allows it....I meant to ask her on Friday but wanted a working prototype before I asked and didn't have a chance to pick up the reading glasses until today.

Note - you can also do it without the barlow and just +1 or +2 lenses but you won't get as big of an image. Lot more details on other approaches to building one here: http://richardsont.people.cofc.edu/safe_solar_folder/index.html
 
Inspired by what you guys have done here and encouraged and assisted by friends (quimney and a great machinist I work with) I took a stab at making one of these myself. Here is the result.


Thanks dkj4linux for posting this. I have tried other cutting methods with variable degrees of success. I have a drag knife/tangent knife setup that I've used but sharp corners don't turn out very well. I have a router head/spindle and some 0.8mm end mills but they break very easily and can gum up with foam. This design I think is the best of both worlds. Its simple, tough, doesn't require strong work piece holding, the cuts are nice and it can do very intricate cuts. Thanks again.

Shur
An absolute work of Art Shurakair. Was wondering if you could give a tutorial on how you put your needle cutter together or at the very least some more pictures? I love the ability to just plug it in and the fact that you were able to incorporate the tool length sensor. Very nice and thank you for sharing.
 

jhitesma

Some guy in the desert
Mentor
Well, we're ready for the eclipse tomorrow:

20170820_170230.jpg

They both use one lens from a pair of +2 reading glasses as the objective. The shorter one has a 2x barlow from my daughters telescope and the longer one as a 2x teleconverter from my camera. They both work very well. You get about a 1" image from the shorter one and a 2" image from the longer one...the shorter one can also do a 2" image but I don't have another section of boom and don't really feel like cutting another at this point. I may do it later tonight...but really the shorter one is much easier to aim and hold steady so even with the smaller image I prefer it.

Can easily see a string of sunspots across the face of the sun with either. But it's really hard to get a photo of them :( And there are trees in the way now :(

The design is really tossed together...but all the drawings are in the onshape project. The main piece is a the "barlow-fancy" sketch which is actually used for holding both lenses. It's a little tricky since it requires score cuts on both sides. This could be done with the machine but it's quick and easy to pop it out and do one side by hand afterwards. It then folds up into a cradle that rides on the boom and an upright. There are also some triangular braces to help but on the barlow mounts where I stacked multiple sheets of DTFB (either to provide a thick enough piece to slide the telescope lens into or to build the SLR teleconverter inside of) they aren't really needed since the upright ends up thick enough it has enough base to hold itself ridgid. I still added the braces since these will be around 2nd graders tomorrow. I cut little notches out of the braces so I could pre-install rubber bands that hold the lens supports in place but allow them to be shifted for focusing.

The screens at the rear are a little larger and extend over the tube so no kids are tempted to try and look through it while it's pointed at the sun. I added some small braces behind the one screen to help stiffen it but they didn't make a big difference so I didn't bother on the other. I used skewers to hold the screens in place but still allow them to be removed since it's fun to point it at things and project the sun different surfaces ;)

I had hoped to cut all of the lens supports out of the black DTFB....but...man that stuff stinks when it cuts. So didn't really want to bother on the rest of the parts!

The new whiter DTFB makes for a nice projection screen. Hard to tell in the photo but the extension on the front of the longer one is from my stock of old DTFB, if you look carefully you can almost kind of sort of see the color difference - but in person it's pretty striking.
 
Ya know...

Ya sit at home, minding your own business... and one of those pesky fishing trips breaks out. I could blow it off -- ya know -- but then they whine about not getting to see me... such the blessing I am :rolleyes:;):rolleyes:;):rolleyes:

I love it, of course... and have a couple of buddies I really enjoy being with. The fishing trips don't come as often as we'd like so don't hesitate to jump on it when the opportunity comes. The only downside is that I'm really almost completely off the grid when we're there so can't keep up with what's going on with you guys :D

So, I come back and Jason's come up with a neat foamboard eclipse viewer... design properly committed to formal CAD, CAM'ed with Estlcam, accurately cut with MPCNC/needle-cutter, and successfully field-tested at his daughter's school! How cool is that???

I'm spending more time in Onshape these days... trying to hone my skills in virtual assembly. I'm finding it mind-blowing being able to design, fit, and assemble stuff in these new-fangled online 3d CAD programs... on a little 14" Chromebook, no less. I've also recently built and tested a Moebeast-inspired compact carriage with Z-axis mechanism -- suitable for laser and needle-cutter -- and am now looking at building a new machine to fit to. I've got a couple of ideas I want to try... :D

-- David
 
Ya sit at home, minding your own business... and one of those pesky fishing trips breaks out. I could blow it off -- ya know -- but then they whine about not getting to see me... such the blessing I am :rolleyes:;):rolleyes:;):rolleyes:

I love it, of course... and have a couple of buddies I really enjoy being with. The fishing trips don't come as often as we'd like so don't hesitate to jump on it when the opportunity comes. The only downside is that I'm really almost completely off the grid when we're there so can't keep up with what's going on with you guys :D

So, I come back and Jason's come up with a neat foamboard eclipse viewer... design properly committed to formal CAD, CAM'ed with Estlcam, accurately cut with MPCNC/needle-cutter, and successfully field-tested at his daughter's school! How cool is that???

I'm spending more time in Onshape these days... trying to hone my skills in virtual assembly. I'm finding it mind-blowing being able to design, fit, and assemble stuff in these new-fangled online 3d CAD programs... on a little 14" Chromebook, no less. I've also recently built and tested a Moebeast-inspired compact carriage with Z-axis mechanism -- suitable for laser and needle-cutter -- and am now looking at building a new machine to fit to. I've got a couple of ideas I want to try... :D

-- David
Welcome back! We missed you.
Here is my progress for now. I need to make the y-stepper mount and some pulley holders and I should be ready to put the prototype together.
cheap rider.jpg cheap rider2.jpg
This version has 37mm of travel on the cutter head, plus another 60 mm of adjustment in the sides.
 

jhitesma

Some guy in the desert
Mentor
Wish I got to go on some fishing trips...just as long as not too many took the bait and made me actually have to do something more than sit and relax :D

I totally forgot to update with how the viewer did! It was a huge hit. The kids loved it, the parents who were there loved it, the teachers loved it...really went over well!

Before the eclipse I was eventually able to get a shot where the sunspots were visible:

20170820_174852.jpg

They're kind of hard to see...it's tough to aim and focus the viewer with one hand and work my cell phone with the other...but they're there. Also, that's the one using my 2x teleconverter from my SLR which doesn't give nearly as nice of an image as the 2x barlow from our telescope. But the one with the scope optics I had setup for a smaller image which was harder to photograph. I really need to try one more time with the scope optics on the longer setup - should be able to get a good sunspot image then. For size reference that string of 3 blobs that are the sunspots is roughly twice as long as jupiter is wide! So they may look small in the photo but they're anything but!

While I was trying to get that this guy spooked me:

20170820_174605.jpg

I knew the wire was in my shot but was trying to ignore it...then suddenly something black came in and I thought it was a tree branch...but...it didn't move like leafs. Then it spread it's wings and sauntered directly into frame and I realized it was a bird :)

On eclipse day it did it's job and captured our 60% coverage quite nicely:

20170821_101952 (1).jpg

Though...a nearby tree also did a good job:

20170821_102147.jpg

One of the moms who is a full time photographer snapped a shot of me in action:
20914634_10104335054408069_7347748844850928927_n.jpg

And my daughters teacher was nice enough to get a shot of me and my daughter together:
20170821_102908.jpg

And on Tuesday she brought this home...so I think she enjoyed it as well:
20953506_10214024419541822_8901747147523762097_n.jpg

So while I put more time into it than I really needed to...I feel it was worth it :) Now I need to try and catch a transit of mercury or venus since I've got the viewers!


Looking forward to seeing the new designs come together. For those who aren't following the FT Fans group on Facebook....there's some competition in the works https://www.facebook.com/groups/FlitetestFans/permalink/1991279561090581/

Looks like a nice design, but I'm gently trying to suggest they look into a needle cutter instead of a spindle if their primary design goal is cutting DTFB ;) I'm also not a big fan of the "traditional" parallel port driven controller setup...especially driven from windows. Still - it's nice to have options! And I like their plans to start a site dedicated to sharing plans ready to cut...though I'm crossing my fingers that they don't limit it to gcode as I'd rather see things shared in a format that's usable across a variety of machines.

Oh, and David you must have way more patience than me...or a nicer Chromebook than the one I got my wife for Christmas :D I tried onshape on there...and it was usable...but definitely not as snappy as on my notebook. But to be fair I find the touchpad on both equally annoying for CAD without an external mouse!