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ERC TimSav - Cheap DIY CNC Foamboard Cutter

luvmy40

Elite member
I cut the parts for the FT Mini Super Bee from Gcode I generated from Sponz's plans I edited. Everything looked good to me before and after cutting. When I glued up the naceles, one side was correct and the other was 1 FB thickness short. The notches, holes and tabs all lined up correctly.

I will print the original plans and my edited SLGs this evening and compare measurements. I can see me acicidentally moving something in Inkscape when editing, but to get exactly the same mistake on two seperate(mirror immage) parts seems to negate that possibility. I thought at first, the nacelles might be be designed assymetrically, but the difference is not mirrored. I.e., the short side is not inboard or outboard on both nacelles. They are the left side on both nacelles.

Any ideas what might cause this symptom in the Gcode or with the cutter mechanically?
 
Got it all sorted with feed rate adjustments and setting the $1=255 to lock the steppers when raising and lowering the cutter.

I cut all five sheets for the FT Edge last night. Time to start watching some build vids!
did you make the Gcode or got it from some one. the reason i am asking cause i am doing my own. and is there a problem with Flite Test and us sharing them?
 

luvmy40

Elite member
did you make the Gcode or got it from some one. the reason i am asking cause i am doing my own. and is there a problem with Flite Test and us sharing them?
I used someone elses Gcode the first time with not great results. I have since cleaned the palns and generated my own Gcode for it and it cut quite nicely. The plans are available for free, with the standard personal use only caveat. Maybe you should ask Sponz or one of the other moderators if it would be kosher for me to share the Gcode with you. I certainly wouldn't mind, but I do not want to cross any lines that shouldn't be crossed.
 
I used someone elses Gcode the first time with not great results. I have since cleaned the palns and generated my own Gcode for it and it cut quite nicely. The plans are available for free, with the standard personal use only caveat. Maybe you should ask Sponz or one of the other moderators if it would be kosher for me to share the Gcode with you. I certainly wouldn't mind, but I do not want to cross any lines that shouldn't be crossed.
That is the reason i am asking. I have done a quite a few gcodes my self. for my use but like you i would not my sharing, is it ok. the regular plans are out there. maybe the new one's might be not so ok since you have to be a menber of the FTCA to get new plans. I am also makin gcode's for the nose on most of my plane's just to replace the nose in case of a crash. maybe we should ask Sponz.
 

luvmy40

Elite member
During my suspension:devilish:, I upgraded my cutter head to the guide rod and bearing style from thingiverse. Huge improvement!
I'm also starting to get the hang of Inkscape. I traced and edited my Flerken plans today and now have viable Gcode to cut parts.
I bought the plans and a SBK and was sorely disapointed when I found the plans were locked and protected. I understand why and can't argue. I was still disapointed. It was really only a few hours work to trace them, once I started to understand the process in Inkscape.
 
Sorry if this post is in the wrong spot.
First time fire-up - I've got no motor movement. Both boards have power, Arduino program is running in background, com port is active, GRBL program displays the 2 line calibration sketch (per the video). I see all of the sketch rolling data when I hit BEGIN, the only thing I don't see is the actual in-process cut path - and I don't know if it's supposed to show that or not. I'm using the Longrunner kit from Amazon. Is it possible that my drivers are installed backwards? - the hardware looks exactly like Edwards - similar driver set-up positions. Any help would be appreciated.
 

luvmy40

Elite member
Pics of your set up would help.

Yes, the GRBL controller Edward links to does show real time progress. Kind of. It may depend on the computer you are running it on. I get a 3-4 second delay on real time process.
 
if you haven't ordered your uno yet then I would try and get one with the amtel 16u2 chip rather than the ch340 as they are closer copies of the real uno. They do cost a bit more but I think they are worth it. The one you want will have a square chip next to the usb port rather than a rectangular chip.
Can a mega 2560 be used for the timsav
 
There are versions for the mega with a ramps board but why re-invent the wheel. The uno's are cheap and so are the shields. For the mega you can use Grbl-mega-5x but you would have to figure out the pins to use for the servo. I have been playing with an esp32 based uno with wifi and bluetooth and had it working with the uno cnc shield and grbl-esp32 but that is on the back burner for now
 
There are versions for the mega with a ramps board but why re-invent the wheel. The uno's are cheap and so are the shields. For the mega you can use Grbl-mega-5x but you would have to figure out the pins to use for the servo. I have been playing with an esp32 based uno with wifi and bluetooth and had it working with the uno cnc shield and grbl-esp32 but that is on the back burner for now
I only asked about the mega because i have one and it's not getting to much use. i bought it to configure my emax Esc's.
 
To those that are planning on building a needle cutter. if it is for personal use as you cannot share gcode's this could get a little expensive but if you have other ideas for it go for it . i am building this thing to make my own planes. but instead of a neddle cutter it will have a pen so it will be a drawing machine. i bought a lase engraver thinking that i could use the frame for a drawing machine , no luck the board does not support the servo for the pen. but guess what i am getting pretty good at engraving . my kids love to draw and that is y i am building the needle cutter. so my kids can use it as a printer. if i can draw the plans onto the foamboard i can cut them myself.
 
To those that are planning on building a needle cutter. if it is for personal use as you cannot share gcode's this could get a little expensive but if you have other ideas for it go for it . i am building this thing to make my own planes. but instead of a neddle cutter it will have a pen so it will be a drawing machine. i bought a lase engraver thinking that i could use the frame for a drawing machine , no luck the board does not support the servo for the pen. but guess what i am getting pretty good at engraving . my kids love to draw and that is y i am building the needle cutter. so my kids can use it as a printer. if i can draw the plans onto the foamboard i can cut them myself.
I agree, not really worth it to build one for a one off plane. I am a tinkerer and like building both planes but also electronics. The biggest cost are the rails depending on where you live. I used steppers salvaged from copiers but new ones are pretty cheap. I converted mine to use the needle cutter or laser engraver/cutter so I can do more things with it. I have cut out different things for the neighbours kids like christmas trees and halloween witches during covid lockdowns, just to put a smile on thier faces! You are not tied to just doing FT stuff and some of the older depron planes are great but again if its just one plane then not worth the time. I do up gcode and if they fly well then I will cut them for friends for free or the cost of the foamboard. If building one you will be looking at about $200CDN for get one going IF you have a 3d printer.
 
I agree, not really worth it to build one for a one off plane. I am a tinkerer and like building both planes but also electronics. The biggest cost are the rails depending on where you live. I used steppers salvaged from copiers but new ones are pretty cheap. I converted mine to use the needle cutter or laser engraver/cutter so I can do more things with it. I have cut out different things for the neighbours kids like christmas trees and halloween witches during covid lockdowns, just to put a smile on thier faces! You are not tied to just doing FT stuff and some of the older depron planes are great but again if its just one plane then not worth the time. I do up gcode and if they fly well then I will cut them for friends for free or the cost of the foamboard. If building one you will be looking at about $200CDN for get one going IF you have a 3d printer.
you are right about the rails being the most expensive, but the other day i was taking apart a crate that we got some furniture at work, and i was looing and looking and i said to myself y does it have to be metal. If you get a couple of 2x4 and cut it to 40" x2 and then 2X 30" and if you have access to a router and the right bit to make a grove in the wood to make path for the wheel bearing you can make the rails to your liking, Imaging the possibilities, unless you are going to put a router on the traveling rail but even though you can make it strong enough you just have to find it in your imagination.
 

jpot1

Elite member
Putting this out to gauge interest. Haven’t used my Tim Sav in a while as I’ve been focused on 3D printing. I’ve got all the electronics, all work, and most of the 3D printed parts. I took away the cutter head pieces as I was going to print one of the newer designs. Message me if you are interested in the electronics/rails/etc realizing you would have to do some 3D printing. I’m thinking $85 and we split shipping?