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ERC TimSav - Cheap DIY CNC Foamboard Cutter

dutchmonkey

Well-known member
So after fiddling with a second needle and having it bind up wile spinning i think i found my issue. It looks like the first needle got wedged between the bearing and the washer this caused excessive heat to build up and break. I had to reprint the flywheel because the washer melted into it and yes i did his test procedure before cutting. I think i am going to bend my needles a little different to prevent this from happening again when my wire shows up i will photograph and share.
 
Well i am disappointed in this kit. One of the big reasons i bought the "lite kit" was because it was supposed to come pre-flashed with the firmware, stepper drivers and jumper wire installed you know plug and play he states this in his video. Well not mine i have been fighting with trying to get the firmware uploaded onto the arduino onu with no luck. I have tried 4 different computers over the past 12 hours with no luck. So now after a month+ wait in shipping i am now going to have to wait another month for a new board and try again.:mad:
I just rewatched the video, and he says at 2:15 that the “first batch would be pre flashed and pre built. Only the first batch” I hope you get it worked out.
 
here is my pen attachment with an exploded view and an image of the style of pen i used. you revese the location of the spring to give the tip some flex as it goes across the paper. i used 2 3mm screws inserts in the side plate using the current hole placement. you keep the pen retracted and when you need it you loosen the 2 3mm screws and with the z axis lowered adjust the pen so it has a light pressure on the poster board/ foam board then tighten the screws up and return the z height back up. then start a program you can run the pen attachment faster then the needle.
https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4103161
 

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I got my lite kit from Edward. Very happy overall with it. Got one issue I cannot seem to correct enough.

Is anyone else having issues with excessive looseness in the "Y" arm as it moves right or left across the X axis? I just printed a second lower attach plate thinking that there was an error when it was printed. The second plate has the same amount of looseness, so it is not the problem. There is enough play when I am moving along the "X" axis it lags in either X direction sometimes??? Of course with the lag the cut gets trashed/skewed a bit!! I have lubed the bearing on the wheel of the Y arm and it moves freely.

I have tried several different spacers as well (even metal ones) to attempt to stiffen it. It may be an issue with the size of the bearing wheels or something is what I am thinking?? My X axis belt is tight enough, but not overly tight!! I was thinking of slotting the holes on the lower mount plate and tighten the wheels up to the 2040 extrusion as tight as I can get them. I am also guessing there may be a slight difference in extrusions, like my 2040 may be slightly smaller?? The 2020 extrusion where the cutter mounts is solid (no slop / looseness at all). Got both extrusions from the same place.

Any ideas from anyone that may correct this would be appreciated.
 
I got my lite kit from Edward. Very happy overall with it. Got one issue I cannot seem to correct enough.

Is anyone else having issues with excessive looseness in the "Y" arm as it moves right or left across the X axis? I just printed a second lower attach plate thinking that there was an error when it was printed. The second plate has the same amount of looseness, so it is not the problem. There is enough play when I am moving along the "X" axis it lags in either X direction sometimes??? Of course with the lag the cut gets trashed/skewed a bit!! I have lubed the bearing on the wheel of the Y arm and it moves freely.

I have tried several different spacers as well (even metal ones) to attempt to stiffen it. It may be an issue with the size of the bearing wheels or something is what I am thinking?? My X axis belt is tight enough, but not overly tight!! I was thinking of slotting the holes on the lower mount plate and tighten the wheels up to the 2040 extrusion as tight as I can get them. I am also guessing there may be a slight difference in extrusions, like my 2040 may be slightly smaller?? The 2020 extrusion where the cutter mounts is solid (no slop / looseness at all). Got both extrusions from the same place.

Any ideas from anyone that may correct this would be appreciated.
i had noticed when making my aluminum parts that there was a difference in the hole placement on the y axis. for me i fixed my issue by slotting two of the y holes and adding a set screw to tighten the tolerance between the rollers this way i can add just the right amount of tension to the rollers to keep everything square. when i finish putting together REV 2.0 i will let you know how it worked. also even though mine is aluminum now my parts should work for a 3d print variation.
 
Hey dutchmonkey,

Thanks for the feedback. I was thinking of doing a slot as well. Just hoping the PLA will allow a lock washer to stay tight, no slippage!!

I will see how your setup works and if you could share the setup if it works that would be appreciated. I will do the same if I come up with another fix as well in the mean time!!

Thank You!!
 
Finally got it set up with the new aluminum parts the slots were just what this needs i was able to adjust the slop right out of the x axis. The vacuum setup works great a little loud but will deal. just need to get the drag chains and uno housing installed and it will be good to go. First real test cut ran very smooth and pops right out its a chuckstang.
 

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Finally got it set up with the new aluminum parts the slots were just what this needs i was able to adjust the slop right out of the x axis. The vacuum setup works great a little loud but will deal. just need to get the drag chains and uno housing installed and it will be good to go. First real test cut ran very smooth and pops right out its a chuckstang.
Looks good! Do you think it is going to work well?
 
Finally got it set up with the new aluminum parts the slots were just what this needs i was able to adjust the slop right out of the x axis. The vacuum setup works great a little loud but will deal. just need to get the drag chains and uno housing installed and it will be good to go. First real test cut ran very smooth and pops right out its a chuckstang.
Looks fantastic!

If you haven't already, you might try one of those inexpensive router speed controls from Amazon/Ebay/HF/etc... and put the shop vacuum on it. It will cut the noise dramatically on the lowest speed setting and still provide adequate vacuum to keep the workpiece in place. At least that was my experience.... YMMV.
 
Looks fantastic!

If you haven't already, you might try one of those inexpensive router speed controls from Amazon/Ebay/HF/etc... and put the shop vacuum on it. It will cut the noise dramatically on the lowest speed setting and still provide adequate vacuum to keep the workpiece in place. At least that was my experience.... YMMV.
Thanks for the suggestion I did modify my harbor freight 2.5 gallon shop vacuum with a speed control. But its problem is it doesn't have enough cfm / power. So I almost have to run it full blast to get the suction i need to hold it in place. Now i need to find a stronger shop vacuum to see if it cuts the noise
 
Thanks for the suggestion I did modify my harbor freight 2.5 gallon shop vacuum with a speed control. But its problem is it doesn't have enough cfm / power. So I almost have to run it full blast to get the suction i need to hold it in place. Now i need to find a stronger shop vacuum to see if it cuts the noise
Since initially the sheets and pad, when loosely stacked, are not perfectly flat, I usually used full vacuum to "set" the vacuum stack/pad, with the workpiece in place...smoothed it all out with a quick rub of the hand... and then lowered the speed control to minimum. Have you tried that?
 
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Anyone sourced the parts list from Amazon? What worked/didnt work? Are v slot rollers all the same size?
The rollers should be close but they will very just like the aluminum extrusion. This was one of the other problems i had is that the printed parts were so tight when assembled to the extrusion that it wouldn't move. My fix for this was to drill out the roller holes i had to enlarge them by 5/32" to get it loose enough to move. The problem with doing this is you run the chance of having too much slop and your x axis being able to pull itself out of square. My new plates have slots and set screws to be able to adjust the tension on the rollers and keep everything square. This is a problem that happens when there are multiple suppliers and variances between parts you need to build in adjustability into those parts.
I would by motors, uno and shield from amazon just for the ability to easily return. Then between amazon and ebay for the rest what ever is cheaper.
 
So there is an art to making good cnc files if you spend the time it is worth it in the end. I just cut 2 different mm-scout cnc files. First one was a quick and dirty just moving lines to the appropriate layers and quickly processing them so they are all in one file cut time was 35min. Second one i redrew all the profiles so they were complete lines and again processed into one file cut time was 15min. So what the difference. It looks like inkscape see's each individual line even if they are grouped together and it will jump around this also causes some misalignment of cut lines as some have shown. So far the best way i currently see how to fix this is redraw the cutlines it can really cut down on cut time as you can see 20 mins of wasted movent. I am going to see if dkj4linux pdf to gbrl process does close to the same. Also i got a new shop vac you need at leat a 3hp vac to get enough suction to hold down a sheet of foam. I got the Shop-Vac 3 Gallon 3.0 Peak HP Wet/Dry Vac 5010327 from walmart for $36 also a vacuum table wont fit under a stock timsave.