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My build of my MPCNC with Needle Cutter

jhitesma

Some guy in the desert
Mentor
#41
Here's the best info I found on getting it to run in linux:

http://www.cnczone.com/forums/uncat.../246464-running-estlcam-linux-using-wine.html

But even after installing the stuff listed in there I had no luck :( But I've never had much luck with wine and don't really know what I'm doing with it so that isn't fully surprising ;) When I tried installing directx9 with winetricks it gave me a bunch of warnings about "You probably don't want to be doing this" which was another sign that I was probably not doing something quite right.
 

Michael763

Well-known member
#42
PDF TO INKSCAPE TO ESTLCAM TO REPETIER = G-Code

Hallelujah for progress!!
I could not get Estlcam to work on my Linux machine so I loaded it to my Windows 10 machine. I imported my PDF to Inkscape to convert it to DXF. I then, after watching training videos, opened them into Estlcam and setup the cuts using the engraving feature. Saved the G-Code to a file and opened it in Repetier on the Linux machine connected to my MPCNC. Finally a G-Code file that doesn't try to move the tool up and down multiple times per radius. Now if only I had not forgot to get the 23.5 Universal Mount printed I could be cutting my Otto Biplane from the Eddie and Otto thread on RCGroups and my Israeli Kfir. I will use the Otto as my test cut project before I attempt to cut all the pieces for the Kfir.

PDF TO INKSCAPE TO ESTLCAM TO REPETIER.png
 
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Michael763

Well-known member
#43
Here's the best info I found on getting it to run in linux:

http://www.cnczone.com/forums/uncat.../246464-running-estlcam-linux-using-wine.html

But even after installing the stuff listed in there I had no luck :( But I've never had much luck with wine and don't really know what I'm doing with it so that isn't fully surprising ;) When I tried installing directx9 with winetricks it gave me a bunch of warnings about "You probably don't want to be doing this" which was another sign that I was probably not doing something quite right.
Thank You jhitesma! I will try that. I have a Navy buddy in Virginia Beach that helps me remotely when I get to frustrated to figure things out. :eek: He has been a lot of help getting my Linux box operational. I have been out of the Linux world since 2005, I am very rusty. He is working on getting himself a 3D printer and small CNC, so he said that it is helping him for later. :D
 

Michael763

Well-known member
#44
I received my 23.5 Universal Mount this evening. I will get it installed Saturday after I return home from previous engagements. I hope to be cutting foam by Sunday evening. I worked on attaching the wood and inflation needle to the motor mount. I am using an EMAX CF2822. I also fashioned a needle from .024 piano wire. FYI - I didn't think that I sharpened the needle well enough until my forearm encountered it. Needle 1 - Man 0. The blood should help it work.:rolleyes:
 

Michael763

Well-known member
#46
When I flew nitro planes it always seemed that if I put a new prop on the plane that motor wouldn't start or run right until after it drew blood. If I put a new motor on a plane same results. :D
 

Michael763

Well-known member
#48
My schedule has been a little hectic lately.
I decided to run my needle motor from a 12v power supply instead of a LiPo, In should be arriving tomorrow or Monday I hope. I received my Tach and a cooling fan today. I put my Arduino and controller board in an 3X5 index card box, hence the cooling fan. In the mean time I have put all the wiring in looming to prevent snagging. I have also been perfecting my SketchUp, Inkscape, Estlcam, and Repetier skills. :) I am seriously thinking of swapping out the Linux box, sorry David, for a Windows box that my daughter gifted to me. :D I have not been able to get SketchUp8 to not crash when I try to save my work, extremely frustrating. :confused: I have also not been able to get Estlcam to work on it either. :confused: It will run Repetier and Citrus music player well. :D

Michael
 

Michael763

Well-known member
#49
Update First Cut!

I decided since my 12V power supply didn't arrive again today that I did not want to wait any longer. I mounted a 800mah 2S battery to the Z axis, got it set to about 6,000 rpm, 600mm/m and hit start.
The first cut I did not get the Z axis zeroed correctly and the needle guide gouged into the foam. Oops. Straightened the inflation needle/needle guide and re-zeroed the machine. It cut out to Otto Biplane wings in quick order. Eureka!! Success!! :D :D :D

First Cut Image 1.JPG

First Cut Image 2.JPG
I don't think the needle wobbled too badly.

First Cut Image 3.JPG

First Cut Image 4.JPG
Just missed going all the way through. Not bad for the first time cutting foam. :)

As you can see my needle length was a little too short even where the guide dragged ever so slightly against the top. :eek: Right after the machine returned home the .024 needle broke. :eek: The needle was discoloured at the point of failure. Heat is not the needles friend. :)

I made the needle a little longer this time.
 

dkj4linux

Well-known member
#50
I decided since my 12V power supply didn't arrive again today that I did not want to wait any longer. I mounted a 800mah 2S battery to the Z axis, got it set to about 6,000 rpm, 600mm/m and hit start.
The first cut I did not get the Z axis zeroed correctly and the needle guide gouged into the foam. Oops. Straightened the inflation needle/needle guide and re-zeroed the machine. It cut out to Otto Biplane wings in quick order. Eureka!! Success!! :D :D :D

View attachment 71132

View attachment 71131
I don't think the needle wobbled too badly.

View attachment 71130

View attachment 71129
Just missed going all the way through. Not bad for the first time cutting foam. :)

As you can see my needle length was a little too short even where the guide dragged ever so slightly against the top. :eek: Right after the machine returned home the .024 needle broke. :eek: The needle was discoloured at the point of failure. Heat is not the needles friend. :)

I made the needle a little longer this time.
Looking good, Michael. It generally takes a few tries to get XYZ-zero and feeds/speeds dialed in but you're getting there.

You may want to try packing part of a cotton ball in the top of the inflation needle guide and around the needle -- as tightly as possible -- and then wetting it with a few drops of light machine oil. Since you know now what heat does to discolor and fatigue your needle, you'll should be able to tell what, if any, effect a bit of lube on the needle has... and you may also see the needle be quite a bit more stable. This would really be a good test. -- David
 

Michael763

Well-known member
#51
Second Run

I made the second run of the needle attachment to my MPCNC. I made the needle a little longer this time.
I put my hand up just in case the needle flew off. I get nervous as the RPMs increase, this run was about 5,000 RPM & 500mm/min. I added another layer of Mouse Trap plywood to increase the distance between the rotation of the spring flywheel and the entrance to the inflation needle/needle guide. This time the needle showed no discoloration. PROGRESS!! I am very happy with the results. I used a blade to finish the cut. The parts came out nicely. Next step is to try the fuselage parts, it will take longer to print.

https://youtu.be/XiGs6Z2Rrdc

Needle Side Lower Wing Center.JPG

Needle Side Upper Wing Center.JPG

Under Side Upper Wing Center.JPG
 
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Michael763

Well-known member
#52
Happy With Latest Results

I have my inflation needle in mousetrap ply under 2 pieces of mousetrap ply. It helps my needles to last longer. I use a small piece of nylon tie wrap drilled a little smaller than the clothes pin shaft and pressed on to keep my needle on and centered. So one on each side of the .032 needle. So far so good, 7 sheets of foam on one needle so far. Each sheet took between 12 to 15 minutes at 550/min at 5500-6000 RPM.

I am pleased with the parts only needing a little help to fall out. I have to get a little better at zeroing my Z axis. Nice way of admitting operator error. :D

My next update will be to swap out the LiPo battery for the needle motor for a DC power supply to provide a steadier feed to the servo tester and motor.

I have shortened up how much of the needle extends below the inflation needle guide. The final cuts look much nicer now.
Christen Eagle Parts Cutout 1.JPG

Close up
Christen Eagle Parts Cutout 2.JPG

Needle Mount
Needle Mount.JPG

I know that there is room for improvement, definitely still more tweaking that I can do to get an even nicer finish. I have been busy with other things, so I will get it to a smooth cut like I have seen others produce.
 
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dkj4linux

Well-known member
#53
I have my inflation needle in mousetrap ply under 2 pieces of mousetrap ply. It helps my needles to last longer. I use a small piece of nylon tie wrap drilled a little smaller than the clothes pin shaft and pressed on to keep my needle on and centered. So one on each side of the .032 needle. So far so good, 7 sheets of foam on one needle so far. Each sheet took between 12 to 15 minutes at 550/min at 5500-6000 RPM.

I am pleased with the parts only needing a little help to fall out. I have to get a little better at zeroing my Z axis. Nice way of admitting operator error. :D

My next update will be to swap out the LiPo battery for the needle motor for a DC power supply to provide a steadier feed to the servo tester and motor.

I have shortened up how much of the needle extends below the inflation needle guide. The final cuts look much nicer now.
...
Needle Mount
View attachment 72902

I know that there is room for improvement, definitely still more tweaking that I can do to get an even nicer finish. I have been busy with other things, so I will get it to a smooth cut like I have seen others produce.
Michael,

It looks as though you're making real progress with your cutter. I love the idea of the nylon keepers... for a measure of safety. I also believing now, based on Jason's discoveries about crank-pin flex, that the crank-pin (the horizontal arm the needle loops rotate on) should be bent slightly inward when fabbed, toward the motor shaft at rest, so that as the RPMs increase to a useful cutter speed, the crank-pin will "fly" outward and settle to a near-horizontal position due to the centrifugal forces and needle load... and hopefully the needle will then be happy and stay put. The keepers are probably still a good idea however ;)

One thing of note: it looks as though you have a really long needle stroke -- nearly 1" or so -- and is probably the reason you've had to lower the needle guide so far. It looks as though the offset of your crank-pin is nearly equal to the radius of the motor (14 mm) so the stroke will be close to the 28 mm motor diameter. This isn't necessarily a bad thing if you're getting decent cuts and needle life however... as it should allow you to cut thicker foam materials should you find it necessary.

It's looking good, Michael. Please keep us updated. -- David
 
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Michael763

Well-known member
#54
Michael,

It looks as though you're making real progress with your cutter. I love the idea of the nylon keepers... for a measure of safety. I also believing now, based on Jason's discoveries about crank-pin flex, that the crank-pin (the horizontal arm the needle loops rotate on) should be bent slightly inward when fabbed, toward the motor shaft at rest, so that as the RPMs increase to a useful cutter speed, the crank-pin will "fly" outward and settle to a near-horizontal position due to the centrifugal forces and needle load... and hopefully the needle will then be happy and stay put. The keepers are probably still a good idea however ;)

One thing of note: it looks as though you have a really long needle stroke -- nearly 1" or so -- and is probably the reason you've had to lower the needle guide so far. It looks as though the offset of your crank-pin is nearly equal to the radius of the motor (14 mm) so the stroke will be close to the 28 mm motor diameter. This isn't necessarily a bad thing if you're getting decent cuts and needle life however... as it should allow you to cut thicker foam materials should you find it necessary.

It's looking good, Michael. Please keep us updated. -- David
Thank you David. I will make a new spring after I add the power supply so that I am changing one thing at a time. I will adjust the angle also.
 

Michael763

Well-known member
#55
I recently used the needle MPCNC to cut MPF. I was impressed with how smooth it cut compared to DTF. I had the needle at 5,800 rpm and 500 mm/m.
The MPCNC do not like cutting past about 32". MPF comes 24"X48", so it garbled to cuts over the last section. I made sure that the printer bed in Repetier and Estlcam. So I had a lot of waste.
The pieces stayed in place when I lifted the sheets off the print bed. I started to use a blade to release the cut parts, but I noticed if I bent the sheet on the cuts the parts released and fell out. I guess the needle did a little melting as it cut. I also had to replace the inflation needle because the needle section started rotating away from the head. It was a little bent so it caused some of my straight lines to be a little wavy.
I also added David's cotton and light oil addition to the top of the inflation needle. That helped the needle temp and also changed the sound that the needle head makes while operating. Thanks David for the great idea.
Over all I am happy with the Needle MPCNC. It definitely helps an old fellow with poor grip and problems with his hands going numb.
 

Michael763

Well-known member
#56
**Update**
Back in September of 2017 I went to a new cutter. I remixed Jason Hitesman's Improved needle cutter his can be found at https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2450613 my remix can be found at https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2545595. I have also updated to the new Z axis when I went to the new cutter.
Earlier in 2019, I replaced the original Arduino RAMPS setup for an Arduino CNC Shield. I installed Linux Mint 19.1 and Universal Gcode Sender V 2.0 on my Dell Optiplex 745 tower that controls my MPCNC.