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Old Dec 18, 2012, 01:47 AM
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Devfuse Foam

Bought the program last night and trying to get it to work with GMFC software. Started off with a simple round fuse (500mm long with 50mm shape tapering) but can't get the .dat files to load into the CNC or the GMFC software to run the script. Anyone working with these two? Would love to get some help.
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Old Dec 18, 2012, 03:09 AM
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devfuzfom

you run the file in devfuzfom on the opening page on the menu click cut fuz block with 4 axis machine. there you can generate a file for gmfc or any cnc software that you wont
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Old Dec 18, 2012, 11:47 AM
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I know I am probably doing something wrong but here goes:

I created a simple fuselage that is 500mm length with round 50mm diameters tapering to 23mm in 12 pieces. I saved the design and clicked on the screen to create the 4axis code for it,.

I went through the screens making sure my dimensions are correct and then ran the button for 4 axis GMFC Code. I also created the .dat and the .dxf file.

Next screen (top right) is create 4 axis code for GFMC which I did and it saved. I also then created the .dat for the left and right carriages along with the left and right .dxf files.

I choose the first option of 1 poly line under the .dxf file.

When I ran the script on GFMC it cut a square block and not the actual core. When I load the .dat fiels they don't show up correctly and when I load the .dxf for the left and right files they look out of shape.

When I loaded the left carriage .dxf and the right .dxf they were distorted in GMFC and were overlapping.

Any help is appreciated.

1. Should the .dat left and .dat right files look normal in GMFC (like a normal airfoil)?
2. Should the .dxf left and .dxf right imports in GMFC also look identical and normal?
3. Why when I run the script in GFMC does it cut the square block and not what I have drawn?
4. Does the last screen (when you create the 4 axis code for the GMFC) refer back to the same folders where you created the earlier files and do the names have to remain the same as it uses them for a reference?
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 03:24 AM
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the block it cuts is the block of foam for the part go to end ans make create a gmfc 4 axis cut file for both carriages.
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 04:17 PM
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Thanks. Figured it out last night that I was running the wrong script on the GFMC. Once I figured it out I cut some very cool fuselages last night!
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 09:16 PM
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Got it to work! Cutting some fuses for an electric wing canopy. Once I figured out what to do, it works great! I am cutting at 1mm/s with relatively low heat.
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Old Dec 21, 2012, 03:31 AM
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yes it worth the wait and learning curve when you get the first model but just think of how easy it will be to make one more after you have it all set up good luck have fun
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Old Dec 21, 2012, 12:48 PM
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That looks great! Just about no learning curve there, if you just got the thing less than a week ago -- do you have some prior experience maybe? In any case I'm impressed.

What kind of foam is that? extruded polystyrene?
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Old Dec 21, 2012, 12:50 PM
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15psi Owens Corning Foamular 150 (XPS yes)
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Old Dec 24, 2012, 12:03 PM
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The learning curve was really easy. I have had a Foamlinx CNC for many years (on my second machine) and have used the GMFC program with it (love it!). I quit working with it for about 4 years and just recently busted it out again to cut some cores. With this program I just ran the script made for the GMFC program and it worked great. Figured out I was sending the wrong file to the cutter, hence my block of foam.

This is just some cheap old foam from Home Depot that works great.
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Old Dec 29, 2012, 02:17 AM
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I'm trying to understand the process to get from a CAD model to actual parts. In this case, I guess DevFuseFoam outputs files that GMFC uses to cut the foam? You don't need something like Mach 3 then? Could you possibly explain how Mach 3 fits into the picture? Thanks!
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Old Dec 29, 2012, 08:40 AM
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devfuzfoam will give you the g code file to send to some one to cut for you.
but if you have your own cnc foam cuter you will need mach3 to run the g code to cut the parts

my setup is 4 stepper motors that are connected to a hobbycnc 4 axis board that is link by lpt port to my computer that runs mach3
i desin in devfuzcam devfuzfoam devcadcam profilpro2 then save file to g code and open the file in mach3 that runs my cnc foam cuter or router
it is a bit complicated to start but once you have the hang of it you will be able to wright or edit your own g code files.

the g code file is just the X/Y/Z cords of the lines that are drawn in the cad sofware mach3 reads the file and counts the steps on the motor until it gets to the first cord G0X200 then goes G0Y200 the next.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BillO View Post
I'm trying to understand the process to get from a CAD model to actual parts. In this case, I guess DevFuseFoam outputs files that GMFC uses to cut the foam? You don't need something like Mach 3 then? Could you possibly explain how Mach 3 fits into the picture? Thanks!
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Old Dec 29, 2012, 12:17 PM
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OK, that sounds pretty clear, thanks. Would you say that Mach 3 and GMFC perform the same function then, i.e. they execute G-code on a specific CNC machine?
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Old Dec 29, 2012, 01:30 PM
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yes for foam cutting wings fuz cutting is a lite harder with gmfc i have not used gmfc that much so i may be wrong

but for designing

devfuzfoam and mach3 will do 2d part layouts cuting ply pats and foam fuz cuting
fuz molds for glass fiber and drawings layouts

wing cutting profilpro2 and mach3 foam wings and molds drawings layouts

compufoil3d and mach3 is the best software i have used for balsa wing design and
DXF / g codes files and drawing layouts and templates




Quote:
Originally Posted by BillO View Post
OK, that sounds pretty clear, thanks. Would you say that Mach 3 and GMFC perform the same function then, i.e. they execute G-code on a specific CNC machine?
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Old Jan 24, 2013, 12:05 AM
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Might just drop in my 2c worth from what I've learnt so far... Dpot has helped me a lot with this already, so I'll see if I can give a brief overview of how this whole 3D CNC thing hangs together based on the struggles I had getting my head around it all...

To end up with a 3D piece of foam cut to a wing profile, a piece of fuze etc. etc., there's 5 basic elements involved. This example assumes we're running a CNC 4-axis cutter that is using stepper-motors to move each axis:

1. Software to design the part with (3D software required to cut on a 4-axis machine with)
2. Software that converts the design into an intermediate set of codes (instructions e.g. G-Code) that will tell the CNC machine what to do via a controller-board.
3. Software that reads the codes and converts them to electical pulses to send down the computer's parallel port to the controller-board.
4. The controller-board - receives the electrical pulses sent to it via the parallel port and controls the movement of the stepper-motors on the CNC machine.
5. The CNC HotWire machine itself - the thing that actually cuts the foam.

Some software will allow you to do more than one of the steps above, suffice to say you need to be able to digitize your design, and send that information off the the cutter for processing.

Some cutters may have the controller-board built-in (and probably communicate via USB rather than parallel port). So you could end up with just a PC, one software suite, a cable between the PC and the cutter, and the cutter itself. Or the PC built into the whole shootin match i.e. there are many variations possible.

But in general, our 'Hobby CNC HotWires' will generally consist of a PC, 1 or 2 levels of software, an external controller-box, and a CNC machine.

From what I've read so far, the earlier versions of FoamWorks were the complete software package - you could design your object with FoamWorks, then tell it to talk to the cutter's controller. Unortunately, the new Ver 4 only goes as far as generating the code - it doesn't do the bit in between of talking to the controller-board any more, so you now have to buy something like Mach3 to run the step of converting the code into signals accepted by the controller-board.

GMFC is another one of those complete packages, I think (please correct me if I'm wrong) i.e. you can do your designing in GMFC and cut from within GMFC as well. Again, no need for an intermediate layer of software to convert the cutting code into machine code that the controller-board will use to talk to the cutter.

The difference between GMFC and other options out there is that GMFC generates it's own native code to talk to the controller-board with i.e. the controller-board must understand how to interpret GMFC generated signals.

One popular 'language' that can control CNC machines is 'G-Code'. Heaps of software will generate the text-based G-Code required to perform a CNC job, and you can write it/tweak it yourself too.

But you still need something that will read this text-based code and convert it into something the CNC machine understands via the controller-board. One popular and quite powerful G-Code interpreter is Mach3, which can control up to 6 axes and has a heap of CNC features that cover basic 3-axis CNC routing right through to complex Lathe and Milling machines (includes tool changing, turning pumps on and off and a heap of other things).

Mach3 will read the G-Code created by some other software, and convert it into machine instructions passed down to the controller-board via the computer's parallel (printer) port, where the controller-board in turn tells the cutter how to do it's thing.

I hope this goes some way to explaining the basics, and where Mach3 fits into the picture..

BJ
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