|May 24, 2012, 10:10 AM|
Joined May 2012
hey everyone, I've been looking through various pieces of demo software to find something that works for my application but somehow I haven't found what I'm looking for.
I'm making a wing with a very unorthodox experimental airfoil and so the software need to be very DXF compatible.
Ideally what I would like to do is to assign one DXF profile for the root, a different one for the tip, make the necessary alignments (dihedral, sweep, twist) and output G-Code.
The guy at Profili said that my airfoil was too complicated to use on profili so that's not an option, DevFoam can work with the airfoil, but it only builds G-Code for 2D shapes so that won't work as well.
Anyone have any suggestions?
|May 24, 2012, 12:52 PM|
Profili is the one I am looking at. It is DXF cpapable and can generate g-code to cut the ribs on a 2.5D CNC. I have the Devfusfoam and have it working pretty good at the moment, I have my first airframe generated from it just about ready to cut. The plan was to use the G-code it produces to run my 4 axis machine but the old computer it used died on me. I will cut some of it by hand till I get the a new/used computer to run it again.
Link to Profili2: http://www.profili2.com/eng/default.htm
|May 25, 2012, 12:33 AM|
South - Africa
Joined Nov 2007
|May 25, 2012, 09:51 PM|
I built a foam cutter a year ago using an older linear HobbyCNC 4 axis board with heat control.
I've tried Tjzoide, JediCut, TurboCNC, Cadworks-3 and Foamworks-4 (demo), as well as Profscan.
I voluntarily wrote an English translation for JediCut a year ago and submitted it, though I see it is only partly implemented in the latest version. I will send a translation again in a few days for the latest version explaining why all of it is so necessary. The program can be very confusing if the language isn't absolutely clear.
Anyway,the latest version of JediCut does now have a useful dxf import. Jedicut is not a fuselage design program like Devfus, but could probably cut fuselage sections if they were already designed.
For design work, I have converted .dxf output from Sketchup 7.1 (as the design program) to .dat format using Cadworks. Then cut with the .dat files through JediCut.
I think I can now do the same using Profscan instead of Cadworks for the dxf to dat conversion. Haven't tried that yet.
Another possibility is to go to G-code directly from Sketchup using the Phlatboyz G-code add-on. However that is G-code for a router rather than 4 axis wire cutter, so would require some workarounds to get usable code.
I am trialing Foamworks 4.0 on a new computer with Win 7, 6 days in trial period left and it is not going well. I tried the same thing on an older computer last year using XP, but the program continued to crash after opening just once, and I could never get it straightened out with the developer before the trial period was over, so didn't purchase. I did buy Cadworks last year, but am not fond of it, and now that Jedicut can import dxfs it may not be necessary. Profscan, also looks like an alternative for this function.
What I don't like about Jedicut is the roughness of the motor drive. Using the same computer and switching into DOS and running good old TurboCNC on G-code, the drives just purr and run faster without skipping steps. However I don't have a good way of getting G-code yet -- Foamworks was the hope. Maybe if the developer can solve the issues I've presented in the next few days I'll buy it.
My ideal software system would be a plug-in for Sketchup that outputs 4 axis G-code. That would save a lot of program steps between concept and cut foam and allow TurboCNC, EMC or Mach 3 to do what they are better designed to do -- drive steppers.
Oh, forgot to mention Tjzoide ... My towers are 44" apart and for cutting fuselage sections I'd have to move them much closer together, or add arms and external stiffening structure -- like the developer has. Was planning to do this, but now with the new computer on Win7, the software doesn't work. It is XP only. I never cut a single piece with it.
It is possible to generate G-code from a dxf using an add-on in Inkscape. The add-on is very difficult to understand, however, since the Russian translation for the add-on is not clear to me yet. Also it outputs 3 axis code, so would require hand work to assemble a workable cut program. But the developer seems open to suggestions for extending the program, and might consider a 4 axis option if we put it to him.
|May 25, 2012, 10:21 PM|
|Sep 11, 2012, 08:55 AM|
Generate an incremental set of planes tangent to the surface you want to create. Determine limits of travel for each cut. Increment the rotary axis between passes, Convert to G code.
Result: Time consuming, and unable to do 3D concavity, so still just a linked series of multiconic sections, producing a rough blank for most subjects.
Cool to watch, but the slightly rougher blank produced by a conventional 4 axis machine without the rotary table (plan and profile cuts) doesn't require much more hand shaping after the blank is cut to produce a model.
A model can usually be made more quickly from a rough blank in most cases than generating a large number of hot wire passes. Each successive pass tends to cut less and less foam, but takes as long as prior passes for the same length of cut.
btw the rotary table can be replaced by hand rotating the blank between cuts if there are a reasonable number of passes. Just draw index lines on the table. The rotary function is so brief compared to a cut that it saves little time to have a stepper do it, rather than just turning the blank.
|Oct 25, 2012, 03:36 PM|
Joined Mar 2007
i use Mastercam x6 to generate g code from 3d model.
First i build 3d model in solidworks or another cad. Then i export necessary 2 edges to dxf.
Then i open that dxf in mastercam, align, syncronise... Then convert to g code.
Final step run this gcode in mach3 or turbocnc or linuxcnc..
Difficult long way, but i can combine many parts in 1 cut.
More delails in my thread. http://translate.google.com/translat...ead267120.html
and here is video tutorial
|Dec 16, 2012, 10:40 PM|
I have recently gotten DevFus Foam, DevFus, ProfiliPro 2, & DevCad Cam - as well as a 4-Axis CNC Foam Cutter.
Huge learning curve in front of me, as I'm new to 3D/CNC.
I'm trying to figure a few things out - to the point of starting my own thread, but I haven't had much luck there yet : http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1786448
Long story cut short, I'm trying to work back the other way - from accurate cross-sections and plan/elevation to show where they go in order to produce a 3D form from that.
I started to play with DevFus Foam a fair bit on the weekend. I kinda like what I see, but it's bloody frustrating to use when you hit a wall. The 'Help' is next to useless in most cases, and the Tutorial is just about the same. Great if you already know what you're trying to do, but severely left wanting when you don't.
I've managed to get a basic shape loaded and saved - used the top and side view to sketch the outline of the fuze. Takes a bit of fiddling as to where you put fixed and smooth control points etc., but I managed to get something useful in the end.
The software then renders the 3D form and places n number of cross-sections equally spaced as per the number you tell it earlier on. I understand you can add/delete/move the position of these cross sections later on.
The bit I can't work out for now is how to get a good clean trace around a cross-section when I view a 'real' one in the background as reference. My cross-sections are quite complicated continuous curves in some situations - much like the Draken.
Sooo... I'm not sure what check-boxes I need to select in order to allow me to put enough fixed and smooth control-points on so that the software will "join the dots" properly enough to approximate the shape that I'm trying to trace. I got really close, but it just wouldn't let me get the left and right hand centre x-axis control-points where I wanted them - they kept ending up a couple of mm away from the trace, leaving a curved pointy bit sticking out each side instead of a smooth line (like when you pull on whipped cream to produce a little tuft).
If I could figure out how to get that manual tracing to work properly, I'd be quite chuffed. Alternatively, maybe I can just import some kind of 'trace' and replace the cross-section that DevFus Foam has interpolated for me?
Ideally, I'd love to find some software that I can import my cross-sections into, arrange them at the correct spacings according to plan, then align them in the correct orientation as well as relative to the centreline down the fuselage (which is about 1/3rd of the way up from the bottom).
|Dec 17, 2012, 10:16 AM|
You are running into one of the limitations of the DevFus. I have played with it and as you have found out it can be difficult to get it to play nice. Another hurdle that you must overcome is that there are almost no drawings that are accurate when you compare the crossections to the top and side views. You see this in DevFus when you trace the top and side view outline. Then when you import your crossections you are restricted in the height and width control points by the boundry you defined by the top and side view outlines. There should be some flexibility there in the program to allow you to adjust those points after the 3D render. If there is already I haven't found it.
I'm sure you have heard this already, but Sketchup allows you to do the same 3D render as DevFus and it also allows you to take as many sections as you want.
I bought DevCad and unfortunately found out there isn't any help available at all. There is a yahoo group for DevCad, but when you ask to join you get no reply. I've asked in other forums if anyone uses DevCad and the resounding answer is no.
There is another free CAD package out there that looks pretty good. You can read about it here.
Software can be downloaded here:
This free offer has been available for a couple of years now and looks to be an attempt to lure people away from Autodesk/Autocad products.
|Dec 17, 2012, 12:53 PM|
DevFoamFuse and Dev CAD work well together. I can show some of the things I learned about it later today when i am not at work.
A preamble would be that it is a little difficult to learn but no more difficult than any cad system. In fact I am an Inventor user with 12 years experience and have been having a more difficult time using SketchUp than Dev Fuse and Devcad.
Devcad is easy enough since a lot of it is similar to AutoCAD, the only real problem I have run up against is tracing, this seems to be a problem for me as everytime I move the cursor over the picture I want to trace I find the picture flashes on and off and this drives me crazy although it might be that it is just the unregistered version as I have not bought it yet.
Hang in there and tonight I will post some pictures of what I have designed in DevFuseFoam.
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