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Old Nov 30, 2011, 06:13 AM
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United States, MA, Southbridge
Joined Feb 2010
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For small detail work that is certainly impressive. I'm not sure I need anything that small for what i use mine for. YMMV

Tail numbers for Peanut Scale anyone?
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Old Jan 24, 2012, 03:55 PM
Watts is where its at!
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United States, WA, Seattle
Joined Oct 2004
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I came up with a new use I want to try out: cutting plastic sheets. I'm thinking about making some side force generators out or layers of thin plastic. Something like the material you get at an office supply store as folios or paper protectors. It should be thin enough to cut with these tools.
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Old Jan 24, 2012, 06:44 PM
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I look forward to your report back
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Old Jan 26, 2012, 01:46 AM
Watts is where its at!
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I ordered a KNK Zing and some 1/16" PETG sheets from McMaster Carr.
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Old Jan 26, 2012, 05:41 AM
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United States, MA, Southbridge
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Quote:
Originally Posted by racerxky View Post
I ordered a KNK Zing and some 1/16" PETG sheets from McMaster Carr.
for cutting stuff like that I'm using a buddy's lasercutter. I'm doing some production paint masks that way out of plywood with registration marks from lasercutting the kits. but that's another topic...
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Old Jan 26, 2012, 10:56 AM
Watts is where its at!
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Well see how it goes. 1/16" is under the 2mm thickness limit. No idea how it will cut.
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Old Feb 06, 2012, 12:46 AM
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United States, WA, Seattle
Joined Oct 2004
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Zing First Impressions

Installing the software and connecting the cutter was straight forward and quick. The included registration key didn't work. Aww Biscuits.

The workflow im using is Sketchup to SVG using a plugin. Then the SVG is imported into Make-The-Cut.

The first thing I had to learn is that you can only export an SVG of a closed polygon that is filled. If it's just a wireframe the plugin doesn't report an error, like 'Sorry, no surfaces found', it just does nothing. The other thing I learned is that if you group your drawing into components, like you should, the plugin will totally hose up the export. You have to select everything and then "explode" the selection to give the plugin a fighting chance of doing it right. If the plugin correctly supported components it would probably make cut planning process go a lot smoother later on...

You also need to export as "paths" and not "lines". If you export as lines the cutter will lift the pen at the end of every line segment. It wont string line segments together into a nice smooth curve. Sketchup makes all of its curves out of line segments. So if a circle has 100 line segments the cutter will lift the tool 100 times. Trust me you want "paths".

The next speedbump is the "DPI" setting in Make-The-Cut's SVG inport screen. SVG files that have units specified dont need a DPI. The XML tells you exactly how large the thing is in inches or mm or whatever unit was used to make the file. Turning the DPI setting off doesn't do the right thing. The correct DPI setting for a Sketchup derived SVG draw in inches in 1. Yes 1, not 70, 90 or 300. The correct setting for metric svg files is somewhere between 25 & 30. I havent yet figured out if it's even possible to import them correctly at 1:1 scale. This lack of a straight forward way to correctly import an SVG at 1:1 scale is frustrating.

Then when the drawing is imported it gets carried off to some random location off the virtual 'cutting mat' area. Like WAY off, somewhere that you cant even see. Lots of messing around before I figured out how to get it in view and drag it back onto the 'cutting mat' area. The software needs to be fixed to import things into the center of the 'cutting mat' area.

Then there's the cut planning. Now, granted my test pattern is not a typical shape. It's got intersecting lines which really seem to confuse the software. Basically there is no optimization being made to minimize the number of strokes or paths that the cutter head makes. If you have no intersections this never becomes a problem. Maybe this is because of the way the the SVG file is exported. As I mentioned earlier if the plugin supported components correctly it might be able to optimize out the intersecting line segments resulting in a simpler cut plan. Its in Ruby so maybe I could be persuaded to fix it.

Anyway here is my first test pattern:


Parallel Line Performance:
The first test pattern has parallel line blocks at 30 and 45 degrees. This should test cutter's ability to interpolate stepping on 2 axes into a straight line. 45 degrees should be easy (just step both motors at the same time) and 30 should be more of a problem (one motor steps more than the other, timing of these opperations becomes key). These lines are all 1/32" apart:

It's down to the point where I think the pen holder might need to be a bit more stable to get better results. If your design requires visually parallel lines the Zing can do that.

Circle Performance:
The test parts we saw coming from the Cameo were particularly impressive in this area. The zing is looking less impressive:

The smaller circles look squared off but this may be the fault of the pen tool. I've done some test cuts with a blade and I believe they are coming out round down to ~2mm diameter. I'm waiting on a working license key before I can show results. The software cuts through the middle of the design when its not registered.

More to come...
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Old Feb 06, 2012, 01:38 AM
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Circles done in Inkscape and exported as EPS. For some reason Make-The-Cut wont import any SVG file I save in Inkscape, it comes up with a very un-helpful error message.

The circles are 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 and 0.5mm as you see them in the pic:


All of the circles show 'approach marks' where the cutting tool was put down and then dragged towards the circle. The 2mm circles looks like a swirl or a '6'. Only 1 od the 1mm circles came out, the rest are trash. All the 0.5mm circles are just points.

I had the blade offset at 0.35mm and and the standard material blade installed. I raised the cutting pressure and this is the best result I could get.

I'm kinda busy this week but maybe I can get in touch with them and see if there is some way to fix this.
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Old Feb 06, 2012, 02:23 AM
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This is card stock you are cutting?
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Old Feb 06, 2012, 03:14 AM
Watts is where its at!
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Plain computer paper.
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Old Feb 06, 2012, 05:21 AM
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oh, that's not good. is it shifting under the blade?
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Old Feb 06, 2012, 11:50 AM
Watts is where its at!
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I dont think the paper is shifting. Its stuck down to a cutting mat. I tried different offset settings; 0.1, 0.75. None of that made any difference.
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Old Feb 06, 2012, 05:16 PM
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United States, MA, Southbridge
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Quote:
Originally Posted by racerxky View Post
I dont think the paper is shifting. Its stuck down to a cutting mat. I tried different offset settings; 0.1, 0.75. None of that made any difference.
has the manufacturer given you any feedback on it?
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Old Feb 06, 2012, 06:20 PM
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I got the software registration sorted out. I need to check that I have the latest version tonight. Aparently whats on the CD is not the key, its some kind of PIN and you have to put that into a website to get the CD Key. No instructions about this anywhere that I saw.
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Old Feb 07, 2012, 12:31 AM
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United States, WA, Seattle
Joined Oct 2004
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Well it turns out I has the current version f the software installed.

I tried cutting some ultracoat tonight and it worked well. I was using a larger less complex shape. I'm still messing with the 'blade offset' setting.
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