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Old Mar 23, 2012, 11:09 PM
Erik with a K
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Toledo, OH
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Canopy plug cutting away...
CNC F6F Canopy Plug Carving (0 min 40 sec)
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Old Mar 24, 2012, 12:56 AM
Erik with a K
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Toledo, OH
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Making the wings!
Hotwire and Milled Wings for an F6F Hellcat (3 min 37 sec)
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Old Mar 24, 2012, 05:31 AM
DESIGNOSAUR
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Amazing stuff: I Love that CNC mill and hotwire combo. When you mentioned it before I had no idea you could run them together in sequence while a part is on the table.

DG
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Old Mar 24, 2012, 12:32 PM
Foam Av8r
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In Teh Garage (Rossville, GA. USA)
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WoW Erik that is one amazing piece of equipment
any links to a product page?

so are you getting set up to manufacture and sell some kits?
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Old Mar 27, 2012, 10:25 AM
Erik with a K
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Toledo, OH
Joined Aug 2007
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Sorry RT, no product page... YET.
I will be at the Weak Signals Show in Toledo this year however, so more news to come on that shortly!!

Kits will be available in the near future starting with this Hellcat.
Next will likely be the Corsair, or possibly a scaled down 109E.

DG, the wire mill combo was what I've been wanting all along for exactly the reason shown in the above youtube video. The ability to pull a wing that is ready for glass out of the machine is really nice. But the best part is the flexibility in the software package, I've been working with Sketchup so the decision was made to just keep using it. So a new plugin has been developed to generate wire cut paths and mill paths, as g-code, including the ability to do 3D tool paths in one continuous string.

Anything can be added to the wing once it’s top cut off, servo pockets, spar channels, flaps, etc. Or alternatively, the wire can be used as a roughing tool for other objects to be milled. The FW190 canopy I did a while back would be a good candidate for this.

More pics to come!
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Old Mar 27, 2012, 05:24 PM
Erik with a K
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Toledo, OH
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Here is a teaser pic from Sketchup showing the plugin that I've been working tirelessly on...

The wing path is drawn as you want to cut it, basically if you can draw an airfoil in SU you can use this plugin, the only catch at this point is both sides of your airfoil, tip and root MUST have equal segments. You click the root, then the tip (left and right hotwire towers respectively) and it generates a path (shown in green and red) for the wire to travel at the edges where the machine actually controls the wire.

Now at this point the function is pretty basic, there is no kerf compensation, it simply exports YZVW coordinates for a 4 axis machine to run. This can be added in the future, but for now, you have to draw what you want, so if you're melting too much off the tip, you will need to enlarge what you originally drew and regenerate the code. In time with some more experience this surely get better.

If a path is reversed you can add "<r>" to the group name of the tower side you want to change and it will reverse the export order of that tower.

Tower distance apart, YZVW names, and wire speed are all configurable.
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Old Mar 29, 2012, 05:13 AM
Erik with a K
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Toledo, OH
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Got some shot of the new cowl, vac formed on a sytro-sprayed plug
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Last edited by tvcasualty; Mar 29, 2012 at 06:03 AM.
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Old Mar 29, 2012, 03:07 PM
Foam Av8r
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In Teh Garage (Rossville, GA. USA)
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Nice!
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Old Mar 29, 2012, 07:07 PM
Prunner
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Auburn, KS
Joined Oct 2008
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Very impressed Erik. Please excuse me, but I have sinned and just bought a Eflite P-51 arf. It was on sale and the FW190 I built from your plans needed some company . I'm really liking the 190 w/ the 40 size 2 stroke engine in it, but I must admit it is not as simple as battery power.

Good luck w/ the kits. You know I'll be back.
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Old Apr 14, 2012, 10:10 AM
just Some Useless Geek
Chicagoland
Joined Oct 2008
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This is all just far and away too cool. We all knew you were The Man, Erik. This is just more evidence that you've turned the foam design (and implementation) amp up to eleven. Over the cliff!

I'm gonna be interested in some of those Pretty Big -- as opposed to Giant Scale -- warbird kits once they become available. I remember you saying how light that stuff is when it's built properly. Well, I have no problem building light. But with this stuff coming off your CNC now I can build light stuff that's actually scale!
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Old Apr 19, 2012, 08:53 PM
Erik with a K
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Toledo, OH
Joined Aug 2007
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Thank you guys so much!! You rock! Makes me blush a bit actually.
There were some questions about the machine from the show vs the one I have running at home. There were two machines demoed, one green, one red. The one I have running at home is very close to matching the one we had at the show, but there are some subtle differences, head color and YZ plate color for instance.

The one I have currently running at home uses slightly different control cards (original design) and a prototype hot wire bow arms. It also uses a different wiring setup, everything else is the same. The week leading up to the show I ran some hellcat wings to pack in some kits. I ran at least 30 wings, port and starboard for 15 kits. The first wing was just as good as the last.

BTW, I still have kits available for this 38" ws hellcat.
If you would like one, drop me a line I'm asking $80 per kit, shipping included.

Again, I really want to thank everyone for their support, the response has been overwhelming!
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Old Jun 19, 2012, 04:18 PM
Watt Waster
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Hellcat - Bump

Noticed this thread was getting slow.
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Old Jun 20, 2012, 08:19 AM
Erik with a K
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Toledo, OH
Joined Aug 2007
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Yeah it sure has. I've been slammed busy, but things are starting to wind down. I should be able to get back to building this weekend our next.
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Old Jun 20, 2012, 10:15 AM
just Some Useless Geek
Chicagoland
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...with pics, of course. We love the pics. Most of us slovenly scratchbuilders live vicariously through guys like you.
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Old Nov 10, 2012, 11:16 AM
Erik with a K
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Toledo, OH
Joined Aug 2007
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Kinda a small update, but I now have a product page up for the CNC machine here.

Also I'm selling the model and plans for this F6F here.
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