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Old Aug 01, 2002, 01:50 PM
SKINNI MINI flyer
Barrett's Avatar
Pearl River, LA, USA
Joined Sep 2001
645 Posts
How does a CNC foam cutter do tapered wings?

I ve been looking at CNC foam cutters for a while now (just curious because foamies are cool ) But now im might be able to purchase one for work. We will be using it to do some shapes and letters for halloween. I work in the entertainment department for a theme park BTW.

But since i also fly foamies and have recently started to cut my own cores, This is great! So back to my main question.....

How do they cut tapered wings. I think i understand how constant chord wings are cut. It seems that they only require a 2
axis machines. But for tapered wings do i need a 3 axis cutter or even a 4 axis cutter?

Thanks guys!
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Old Aug 01, 2002, 05:13 PM
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melw's Avatar
Sunnyvale Ca.
Joined Jul 2002
158 Posts
I helped a friend with his CNC foam cutter. I built a four-axis controller and made all of his cables. The four-axis setup works very well. In fact he has just cut me some wing cores that I am turning in to a flying wing like the wing nutz. The four-axis are arranged in a L shape on each end of the bow. The software that he is using is found on this site,
http://gm.cnc.free.fr/index_en.html . And the controller board kit is found here,
http://www.hobbycnc.com/ . If you have any questions about the kit I would be happy to help.
Mel
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Old Aug 01, 2002, 06:34 PM
SKINNI MINI flyer
Barrett's Avatar
Pearl River, LA, USA
Joined Sep 2001
645 Posts
Well ive got lots of questions

First do you have any pics of your setup? Im not really sure i understand the L shaped part. If your friends setup looks similar to most of the other pics that ive found then i understand, I think.

Let me see..... So you build one side with a up and down and back and forth motion (and thats 2 axis) ......

Then you build a second side that is just a mirror image of the first side and it has up and down and back and forth motion (and thats the other 2 axis?) Then attach a hot wire with some sort of temp control between the two sides...... Its starting to come together.

Then to cut a tapered wing you put in a root airfoil and a tip airfoil into the control software. The computer outputs to the stepper motor control board and the 4 stepper motors move independently of each other to cut the wing.
Is this about right? Does the software accept DXF files from autocad? Is it easy to get the software to do anything else besides wings? Like letters and numbers?

Thanks
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Old Aug 01, 2002, 07:11 PM
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Sunnyvale Ca.
Joined Jul 2002
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You have grasped it. As for photos of my setup I donít have a CNC foam cutter. I am building a CNC desktop mill and a photo is on this site, http://www.crankorgan.com/index.html just click on the pics link and look for my name. (Mel Williams)
If you explore the link for the software you will find lots of photos of CNC foam cutters. To make it do letters and numbers might be somewhat difficult my friend seemed to be having a bit of trouble. He was trying to make ovals and squares for making aircraft bodies. But the web page for the software shows some nice shapes and maybe some signs. It has been a while since I looked at it and I seem to recall seeing some. Some of the cutters I have seen on line have been quite crude. Made out of wood and drawer slides. and old stepper motors from printers. Most will work although somewhat slowly.
Mel
P.S. I forgot about your DFX question. I dont know if it will. I do know that you can put in airfoil coordinates.
Mel
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Last edited by melw; Aug 01, 2002 at 07:13 PM.
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Old Aug 01, 2002, 07:49 PM
SKINNI MINI flyer
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Pearl River, LA, USA
Joined Sep 2001
645 Posts
Thanks Mel!
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Old Aug 02, 2002, 11:28 AM
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Sunnyvale Ca.
Joined Jul 2002
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Barrett
My friends foam cutter in shone in this thread.

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showt...NC+foam+cutter

Mel
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