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Jul 01, 2018, 07:44 AM
Registered User
Hello !!!
nice thread,
thank you for sharing
just success build the machine

I have a question, did it can cut letters or anything besides airfoils?
how can I generate .dat files?

Thank you
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Jul 02, 2018, 07:18 AM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by fajar_septian
Hello !!!
nice thread,
thank you for sharing
just success build the machine

I have a question, did it can cut letters or anything besides airfoils?
how can I generate .dat files?

Thank you
You can cut whatever you want with the software as long as you have the dat files to start with. You can use numerous softwares out there to vectorize images and extract the points to a dat file or I even find dat files ready to use.

Then, you just load the dat files into the excel and proceed as usual.... The Excel was optimized to cut airfoils but will cut whatever is in the dat file.

The GRBL controller really doesn't care about what is being cut, it only sees GCode and follows it.

Hope this helps..... Regards!
Jul 02, 2018, 07:31 AM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by fajar_septian
Hello !!!
.....
how can I generate .dat files?
....
devFoam can do that, but it's a commercial application.
And it can create also GCode, so you can send it to GRBL controller directly.
Jul 02, 2018, 07:44 AM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by durone
devFoam can do that, but it's a commercial application.
And it can create also GCode, so you can send it to GRBL controller directly.
Your software really looks great, but for that price.... (oh that price!) I understand the cost of developing, upgrading, supporting and the hours put into it (believe me, I know) but I only cut so many wings and fuselages in a year. I'd rather tweak a little bit with Excel, get it done and put that extra €150 (or more for the bundles) in equipment (good radios, cameras etc...).

But it is just my humble opinion....If I'd go comercial on this, then the math changes! But I don't think it's the case for the majority of people here....
Jul 02, 2018, 09:37 AM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by rasciodc
You can cut whatever you want with the software as long as you have the dat files to start with. You can use numerous softwares out there to vectorize images and extract the points to a dat file or I even find dat files ready to use.

Then, you just load the dat files into the excel and proceed as usual.... The Excel was optimized to cut airfoils but will cut whatever is in the dat file.

The GRBL controller really doesn't care about what is being cut, it only sees GCode and follows it.

Hope this helps..... Regards!
thank you,

that really help
I use autoCAD LISP called "scan2dat" to exctract the point to .dat file.
and the Excel do the GCode..

thank you
regards!
Jul 11, 2018, 06:12 AM
Registered User
enrique.caru's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by rasciodc
Looking for a cheap and easy solution for hotwire foam cutting? I was too!

Found some programs online to control a 4 axis CNC machine but, none of them would do everything I wanted so...I started working on my own versions!

It 's all based on open source softwares I found on the internet which I adapted for hotwire wing cutting.

Hardware (easily found on "fleabay"):
- Arduino Mega
- Ramps 1.4 Board
- 4 DRV8825 Stepper Drivers
- 4 Stepper Motors
- Power Supply

Software:
- GRBL 0.8c MEGA RAMPS. Which was firstly adapted for 4 axis by Letartare, further improved by Skwee and adapted to work with the Ramps1.4 board by myself. There are currently new efforts to make 4 axis GRBL version based on the latest 1.1 version, but those are not finished yet.
- GRBL HotWire Controller. The program is a modified version of Grbl-Panel, adapted by myself. It handles 4 axis, controls the hotwire temperature and visualizes Gcode being executed graphically.
- FoamXL 7.0 (Extra): The best Excel solution to generate 4 axis GCode for Wings (very nice tool! It can cut 2 wings out of the same board). A big thanks to our Forum mate Vincent (a.k.a Prop-er) and Mark Drela, the tool is heavily based on their work! Just open your preferred airfoil pattern, input your wing dimensions, machine dimensions and voilá! It calculates Sweep, Twist and Dihedral; Lets you choose the letters for each axis; Allows to specify cutting speed and rapid movements speed; Shows the wing positioning on the foam board and emulates the Gcode graphically.

Setup:
The machine axis are as follows: (at this moment the letters are "hard coded" and can not be changed by user - not a big problem though, specially if you use FoamXL 7.0 to generate GCode, which lets you choose the letters)
- Left Horizontal Axis: Letter "X", connected to "Extruder 0" output on Ramps1.4
- Left Vertical Axis: Letter "Y", connected to "Estruder 1" output on Ramps1.4
- Right Horizontal Axis: Letter "U", connected to "Y Axis" output on Ramps1.4
- Right Vertical Axis: Letter "Z", connected to "Z Axis" output on Ramps1.4

Features:
- XY and UZ are completely independent. Very important to proper calculate machine acceleration.
- Hotwire can be fully controlled (M3/M5 to turn ON/OFF and S"xxx" command to set the voltage output). It can be done in the GCode program or manually (via scroll bar in the software). The hotwire should be connected to "D8" output and is supplied by the power connected to the "11A" input on Ramps.
- Independent jogging control for all axis, including homing.
- Gcode graph visualization.
- Ability to save your own macros.

As of right now it does not support limit switches. Although there are enough pins and is completely doable, I just did not have the time/need to implement it.

Instructions:
- Set up machine connecting steppers to correct outputs (following the diagram/table attached).
- Open and load GRBL8c2mega2560RAMPS.ino to your Mega2560 board.
- Open Grbl HotWire Controller.exe and connect at 115200 baud rate.
- Change the GRBL settings accordingly to your machine (steps/mm etc) on the "Settings" Tab (just change the value and hit enter).
- If you need to reverse the axis use the "step port invert mask" configuration. There are 8 bits (b0 to b7, from right to left), being: b7(Z axis) b6(Y axis) b5(X axis) b4(nothing) b3(nothing) b2(nothing) b1(nothing) b0(U axis). Ex: your configuration is 00000000 and your X axis is inverted. So you need to change the b5 bit: 00100000
- Load your GCode, check if it is what you want on the graphs, adjust the temperature and hit the play button!
(I don´t recommend changing the temperature manually in the middle of the cut. This version of grbl does not support it! only the new version can handle it)

Both FoamXL 7.0 and Grbl Hotwire Controller are quite self explanatory...just mess around a little bit and you'll get the workflow...(if not, just share your questions here, I'll be glad to help).

This package has been working great for me and I've cut some nice wings with it already! Hope you guys find it a simple, easy and cheap solution!

If you have any trouble or find any bugs (the software has a lot of room for implementation), please let me know! Or, if you like, improve the code and share! all source-codes are attached!

Happy Flying!
Finally I decided to dismount that old cutting arc, and build my own CNC wing foam cutter. I found this thread really helpful, just have few answer before buy everything and dive into it:
- is it only Ramps 1.4 supported, or maybe also the newest 1.6?
- I read that "Output 11A" could manage wire temperature through input till 48V which is great, but does it supports also AC current? I mean, board and drivers are 5V (iPad charger as power supply), motor needs 12-18V DC for sure (Nema 17 I think, but please provide suggestions), so what about the wire? I use NiCr 0.2mm and about 1 meter needs 48V AC to make straight and quick hand-supported cut. I can choose from 12-24-48V DC from my transformer, the only thing is that it is AC!
- I'd like to 3D print everything, does anyone of you succeed this way? Pictures of your realization will be high appreciated.

That's enough, I hope someone might help me!
Enrico
Dec 06, 2018, 06:36 PM
Registered User
I made a few changes to FoamXL for my application. Maybe others will find it useful.
- I hid all the worksheets that I could not get to work properly
- I am only cutting one wing per foam block so I removed the wing2 profile
- I added the airfoil.dat name to worksheets

I also found that automatic calculations make the G-code script hang. So I turn Automatic Calculations on, make all my wing adjustments, then when I'm ready turn Automatic Calculations to manual, (Formulas -> Calculation Options -> Manual) then run the G-code generator.

I also found that If i get a warning, re-loading the same airfoil usually fixes it.
Last edited by uscimo; Dec 06, 2018 at 06:41 PM. Reason: can't seem to attach .zip suggestions?
Dec 07, 2018, 04:12 AM
Registered User
The ramps board is strictly DC only....
Dec 10, 2018, 10:30 AM
Registered User
ReNNo_BiH's Avatar
Hello all,

I like feature in Jedicut that allows you to use DXF files for generating shapes. But I'm having problems generating gcode that works with "Grbl Hotwire Controller".

Example from Jedicut:


What I get when open gcode in Grbl Hotwire Controller:


Any idea what would cause this problem?
Gcode in attachment...

UPDATE:
Looks like Jedicut generates gcode that is in incremental coordinate system (G91) and Grbl Hotwire Controller can only read gcode that is in absolute coordinate system (G90).
I found cool tool called EditCNC that comes with functionality to convert gcode from incremental to absolute (G91 to G90) but problem is that it only works for X, Y and Z axes, it does not change U axis.
After conversion gcode viewer correctly displays XY plot:

But problem is still present when displaying UZ plot. This is beacuse EditCNC cannot apply this conversion to U axis.

So, if we can find tools that can successfully convert XYUZ coordinates from incremental to absolute it may work with Grbl Hotwire Controller.
Does anyone know any tool that should be able to do this?
Last edited by ReNNo_BiH; Dec 11, 2018 at 01:45 PM.
Dec 13, 2018, 07:26 PM
sir_clive's Avatar
This sounds like a great back-end for the Wing Helper!

If my shameless plug is already forgiven: would you be so kind to check whether the G-Code export from Wing Helper is understood by your software? Wing Helper 1.5.0 is in the Beta phase, if eventual deviations from what your code accepts are not too big, I can fix it before the final release - so far I tested with LinuxCNC and Mach3. There is a one week trial period after installation of Wing Helper, including (of course) the G-Code export functionality.


Best regards,

Alex Pozgaj.
Latest blog entry: Wing Helper 1.5.0 "In Final"


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