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  #1  
Old Mon 12 March 2007, 04:59
bugmenot dillbert
Just call me:
 
Mechmate mods for cutting surfboards

Hi,

a typical surfboard shaper machine looks something like this www.kmsystemes.com or www.surfboardshapingmachine.com There are other machines out there built on the same architecture. There are other surfboard shaping machines that are more efficient and sturdier built, but in general they move the item to be cut (blank) instead of the cutter in the x direction and have a heavy bridge for the y and z of the cutter which is only moving short distances for one pass. The blank only weights a couple of pounds so moving it is no problem, however the footprint of the machines become large as cutting a 10' surfboard requires a 20' x footprint. That's out of the question for me. There are also some shopbot based machines used for cutting surfboards.

I think the machines such as kmsystemes and 3D motion are kind of flawed by hanging the cutter on only one side of the beam. Unless the beam is extremely rigid you get twist and inaccuracies. some of them compensate for this by using a heavy duty beam and powerful servo motors, some seems to just ignore the problem. Personally I like the mechmate better where the cutter is sitting between the beams of the gantry.

A good handshaper using a powerplaner can shape a 6' surfboard from a close tolerance blank in about 20 minutes, so speed of the machine is an issue. I know that some of the shaping machine do one 6'cutting pass in 7 seconds, but this is with servos. The foam is fairly soft (compared to wood) and cut fairly easily which helps. This will however be strictly a hobby machine in comparison aiming for on side of the board in 30-60min. I'm guessing the long beam of the surfboard shaping machines is to only make the lightest part move in the longest direction thus keeping speed high and ramping to an absolute minimum. Therefore I was thinking about making the gantry the longest axis to make the cutting length 9'6"-10'. I still would like to be able to cut plywood sheets so I would make the table 4' wide.

Is it possible without modifying the design considerably and still be able to cut wood? I'm worried about too much flex in the gantry beams with that length. The extra weight of the gantry should not be a huge problem, movement for the gantry will be max 16" pr. pass. If flex is a problem then an option might be to use a larger box section than 100x50, thicker walled(at the expense of added weight).
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  #2  
Old Mon 12 March 2007, 08:46
Arthur Ransom
Just call me:
 
Foam would be a piece of cake. Dimensions of the MechMate can be be drasticly changed. Long axis,Y, is the base and could easly go 50' by just adding legs to prevent sagging. With the gantry ( X width, Z up and down) able to do 4' wide speed would be limited by the quality of cut in the material. A 6' pass in 7 seconds is about 800 inches per minute of travel,IPM. I asume that the 800 IPM is the limit of the cutting tool and not the machine. The plans for the 4' wide machine width the Y axis extended to the length needed should be a perfect fit for you and capable of machining to at least .01" tolerances. One major factor in the strength,weight and mass of the gantry is that when the motor is told to move at 800 IPPM it attempts to do so IMMEDIATELY and when to stop and reverse direction it attempts to do it NOW! This creats a lot of force and strain on the machine. This problem is being addresed by Mach and based on their track record I would expect it to be resolved within a few months. All said and done the MechMate will match the speed of the other machines.
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  #3  
Old Sun 10 June 2007, 10:57
shaperx
Just call me: Mark
 
San Diego,Ca
United States of America
Im think of adding to the Mechmate plans to make the working foot print 4' x 16' I will have to change the table to hold surfboard blank to look like this.I hope these links work/
http://www.foamdepot.com/long_board_CNC.jpg http://www.foamdepot.com/close_up_3dm.jpg

Has this been dune before or talked about? If so do you have a link?
Thanks Mark
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  #4  
Old Sun 10 June 2007, 14:18
soulvoid
Just call me: HŚvard
 
Stavanger
Norway
No. Work in progress. Very slow progress.
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  #5  
Old Tue 26 February 2008, 02:57
sprayhead
Just call me: Francis
 
sydney
Australia
Foam dust. Seems to be a big problem with the V rollers....

Guys I'd like to know what would your thoughts be on foamdust X Vrails...

foam becomes very fine, super light particles and since the cut of a blank (surfboard blank) mills off a whole lot more material if compared to most operations (plywood, mdf, metal...) it really makes a real big mess.

Any thoughts on an alternative to protect the V rails?

Francis

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthur Ransom View Post
Foam would be a piece of cake. Dimensions of the MechMate can be be drasticly changed. Long axis,Y, is the base and could easly go 50' by just adding legs to prevent sagging. With the gantry ( X width, Z up and down) able to do 4' wide speed would be limited by the quality of cut in the material. A 6' pass in 7 seconds is about 800 inches per minute of travel,IPM. I asume that the 800 IPM is the limit of the cutting tool and not the machine. The plans for the 4' wide machine width the Y axis extended to the length needed should be a perfect fit for you and capable of machining to at least .01" tolerances. One major factor in the strength,weight and mass of the gantry is that when the motor is told to move at 800 IPPM it attempts to do so IMMEDIATELY and when to stop and reverse direction it attempts to do it NOW! This creats a lot of force and strain on the machine. This problem is being addresed by Mach and based on their track record I would expect it to be resolved within a few months. All said and done the MechMate will match the speed of the other machines.
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  #6  
Old Tue 26 February 2008, 03:36
Gerald D
Just call me: Gerald (retired)
 
Cape Town
South Africa
Small (tiny) compressed air jets blowing each side of each wheel?

Felt wipers? link
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  #7  
Old Tue 26 February 2008, 06:01
Greg J
Just call me: Greg #13
 
Hagerman, New Mexico
United States of America
A well designed dust control system to begin with.
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  #8  
Old Mon 15 June 2009, 12:55
shaperx
Just call me: Mark
 
San Diego,Ca
United States of America
Sean, I have not had a chance to read all of this here are a few thing I did. Working with EPS you Want to add some kind of brush setup to keep your rails and v- bearings from loading up( EPS will pack in like concrete). You will need to keep an eye on the rack and pinion it will load up also. For the snorkel I use a 7-11 super big gulp cup upside down with the bottom cut out. This height works well with 1.5 LBS or heavier if you are using 1.0 LBS you might go a little taller.


As far as the bits I saw that some one said Oliver Corp. I have a guy here that is let money with a faster turn around time. I've been cutting EPS for a little over a year most of this came from trial a error.

I hope some of this helps.
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  #9  
Old Mon 15 June 2009, 14:51
sailfl
Just call me: Nils #12
 
Winter Park, FL
United States of America
Mark,

That is one large dust foot and an interesting dust collection hose.

That is some nasty stuff.
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  #10  
Old Mon 15 June 2009, 19:22
shaperx
Just call me: Mark
 
San Diego,Ca
United States of America
The dust collector is all rain gutter down spout. The dust collector sucks on both sides of the router. The foam still gets out. The dust collector is tricky when you are cutting 3D stuff with a big bit. The bit I use is 3" long 2.1" OD
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  #11  
Old Mon 15 June 2009, 23:06
sailfl
Just call me: Nils #12
 
Winter Park, FL
United States of America
Mark,

Do you think you would get better results if the larger hose was connected directly to the foot?
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  #12  
Old Tue 16 June 2009, 00:42
kaartman
Just call me: Koning #20
 
Abu Dhabi
United Arab Emirates
Good morning,
The indication of the foam all over your machine and so far away from the vacuum system indicates that the exhaust of your router cooling fan is far more effective than the vacuum, you need to deflect that air that is blowing downward in a upward direction, I saw a modification with a butter tub screwed to the bottom of the router directing the exhaust air upward, the curtain around your dust foot is ineffective- to many gaps allowing atmosphere air to be vacuumed , dividing one vacuum hose in two may only work if you have some mother of a sucker on the other end, could you not get the opening of vacuum hose to be parallel to the trailing side of the cutter, or a smaller diameter hose as close to the cutter as possible, important that the hose ride up and down with the cutter, i found with the little piece of foam that I cut the other day that it builds up and clogg the vacuum system often,
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  #13  
Old Fri 19 June 2009, 17:13
shaperx
Just call me: Mark
 
San Diego,Ca
United States of America
Sean do you have a CNC hot wire yet? Are you going to put a dust foot on?
I'm going into detail I hope it helps you out if you are going to put on a dust foot. Maybe same ideals will come up that I haven’t tried.
My dust foot has a whole just big enough so the nut on the router will not rub. The exhaust from the router blows between the wooden foot and the router that's why the wood is so clean. I'm cutting 3D stuff mostly surfboards 4’ to 12' long 2 to 4.5" thick 17 to 32" wide. The cuts can start out cutting .25 deep and in the same past cut 2.5 to 3" deep. If the dust foot brushes or plastic is too stiff it pushes the foam down and will not cut the same thickness or correct thickness on both sides (half) of the surfboard. We are cutting at 800IPM nose to tail (length 4' to 12') when the router stops at the end of a pass to come back the brushes or plastic have to move and drag in the opposite direction. This is when you get the movement of the foam. If you are cutting detailed stuff like Sean the brushes will gouge your foam. If the bushes or plastic is too long it gets in to the bit. So we suck up what we can and sweep the rest.
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  #14  
Old Fri 19 June 2009, 21:05
sprayhead
Just call me: Francis
 
sydney
Australia
Hi Mark

You've accompllished what I'm in the pursue of... adapting a MM concept to surfboard cutting... I am going to try a disc cutter first though.

Do you mind if I make a few questions about how the Vwheels and rack and pinion go with our lovely dust?

- How does the rack and pinion behave when there is dust in between the rack's teeth? does it "self-cleans" at all if you add a bit of oil?

- How much and how often you have to clean the rack and the wheels and rail? After every board?

- How EPS dust differs from PU for the machine as far as rack and pinion and rails and wheels are concerned?

The disk makes a huge ammount of turbulence and it also doesn't really allow an effective dust suction system anywhere near it as you need almost it's whole circumference free for cutting.
But there is a really bright side to it... the finish is great and also you can use it to cut the tucked-under edge in the same pass as the deck of the board.

thanks
Francis
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  #15  
Old Sat 20 June 2009, 13:54
shaperx
Just call me: Mark
 
San Diego,Ca
United States of America
Francis, I was going to use a wheel till I used the router with out a dust collector and had foam all over the machine.
If you are cutting Pu foam you might be Ok without the dust collector
The EPS packs into the rack teeth. Once it starts it builds up on itself. You have to use a punch or a screw driver to knock it out. My rail stays pretty clean with the brushes I put on. The EPS will build up on the V-bearing.
I think a wheel will through foam all over.That’s why I stayed with the router bit.
What you you going to use to turn the wheel?
How much will a wheel cost In Sydney?
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  #16  
Old Sat 20 June 2009, 21:49
sprayhead
Just call me: Francis
 
sydney
Australia
To turn the wheel, use a small grinder, 1000-1400watts as I intend to have the machine feedrate at conservative 200mm/s at the most.
the disk Is still not sorted out, there is a machine here is australia that uses it, I will contact the guys that make them and see if he they sell me a wheel, I dunno, maybe 300 dollars plus? I might just have to use a conventional saw disk and try to glue sandpaper to the faces or something.
Do you have a supplier over there?

In the last stance, I might just use an end mill, like you.

So, PU doesn't build/pack up, is that right??

thanks,
F.
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  #17  
Old Sun 21 June 2009, 02:12
shaper
Just call me: Jed
 
Perth, WA
Australia
Francis

Not sure about the wheel I considered it as I'm planning on doing the same thing as you, I believe some guys have had trouble with the wheel and EPS (just a rumour not sure) essentially burning the foam. If you can't get a wheel through the aps guy's then I know Shapers will custom make cutting bits to suit any mahine so perhaps could try them. Other advantage of the router is if the machine is not busy it can cut other jobs.

Jed
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  #18  
Old Mon 22 June 2009, 20:38
shaperx
Just call me: Mark
 
San Diego,Ca
United States of America
Over here in the US a wheel cost about $1000.00
I have talked to some of the guys with the Aps machines they have problems with the wheels flying to pieces. If you try a wheel make sure there is no one or any thing too close it goes through walls.
Cutting the EPS you will want a slower RPM on the cutter so you donít melt the foam the denser the foam the slower the RPMs.
Do you mean 200mm a second? (2oomm/s)
The Eps is plastic it smashes together. When EPS is recycle it is smashed into plastic bricks.

This is the type of cutter Iím using:

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  #19  
Old Mon 22 June 2009, 23:29
sprayhead
Just call me: Francis
 
sydney
Australia
Nice cutter! I imagine that that type cuts EPS like a breeze. It seems to be the type with a relatively fine abrasive "grit".

Yes, 200mm/m is the feedrate I'm aiming for the X axis (length of board).

I believe if you make the wheel very thick, like 10mm out of SAE1020, it should be safe. The grinder I want to use works at 6500RPM up to 10500.
F.
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  #20  
Old Tue 23 June 2009, 02:14
sailfl
Just call me: Nils #12
 
Winter Park, FL
United States of America
Mark,

That is one fierce looking bit. How long does that bit hold up before you have to replace it?
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  #21  
Old Tue 23 June 2009, 06:34
sprayhead
Just call me: Francis
 
sydney
Australia
I can tell you for sure that if you use it only in foam, it will keep going and going and going^n

The odd soft/medium timber won't make it blunt very easily either.

www.olivercorp.com have a look at the MCM abrasive coating.
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  #22  
Old Tue 23 June 2009, 11:24
Jan de Ruyter
Just call me: Jan
 
Pretoria
South Africa
You can use a burr. Made from tungsten carbide, it will last forever in EPS.

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  #23  
Old Wed 05 December 2012, 13:05
klaeuser
Just call me: klaeuser
 
Konstanz
Germany
MM capable of cutting Surfboards at all?

I am LOST! Well, or at least very confused.
I am trying to sort out if MM is capable of shaping surfboards. In most threads of the forum people only talk of dxf files.
DXF is mainly a 2D Format.
Can the MM-COntrol NURBS?
I am planning to build a 4 Axis CNC Mill for surfboards and would be happy if you could help me on this one.
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  #24  
Old Wed 05 December 2012, 16:05
sailfl
Just call me: Nils #12
 
Winter Park, FL
United States of America
Klaeuser

Most users use Mach3 to control the MM. Mach3 uses GCode. Mach3 reads the GCode file and sends commands line by line to the BOB in the controller box. The BOB controls the machine.

dxf files 2d or 3d are processed by CAM software. Many people use Vectric products. The CAM software, what ever you uses, takes the 2d or 3d file and converts it to GCode.

If you CAM software can handle 4 Axis and the MM is set up for 4 Axis, it will cut that also.

The MM will cut what the GCode tells it to cut if you have the right hardware.

It is basically that simple. I hope that helps you understand.
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  #25  
Old Wed 05 December 2012, 20:16
domino11
Just call me: Heath
 
Cornwall, Ontario
Canada
Klaeuser,
Have a look at Ross' thread. He cuts surfboards all the time without a
4th axis. Surfboard shaping 101 #74 - Brisbane Australia
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  #26  
Old Thu 06 December 2012, 03:59
smreish
Just call me: Sean - #5, 28, 58 and others
 
Orlando, Florida
United States of America
Klaeuser,
Also, review the software at Vectric home page - Cut3D. You will see very clearly that 2 or 4 sided 3D is easy without a 4th axis.
http://www.vectric.com/WebSite/Vectr.../c3d_index.htm
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  #27  
Old Thu 06 December 2012, 17:36
Surfcnc
Just call me: Ross #74
 
Queensland
Australia
Hi Klaeuser

Nurbs is simply a skin or surface model that allows the CAM software to calculate a path for the cutter.
The MM uses Gcode controlled by either a machine controller running Mach3 or Linux CNC.

A fourth axis is not necessary to cut surfboards but it can be used none the less.

Regsrds
Ross
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  #28  
Old Thu 06 December 2012, 17:37
Surfcnc
Just call me: Ross #74
 
Queensland
Australia
Oh.. and Redboards also cuts surfboards using his Mechmate.
You might want to visit his build thread.

Ross
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