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  1. #1
    Warren fsaviator's Avatar
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    Some CNC guidance for a beginner

    Seeing some of your results I'm getting interested in CNC (new tools are always good). I do have some FS related questions as I plan for my 737NG build.

    1. Is it cheaper to use plastic for home built panels or aluminum.

    2. Which is better for milling/routing?

    3. Can you use the same CNC for both plastic and aluminum?

    4. What DIY kit would recommend for making 3D (two part) panels?

    I have some basic 2D and 3D CAD skills with TurboCAD.

    Can I use TurboCAD to create the files?

    Thanks for your assistance,

    Warren

  2. #2
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    Re: Some CNC guidance for a beginner

    Hello Warren,

    See if I can help you a little bit.

    1. If you want to make backlighted panels, you can only use plastic or acryl.

    2. You should use cast acryl for your panels because extruded can give problem during milling.

    3. Yes if your machine is strong enough

    4. I do not understand this one.

    you can use any autocad software package as long as the toolpath software is able to read the files from the CAD software.


    Hope this helps,

    Wendy

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  4. #3
    Warren fsaviator's Avatar
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    Re: Some CNC guidance for a beginner

    Quote Originally Posted by Wendy View Post
    Hello Warren,

    See if I can help you a little bit.

    1. If you want to make backlighted panels, you can only use plastic or acryl.

    2. You should use cast acryl for your panels because extruded can give problem during milling.

    3. Yes if your machine is strong enough

    4. I do not understand this one.

    you can use any autocad software package as long as the toolpath software is able to read the files from the CAD software.


    Hope this helps,

    Wendy
    Thanks for your quick replies Wendy. It was actually your posts that got me looking at CNC.

    When I say 3D, I'm referring to the 3D look one gets with the front panels you can buy commercially:

    The first (lower layer) with another piece on top of it for a 3D effect.

    -I've been looking at cnczone for some ideas on the DIY kits and while I get the drift of the process and imagine I have the skills to build them, I want to make sure I pick one design (or one routing tool) that will handle both plastic and aluminum as really all I'm looking at know is having a go at making some front panels.

    Thanks again,

    Warren

  5. #4
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    Re: Some CNC guidance for a beginner

    Hello Warren,

    I don't know which panels you have seen but in most cases there is no need for 3D in milling panels. Mostly these consist of 2 different layers milled separately and glued together.


    Regards, Wendy

  6. #5
    500+ This must be a daytime job



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    Re: Some CNC guidance for a beginner

    Warren,

    For what it is worth I will tell you that I bought the Probotix Fireball V90 kit and I really like it. It was easy to assemble and works quite well. Last night I was cutting a test panel and my feed rate was 50 IPM, much faster than my old home-built unit. It is very accurate, I have recently started routing printed circuit boards with it. There is a large support base for it on the Yahoo groups, and I have had zero problems with it.

    Buddy

  7. #6
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    Re: Some CNC guidance for a beginner

    Quote Originally Posted by Buddym View Post
    Warren,

    For what it is worth I will tell you that I bought the Probotix Fireball V90 kit and I really like it. It was easy to assemble and works quite well. Last night I was cutting a test panel and my feed rate was 50 IPM, much faster than my old home-built unit. It is very accurate, I have recently started routing printed circuit boards with it. There is a large support base for it on the Yahoo groups, and I have had zero problems with it.

    Buddy
    Wow that looks very affordable. Anyone else using this unit?

  8. #7
    Warren fsaviator's Avatar
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    Re: Some CNC guidance for a beginner

    Quote Originally Posted by Buddym View Post
    Warren,

    For what it is worth I will tell you that I bought the Probotix Fireball V90 kit and I really like it. It was easy to assemble and works quite well. Last night I was cutting a test panel and my feed rate was 50 IPM, much faster than my old home-built unit. It is very accurate, I have recently started routing printed circuit boards with it. There is a large support base for it on the Yahoo groups, and I have had zero problems with it.

    Buddy
    Thanks Buddy,

    It does look affordable. This has got me thinking....

  9. #8
    Warren fsaviator's Avatar
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    Re: Some CNC guidance for a beginner

    Quote Originally Posted by Buddym View Post
    Warren,

    For what it is worth I will tell you that I bought the Probotix Fireball V90 kit and I really like it. It was easy to assemble and works quite well. Last night I was cutting a test panel and my feed rate was 50 IPM, much faster than my old home-built unit. It is very accurate, I have recently started routing printed circuit boards with it. There is a large support base for it on the Yahoo groups, and I have had zero problems with it.

    Buddy

    Buddy, are you using a regular dremel?

    Any issues cutting 3-5mm of cast acrylic?

    I'm really thinking I may go this route.

    Warren

  10. #9
    Warren fsaviator's Avatar
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    Re: Some CNC guidance for a beginner

    Talk about timing. Westozy just posted a great tutorial that just answered a lot of my questions.

    I've been checking out the Fireball V90 and I think I'm sold. Time to become a novice CNC'er.

    I did the math, and it would cost me $1500 to buy all the panels in kit form for my flightdeck. $1500 will buy me a V90, plus all the materials to make my own... and... I get a cool new tool in the process and learn a new skill!

    Thanks for all your help, and I'm sure I'll be spending a lot of time in this forum!

    Now... software...

    Warren

  11. #10
    500+ This must be a daytime job



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    Re: Some CNC guidance for a beginner

    I have no problem cutting any cast plastic or light aluminum. I have not and probably wont ever attempt steel, the machine is not rigid enough. As far as my work on plastic though, it's awesome. I am still learning a lot about CAD/CAM and CNC, but i am getting better. The software side of it is a big learning curve for me, I've never been exposed to drafting or machining before.

    The V90 is enough machine for me to cut anything I want to cut, including the Harley Davidson logo plaque they cut out in the video on the Probotix website. On my panels I usually cut about .04" per pass, a little less on Plexi. The single-flute upcut bit I use for it is from Onsrud, about $25 USD. Software I use is BobCad and Mach3. I keep meaning to get Cut 2-D from Vectric and maybe sheetcam. I also have EMC but don't use it much yet.

    For me the biggest issue has been getting drawings together to cut out. For instance, there really is no library of CAD files you can just download and start cutting. You have to guess and estimate based on photos and dimensions from other folks' parts. I have drawn files for my EFIS, FCU, start panel, flaps, and speedbrakes...each one a best-effort from looking at other panels, websites and photos. If there were a set of dxf files out there we could cut from it would be awesome. Mine are certainly available if anyone wants them. I saw jeehell had posted some photos of his EFIS and FCU panels, they look great. Not sure if he made them with CNC or by hand though. They look like what I want to build, right down to the pushbuttons he used. Maybe we get his drawings put into the library.

    Ahh well, enough rambling (again)..back to work! Good luck with the V90, if you need any questions answered let me know. If I can help I am glad to do so.

    BuddyM

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