Does anyone have a jig or a good method for indexing. I’ve watched the videos online and the process’ they use are needlessly over complicated and excessive, I know it can be easier. I use cnc routers all day at work and have cnc mill and a couple 3d printers at home so nc stuff is not new to me. All that has to be done first program creates a hole or notch to locate the second program we do it all the time at work. i have an idea for a locating jig i was just interested in what others have come up with and to know I"m on the right track.
on mine I was thinking about mounting a bar with 2 dowel pins across the end of the machine, (which is not here yet) then in the program for whatever design is too long for the tabe I can put holes into the sheet in the right places so as I can and cut one half the shape then reposition the sheet so it picks up the holes on the dowels then run the second side of the cut … and just go on like this until you get the length you want sutting 20" at a time or whatever the max is. could be accurate enough if your careful.
That’s how I did it. But I also use a piece of flat stock butted up against the Y axis gantry that gives me a consistent machine zero.
I’ve got 2 half circles for dowel pins at 0 & 20 inches. Then on the design I put in those two holes as well. Every 20 inches you drop another pin hole. Then you can move your material 20" at a time to give you “infinite” length.
Now I need a decoiler…
This is the direction we were thinking as well glad to know we weren’t far off.
For the dowel pin locations I put a rare earth magnet “sandwich” on the water table. That makes sure the pin is vertical which helps keep the alignment more precise.
You could try to just glue the magnet that’s under the tray but I like having one on the inside of it too. I have a large one underneath for the gripping power and a smaller one the same diameter as the pin so it aligns more precisely. You could take the approach of using a sleeve in the tray as well and then you could use non-ferrous pins as well.
Would love to see some pics… I had thought about doing this as well… Just haven’t drawn anything that large yet…
What’s a decoiler? I’m a retired fabricator but new to cnc.
How do you break up your parts? I don’t know how I would get the XFire to only cut to a certain point then start from that point after the material is shifted.
Sorry, that was a joke. I once was in a fabrication shop where the presses and later the plasma machines were fed from steel coils (like a large paper roll) of steel and the machines ran 24/7 making parts.
I was playing with a 2’ long piece and it seems to work ok (I started on 1/2 the sheet then moved it) but I used 2 drawings and 2 programs like they were separate parts. I think I can actually make it as one program with 2 profiles and stop the machine after the 2 locator holes are cut. slide the sheet over and have it startup from where it left off to do the other half on the second profile, I was just searching for a way to automatically pause between profiles. I previously didn’t know one profile will automatically start a second one which is a fine thing to know
I have the design cut in half with a 5mm space already cut all the way across I think I can get the lead in cuts to do what I want but I haven’t tried that yet, need more coffee
I create my full design - say 36" long in my design app. I add my dowel pin holes at 0 & 20".
Then I split the design at 20". This is going to be the 0 of the 2nd piece. I save each half in separate files. Then I cut the first one which includes the pin hole at 20". When it finishes I slide the piece down to where the 20" pin is now down at the 0 pin hole. Then I run the 2nd file.
Every design app has different tools for slicing your design. It can be as simple as drawing a line and doing a Boolean or using a scissor or knife function.
Also any body have a pic of their setup?
^^^^^ What Infamous Said^^^^^^^
Someone do a video of how to do this.
@jamesdhatch Do you have a picture by chance?
…Im a visual learner
Not handy Although I did see it yesterday when I was moving the skeleton pile to find something else (not sure why I save every bit of scrap that’s mostly just holes ).
I’ll be redoing it for the Pro soon and will document the process - or if I get back to cutting things and remember, I’ll post shots sooner.
I’m up to my ears trying to finish a deck rebuild before it snows - I didn’t think it would take this long. I’m pretty sure when I built it the first time it didn’t but I was younger then.