I’m not sure what category to put this in but I just had a great idea.
So when using Firecontrol it shows you your cut path and you can travel the torch around the area to see if you will run off the edge of the metal you have on the table. This is all fine and good but what if we were to develop a projector or laser scanner that is mounted above the table and can literally project the cut line onto the steel so you can line your steel up just right before starting the cut. I’m trying to think of how this would be achieved. It would be so easy to use up all the scraps laying around if you could just move the steel around until the image projected was in the right spot.
I fab’d up one of these: https://handibot.com/blog/2014/08/project-handibot-laser-sight/ for my Handibot. It’s two lasers that mount to the (in this case router,) cutting head to provide a crosshair. Might need different mounts for Crossfire depending on Z-axis Y/N, hand vs. machine torch. But maybe a mount that attaches to the torch holding bracket. I’ll stare at mine today and try to visualize a model that would work.
That’s not what I’m looking for. I want to create something that helps speed up production. It would be very slow to go back to Fusion. Once you import the file into Firecontrol there should be a way to create something that will 2D scan a laser line along the cut lines. I’m not talking about using the gantry or torch to project the lines onto the steel, an overhead 2 axis laser scanner or projector would be used. This would greatly speed up production and streamline the process.
Imagine you have a swiss cheese piece of metal and a bunch of small identical parts to cut. You set Firecontrol to cut one part and upon importing the DXF, the image is drawn onto the table with a laser. You move the steel to where the part will cut out good and hit start. It cuts, then projects on the steel again. You move your torch and Zero all axis, the projection moves. It is off the edge a bit so you nudge the steel over a bit to fit the projected image and hit start. This seems like a fast workflow.
I hate getting into a cut and finding I screwed up and ran off the edge. So to prevent it I carefully measure from my origin and make sure it fits. This idea would eliminate that extra step by visually showing you where the cut will take place and streamline the production process.
Yeah, exactly like that. But it would have to have buy-in from Langmuir to integrate with Firecontrol. I’m good with the mechanical and electrical aspects but this would need coding in Firecontrol to support the hardware. It would be cool to develop a similar addon integration.
Yes, just like that but the catch is to keep it affordable. If laser costs too much use a cheap LED projector with keystone adjustment. Write a calibration routine and calibrate it to your table after mounting it above the table.
We actually thought about this idea a few years ago (i used to work at a company that did a lot of carbon fiber layups and we used overhead projectors to show the workers where specific plys had to be laid in a mold).
While we dont have any plans to make a product out of it, we are working on something similar that is software based that were loosely calling ‘plate memory’. The way it works is that you’ll enter the size of your sheet/plate and then follow some on screen prompts to tell FireControl the extents of the plate in machine coordinates. Then it will display the sheet extents on the screen so that you can nest your parts with confidence that you wont overshoot the edges.
That part is straightforward, but what we want to do is have all previous cuts silouhettes also shown on the screen, so that all future cuts can be nested between previuous cut outs. We believe that this will help users consume as much meat on a sheet as possible.
That would be outstanding. I have a ton of skeletons that I save because I know I can use them someday for smaller parts. But then I never really do. That doesn’t stop the leftovers from stacking up in the garage though
I made a spring loaded T6061 aluminum sharpe holder and clamp it into the head, then run program and it will draw it out perfect. I have about 1.5" internal travel so I typically load the pen .200 - .250