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  1. #1
    Hi there,

    Very new to the whole CNC field and I am interested in building a CNC laser cutter machine. I would mostly be using it to cut 25mm-110mm thick foam (the grey type used for camera cases) on a regular basis with the option to cut thin wood and plastic if needed.

    I know next to nothing but I am willing to learn and would be looking for a list of items I would need to buy and a guide on how to build it. I live in Buckinghamshire and would be willing to travel if not too far if needed.

    Any help would be appreciated, thanks.

  2. #2
    I think you will have to put a specification together, size of machine bed etc. then read the Build Logs on this forum that interest you. Once you get a basic understanding, the format is to draft up an outline drawing using something like the free 'Sketchup' http://www.sketchup.com/ so that forum members have something to look at and discuss. Keep in mind that a laser cnc does not need to be as robust as say a router cnc but I suppose if you did build it strong you could fit a router later if you needed that.
    These sites are okay for initial reading, they are American and we do some things a bit different but they are still good reads;
    CNC Router Source: The Ultimate Information Resource
    DIY CNC: Build Your Own CNC, CNC Router, or 3D Printer

    cnc components already drawn in Sketchup format

    http://sketchup.google.com/3dwarehou...=t&btnG=Search
    Last edited by EddyCurrent; 08-02-2014 at 12:09 AM.
    Spelling mistakes are not intentional, I only seem to see them some time after I've posted

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  4. #3
    Thanks for the response.

    Upon looking at those links the machine would have a a mobile gantry with a 30inch x 20inch frame with the diode higher up so I can cut up to 110mm (I'm not sure if it would be better or not to have a z axis for it).

    From my understanding I'd need servomotors for it to cut at a fast speed?

    Something like this is what I'm ideally after M350 50W Laser Cutter - R22 cockpit faceplate - 3.5mm dense foam - YouTube.

    Thanks

  5. #4
    I'm not sure a laser cutter would be the best option for your requirements. Personally i'd be looking at a router, possibly with an oscillating knife setup for cutting closed cell foam inserts. Have a look at this video I found, is this the type of thing you want to do? : AXYZ CNC Router Knife Cuting Foam - YouTube

    I can't say i've ever seen a DIY machine with an oscillating knife, but you soon learn on here that most things have been done before.

    Si.

  6. #5
    I don't think I'd need an oscillating knife as the foam isn't very dense.

    It's the soft type like this 1600x900 150w co2 laser cutting out Polyurethane foam by HPC Laser LTD - YouTube just 110m thick.

    Cheers!

  7. #6
    I used to cut the foam (V28 is the grey stuff you're in about) for DFS sofas and we used big (52" of exposed blade) band knives with moving tables. We had a CNC machine for cutting out shapes and that again was a band knife (Fecken Kirfel was the make, or spelt something like that) but with 6 steppers to drive the blade and twist it. If you try to use a simple blade then as soon as it gets blunt (which it will quickly) it will tear the foam. You'll be better with a reciprocating blade or a band knife and moving/swivelling table.
    Neil...

    Build log...here

  8. #7
    I don't think you have a hope of finding a laser that will cut 110mm deep at a reasonable price, and you certainly will not Knife-cut foam that deep without some form of vibration/oscilation. I think that hot wire cutting will do it though. That's my opinion anyway. I do not mean to be negative, but realistic. Good luck with whatever you decide. G.

  9. #8
    cncJim's Avatar
    Lives in Reading, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 3 Weeks Ago Has been a member for 4-5 years. Has a total post count of 170. Received thanks 15 times, giving thanks to others 32 times.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gravatel View Post
    I don't think I'd need an oscillating knife as the foam isn't very dense.

    It's the soft type like this 1600x900 150w co2 laser cutting out Polyurethane foam by HPC Laser LTD - YouTube just 110m thick.

    Cheers!



    hi gravatel, did you see the end of the oscillating knife vid? I only ask as it shows the guys pulling the cut shapes out and the foam looks pretty flexible and not very dense?
    Jim

  10. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by cncJim View Post
    hi gravatel, did you see the end of the oscillating knife vid? I only ask as it shows the guys pulling the cut shapes out and the foam looks pretty flexible and not very dense?
    Jim
    It is also very thin - nothing like 110mm. G.

  11. #10
    Thanks for the replies guys.

    cncJim, yeah I did watch the video but that seems quite hard foam like njhussey v28 foam.

    I really need the laser to do things like this http://www.lasertouch.com.au/Foam/fi...mage_0_544.jpg as this is the primary purpose of the machine which I think a saw wouldn't be able to do?

    GEOFFREY, if a laser isn't powerful enough I could do 2 55mm and glue them together but I thought there would be lasers strong enough?

    Cheers!

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