Precision cut-outs: tool placement and hold downs

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Precision cut-outs: tool placement and hold downs

Post by tchad on Mon Apr 10, 2017 5:56 pm

I'm considering using the D3 to cut out relatively small printed items from normal paper, and I have a couple of questions about how I might be able to make this work.

My first question is: is it possible to position the tool for cutouts that require reasonably precise alignment to an existing print? To what degree of precision, and how would this be performed? I'm thinking somewhere around 0.02" - 0.04".

My second question is: what kind of hold-downs or friction surface is necessary (if any) for cutting? If I wanted to cut plain printer paper into small-ish pieces (say 0.5" - 2" per side), what is necessary for that?

Thank you!

tchad

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Re: Precision cut-outs: tool placement and hold downs

Post by tchad on Thu Apr 13, 2017 9:47 am

No one, huh?

Well... I ordered a D3. I'll test out the above two questions and report back. It seems like these should be solvable problems. Fingers crossed!

tchad

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Re: Precision cut-outs: tool placement and hold downs

Post by tchad on Tue Apr 18, 2017 7:53 am

I've received my D3. Based on some preliminary testing, I think I will be able to get within .040 once I refine my process. I've been experimenting with two different ways to set the starting point:

1) Pre-zero X and Y using a different bit that has no offset, then swap in the D3 and zero Z.
2) or, put in the D3, set the blade parallel to the X axis, and zero the Y axis by sighting down the blade. Rotate 90 degrees and repeat to zero the X axis.

Both seem to achieve the same positioning, as accurately as I can get visually. My testing continues and I'll update this when I have more objective results.

One thing worth noting is that aligning the material perfectly square with the table is much more important than the precise starting point. I'm working on creating a jig that will make square placement easier.

The answer to my second question was answered in the Donek video tutorials: a vacuum table. I'm currently building one with a relatively tight hole pattern to test cutting small parts (1/8" holes on a 1/4" on-center grid). I know that in general larger holes are required for good hold, but I only need to hold paper, and I'm planning on cutting relatively small pieces, necessitating the tight pattern. I'll post more results on how this goes as well once it's up and running.

tchad

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