Help with making mold

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Help with making mold

Postby gtsport » Mon Nov 25, 2013 1:22 am

Hi All, very new to cnc and I need help. I have been trying to cut a .3 inch fleur di lis and am having much trouble. I start with an outline made in Corel Draw, color it and export as a BMP. I import this into meshcam art, dome it and go to generate toolpath using a .005 inch engraving cutter. no matter what settings I have tried, I end up waiting up to an hour for the toolpath to generate. I save it, import it into Mach 3 and my Taig mill. Some settings it cuts in the air, some settings it cuts just one or two parts of the design, sometimes it cuts a rectangle. I know this is a little vague, but I am just looking to be able to cut designs like this into steel as a mold to make punches, or to cut it in the positive directly into a steel punch that I can harden. Since I will need to cut different sizes of some of these punches, is there a way I can make one size design and scale it for different sizes? If anyone can show me how to take a basic image like this and dome it and set the G-code so it will cut to my above specs, I would be very appreciative.

Thanks,

Joe
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Re: Help with making mold

Postby robgrz » Mon Nov 25, 2013 6:52 pm

Hey Joe- can you post the image that you're loading into MeshCAM?

Also, fine tip cutters take much more time to calculate in MeshCAM and, as I suspect you know, take a lot more time to machine with because they require a very fine stepover to get a good finish. If possible, I'd want to use the biggest cutter that will work to get a faster calculation and machining time.

-Robert
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Re: Help with making mold

Postby gtsport » Tue Nov 26, 2013 3:48 am

OK, long calculation times are OK, I was just worried that something else was wrong. I think I mentioned on another post a while back that my goal is to make coin dies which will require using a very small cutting bit, but right now I just want to be able to make punches for adding details to medieval style dies, hence the Fleur di lis, which is attached. I made some progress today, I cut a 1 inch fleur mold and it worked out OK. I tried using 0.1 scale in Mach 3 to make it smaller, and it almost worked. I also tried making a raised fleur, which is how I would do it when cutting directly on a punch, but it didn't cut most of the puffed out part, cutting it flat instead.

Thanks for your help.

Joe
Attachments
FLEUR DI LIS.jpg
FLEUR DI LIS.jpg (17.17 KiB) Viewed 2512 times
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Re: Help with making mold

Postby ArchieF » Thu Nov 28, 2013 1:35 am

Hi Joe,
playing around with your bitmap I created some nc-code within about 5 mins of calculation .

Please have a look

Richard
Attachments
Fleur closer without Geom.jpg
The toolpath without geometry
Fleur closer without Geom.jpg (572.05 KiB) Viewed 2497 times
Fleur with Geom.jpg
Showing the toolpath with geometry
Fleur with Geom.jpg (518.23 KiB) Viewed 2497 times
Fleur properties.jpg
the size of the bmp
Fleur properties.jpg (151.3 KiB) Viewed 2497 times
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Re: Help with making mold

Postby gtsport » Mon Dec 02, 2013 5:16 am

Yes, that looks like what I need. Can you tell me what you did to get to that point?

Joe
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Re: Help with making mold

Postby ArchieF » Mon Dec 02, 2013 8:12 am

Ok here is my workflow :

1. I imported you bitmap
2. in the import dialog I checked allow resize , set the x value to 0.3,set pixels/inch to max 250 and clicked Ok
3. from the menu Geometry -> geometry properties I can control the size of the model
4. from the menu Relief I selected flatten relief
5. from the menu Relief I selected shape relief and clicked in the center of the fleur - black is selected as you can see if you scroll down the color list, clicked Ok
6. in the upcoming dialog I selected round , set the value to about 30 and clicked Ok which creates the 3d model
7. in the CAM menu I clicked Generate toolpath and used this settings :
Tolerance 0.0025 in
Machine geometry + 0.00 in
Checked Enable Finish Pass - Cut along X - Ball Mill 0.005 in - Stepover 0.001 in - Feedrate 40 in
8. Clicked Ok and got the result you can see in the screenshot

Hope this helps

Richard
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