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Thread: Best Coro cutter

  1. #31
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    Default Re: Best Coro cutter

    I need to cut a bunch of coroplast myself this year. Nothing too intricate, but it does include curves (I'm cutting letters "HAPPY HOLIDAYS" which will get populated with 12mm pixels). And I too have been thinking about the best way to do it. I don't really think a utility knife is gonna 'cut it' (pun intended) and I'm looking for an easier way to do the curves. My design files are already in vector format already (AutoCAD DXF) but as much as I would love to have a big CNC machine to do it, I have neither the space nor the money. Nor for a bandsaw. I have plenty of coro to spare, so I was gonna run some tests.
    The 2 ideas I have which I think will work best is:
    1a) A dremel tool with one of those sheetrock cutting bits and collar. The tool facing down and a piece of styrofoam under the coro.
    2) A homebrew hot wire cutter. I'll probably rig up a temporary worksurface/table similar to a bandsaw or scroll saw.
    1b) The dremel tool mounted facing up in a worksurface/table similar to a band or scroll saw.

    I would certainly welcome any tips, suggestions, advice, tales of lessons learned the hard way, or good dirty jokes.
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  2. #32
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    Default Re: Best Coro cutter

    I used 1a with a 1/8 strait bit and a dremel tool base http://www.ebay.com/itm/Plunge-Route...YAAOSwdzVXskBf

    To cut this 100_2051.jpg I used my projector to trace image on the black coro and also used the foam backer
    Last edited by stallionent; 07-24-2017 at 05:49 PM.

  3. #33
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    Default Re: Best Coro cutter


  4. #34
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    Default Re: Best Coro cutter

    If, you need help on design and development of making your own CNC cutting system. Leave me a message. 97 to 2000, I worked as a CNC cutting Systems Tech. What I did was install, repair, rebuild and train. I know the table and gantry systems well. The issues with building the gantry from wood is after wear the gantry becomes untrue and distorted. I would always consider using metal on your gantry and it makes no different what you use for the table it can be wood or steel or a simple frame used to hold your material in place. Another thing to consider if you decide to use your CNC cutting system to be fitted with plasma or any cutter that uses dirty high frequency power supplies ( plasma/welding power supplies, any power supply that uses high voltages) Use fiber optic for communication between computer and machine. What happens is the Hi freq feeds back into the RS232 and destroys the IO card.

    Another common issue with DIY CNC systems is the drive. The best two drives I know of and are decades battle tested is the belt drive and the gear drive.

    Belt drive: The belt is attached to the gantry with the drive motors mounted to the rail system. ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T9QU3YQe-Sc )
    Gear drive: stepper motors mounted to the gantry and uses a pinion gear method. (gear on stepper motor and steel rack mounted to the rail system. ( https://qph.ec.quoracdn.net/main-qim...add8f63f675605 )

    Even, I myself has considered making them and selling them. I would also state consider that your system be designed to accommodate 8x4 dimensions.

  5. #35
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    Default Re: Best Coro cutter

    I would really really love to have my own CNC. I've been drooling over them for years and years. In the 80's, I used to help a friend's dad program his to make custom race car parts in his professional machine shop and I've been hooked ever since.
    But I'm having enough trouble just finding room to store all my lights, much less a big CNC. And while the technology continues to improve and the price continues to go down, I'm retired and on a VERY limited budget.
    (sigh)
    Wizlights.com

  6. #36
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    Default Re: Best Coro cutter

    Quote Originally Posted by DrWizard View Post
    I would really really love to have my own CNC. I've been drooling over them for years and years. In the 80's, I used to help a friend's dad program his to make custom race car parts in his professional machine shop and I've been hooked ever since.
    But I'm having enough trouble just finding room to store all my lights, much less a big CNC. And while the technology continues to improve and the price continues to go down, I'm retired and on a VERY limited budget.
    (sigh)
    Honestly they are much less to build than you would think. I understand about drooling over them, after PWMs went from 30k (westinghouse PWM) to 20 or 30 bucks in today's markerts. I have mulled it over may times, think I'm going to draw a few designs this weekend.

  7. #37
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    Default Re: Best Coro cutter

    Quote Originally Posted by downsouth View Post
    You can build your own CNC with 500 bucks. much larger than the hobby cncs you see online.
    Any designs you recommend around the $500 price range? I've been toying with the idea of a CNC router for years, looking over many of the designs on cnczone and openbuilds. Just have never settled on one. I was thinking something 4x4 that I could wheel around the garage as needed. Steel tube construction to put some hours on my mig.

  8. #38
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    Default Re: Best Coro cutter

    Sorry it took so long to get back here, I will have you plans that you can use to make up any size cnc cutter. The principle is very simple. I try to tell people imagine building something that works like an etch a sketch that runs on stepper motors and software. The size is not even an issue, how the gantry and railing is extremely crucial. But, yes I am almost done designing a universal one. far as the kind of tooling that will be up to you. I am looking into using a 3000 psi compressor that uses a garnet water mixture and a reasonably priced waterjet tip for the cnc.

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  10. #39
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    Default Re: Best Coro cutter

    Quote Originally Posted by downsouth View Post
    Sorry it took so long to get back here, I will have you plans that you can use to make up any size cnc cutter. The principle is very simple. I try to tell people imagine building something that works like an etch a sketch that runs on stepper motors and software. The size is not even an issue, how the gantry and railing is extremely crucial. But, yes I am almost done designing a universal one. far as the kind of tooling that will be up to you. I am looking into using a 3000 psi compressor that uses a garnet water mixture and a reasonably priced waterjet tip for the cnc.
    Wow, thank you downsouth. I for one am very interested in your plans. Looking forward to building a CNC this coming year.
    "Some let things happen, others make things happen. Which are you?"
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  11. #40
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    Default Re: Best Coro cutter

    After kicking around many ideas, I ended up using a dremel tool with the drywall cutting bit and attachment. I placed the bit all the way up in the chuck so it stuck out just barely enough to go thru the coro. Worked great!!

    Next, I had a bunch of letters I wanted to cut out ("Happy Holidays") and I drew them in a Helvetica style font where all the lines are a constant width. I mounted the dremel upside down in a sheet of plywood with the bit sticking up, similar to a router table. I placed a guide on the plywood the distance from the cutter bit equal to the width of the letter lines, and was able to cut the letters out and keep the straight lines straight, even the diagonals, and keep the width of the letter lines nice and consistent, even around the curves. The letters came out beautiful!! I am now in the process of adding bullet pixels (these are for next year's display). I will post pictures when done, but so far they are coming out even better than I had hoped.
    Wizlights.com

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