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Creating a DXF curves to cut both the profiles and templates with machining tabs.
CNC Hotwire
 
wire edm
 
Creating a curve for the Hotwire
 
 
 
1. Open Rhino and Save As ____________
2. File> Import DXF ___________
 
 

3. Select both curves, top and bottom. (Click on top curve, hold the shift key down and select the bottom curve.)

4. With both curves selected click on the JOIN icon. Make sure the Command Line reads: 2 curves joined into one closed curve.

 
 

5. Zoom into the nose. (Make sure snapping is enabled (unchecked Disable box). Go to Transform> Move (click on the tip of the nose and type 0 and hit ENTER.) Click on Selected Zoom Icon. Look to make sure the nose is positioned at the GRID AXES or Hotwire Start Position Home.

 
 
 

6. Again Zoom into the nose.We will now create 2 x 2 inch Indexing Tabs for Milling. Click on Rectangle tool and click on the GRID AXES and nose tip. Type 2 hit ENTER twice. You have a 2" x 2" square on the tip of your nose.

 
 

7. Move the square to the tip. TRANSFORM> Move click on the upper corner of the square and drag the square to the GRID AXES or Start Point for Hotwire.

 
 

 
8. Zoom Out. (Click On the other Zoom Icon) Highlight the 2 x 2 square, Copy and Paste and slide the new square towards the tail. Position near the tail.
 
 

 
9.Now we must rotate the profile. Click on the Profile curve to highlight it and hit TRANSFORM> ROTATE (Zoom into the nose and click on the tip or GRID AXES.) Zoom out and then zoom into the tail and click on the upper corner of the tail. Zoom out and zoom into the 2 x 2 square rotating the board and click on the highest
point of the square.
 
 
 

 
10. Your profile nose and tail should be level with the 2 squares. Next we will nest the profile between the squares. First click on both the tail Square and Profile Curve. Zoom into the nose and TRANSFORM> MOVE and click on the nose tip and move it to the left side of the square.
 
 

11. Now we nest the board between the 2 squares. Select the Profile curve and move down to about 50% of the squares.

 
 
 
12. Making the blank. With the Profile curve selected CURVE> OFFSET> OFFSET CURVE (Type .5 and hit ENTER) Hold the curser to the outside and click. You should have a new curve around the profile .5".
 
 
 
 
 
13. Select both squares and the new outer curve and hit EDIT> TRIM. Zoom into the tail and delete unwanted curves. Repeat with the nose.
 
 
 
 
 
14. Clean-up the nose using the rectangle tool and the Edit Trim tool .Repeat with the tail. Click on the corners with Rectangle tool. Edit> Trim
 
 
 
15. With the outer curve selected and click on JOIN Icon (check the command box to make sure this curve is a CLOSED CURVE)
 
 
 
16. Export selected Curves as a DXF
 
 
Your Profile Curve is ready to be used to generate G-Code.
 
GENERATING a Toolpath
 
1. Open DeskCNC
 
. File> Foam Cutter> Open Top/ Left/ Large DXF Contour____________your file_______
 
 
.Select> Select All
 
 
 
 
4.Edit DXF> Change Start/ Depart (With Left Button click to start. Right Button click to Depart) This can be tricky. I generally click on the top right corner of the blank. This point, GRID AXES or start point. Right Click on the lower right corner. You should see a blue line connect the two points. (View> check Show Direction, you should see a little arrow pointing cutting direction.) When clicking on a point, the cross airs should light-up in both axes showing you that you are on the lines. You must see this before clicking on a curve.
 
 
5. Toolpaths> 4 Axes Foam Cut, You should see Foam Cutter, Cutting Parameters. Feedrate is what speed the wire will be going through the foam. (Feedrate= inch-per-minute) The Feedrate for 1lb eps foam 28-32 inches per minute. 2lb foam 24-28 ipm. Hit CREATE.
 
 
 
 
6. Toolpath> Run Machine (Save this DNC file) A new screen should pop-up. The curve should be a pinkish purple line.
 
 
 
 
7. Test the toolpath. Minimize DeckCNC. Open Hotwire controller and load file. With the power off on the Hotwire Towers. Run it to make sure the cutting direction is correct.The correct way is counter clockwise.
 
It's ready to go