CNC Programs for Foam Cutting
Wednesday, August 29, 2007 | Printer Friendly
FoamWorks - Highly recommended for simplicity and ease of use with our CNC machines. Check it out at FoamWorks. .
Foam Works is designed to drive a 4-axis foam cutter via the parallel port of any Windows based computer running Win98, WinME, WinXP or Win2K. The program is designed into two sections. One for cutting wing profiles for RC airplanes and another section for cutting any general shape.
Foam Works also contains DXF2DAT 2.0, a DXF file to DAT file conversion utility. DXF stands for Drawing Exchange Format, a standard file type that can be created by most CAD programs. Your shape can be drawn with a standard program like DesignCad *,AutoCad or TurboCad, then saved in DXF format. The file can then be loaded into DXF2DAT and converted to a DAT file for cutting.
The program will cut constant cord wings, swept wings, tapered wings, leading edge swept wings, trailing edge swept wings, and general shapes that can described by DAT files. More information about DAT files can be found at UIUC Airfoil Coordinate Database. This site contains are a large number of DAT files that can be downloaded and reviewed
Q - If I have FoamWorks do I need any other software?
A - Foamworks is the only program needed to actually drive the CNC cutter. As long as you have some method to get your airfoil cross sections into DAT file format, you would only need FoamWorks.
Q - What additional software might I need?
A - If you are using pre-made DAT files only FoamWorks is needed. If you wish to use CAD and design your own airfoils, fuselages or other profiles, you will need software to convert the CAD files to DAT files. The free version of DXF2DAT requires that each cutting point be placed by hand, this is very time consuming. DXF2DAT 3.0 automates the conversion process and is much more functional. I would recommend DXF2DAT 3.0 Professional.
FLASH!! New FoamWorks available now and includes CadWorks!!
FoamWorks 3.0 CNC software specifically designed to drive a 4-axis hot wire foam cutter via the parallel port of any Windows based computer running Win98, WinME, WinXP or Win2K.
The program contains one section designed to cut RC airfoils. Included are aids to cut constant cord wings, swept wings, tapered wings, leading edge swept wings, trailing edge swept wings. A second section is designed for cutting all general shapes including fuselages. Foamworks can cut any shape that can be drawn using any of the common CAD programs and then converted to a DAT.
Some of the features included with Foamworks are: 1. Set home position and return to home. 2. Set set two additional waypoints and auto move to these points. 3. Notepad feature to keep notes about various cuts. 4. Ability to add pauses at specified locations around the cut. The intent is to improve sharpness of corners, etc. 5. Addition of a trouble shooting section to view output of parallel port that allows a user to confirm that the software is generating the proper output. 6. Tapered cut calculation screens for both The Foam Cutting section and the Wing Cutting section to aid with setting up tapered cutting.