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IndustryArena Forum > WoodWorking Machines > DIY CNC Router Table Machines > Can I perform such task with DIY CNC?
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  1. #1

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    Can I perform such task with DIY CNC?

    Hi,

    I always dreamed to have DIY CNC and I am about to move my first step.


    I am planning to perform rubber cutting job for my table tennis blade, and I am wondering if this is possible.

    Currently, I put big rubber sheet into the racket and use sharp knife or scissors to cut remaining rubber sheet.

    However, I want to do this task with CNC so I can do precision cutting.

    In addition, If precision cutting is possible, I should be also able to give variable 1-2mm of free space from the blade right?



    The rubber is about 1.5-2.5mm thick, the blade is about 6mm thick (I am not cutting the blade with CNC)

    Rubber gets placed on both side, so I have to do cutting twice.



    I am thinking of purchasing 3018 as a starting point since I am not cutting hard material.


    Someone please tell me if I can achieve what I want or if Im wrong, please let me know whats the right way to do such job with CNC

  2. #2
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    Re: Can I perform such task with DIY CNC?

    Hi,
    getting a CNC machine to trace around that outline is no trouble. What may be more problematic is for the machine to hold significant pressure on the knife
    for it to cut.

    You might like to like look at Mach4, it has a feature called 'tangential knife' just for such cutting situations. I would presume other CNC software would have similar features,
    but I know Mach4 has it.

    Craig

  3. #3

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    Re: Can I perform such task with DIY CNC?

    Quote Originally Posted by joeavaerage View Post
    Hi,
    getting a CNC machine to trace around that outline is no trouble. What may be more problematic is for the machine to hold significant pressure on the knife
    for it to cut.

    You might like to like look at Mach4, it has a feature called 'tangential knife' just for such cutting situations. I would presume other CNC software would have similar features,
    but I know Mach4 has it.

    Craig
    Thank you for your reply.
    My biggest concern was making trace outline with CNC and if that possible, I think I can figure out rest of it with try and error

    I saw some video regarding 'tangential knife' and it looks fantastic.
    However, I am bit skeptical that cheap cnc like 3018 will support tangential knife though.

    I don't really care about remaining pieces after clean cut so was thinking about typical endmill
    I think using foam specific endmill will surely work in my case or I can try different bits to figure out what makes the most clean cut.

    After all, my end goal is to make clean cut with 2mm even space from the blade and CNC will be my answer

  4. #4
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    Re: Can I perform such task with DIY CNC?

    Hi,

    However, I am bit skeptical that cheap cnc like 3018 will support tangential knife though.
    I've never used a tangential knife machine, but I think a 3018 will do it, but you may have to up the controller. The cheap controllers that the Chinese offer with these cheap machines are pretty poor.
    I would suggest you bargain on spending another $200-$500 on a controller and/or software that would bring that capability to that machine. Thereafter Ithink you'll be fine.

    Craig

  5. #5
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    Re: Can I perform such task with DIY CNC?

    Hi Kino - If the aim is to cut the rubber then place it on the blade you may have trouble registering it accurately. If you intend placing the rubber on the bat and have the blade follow the edge that's a different matter. You will need a blade carrier that is sprung somehow so the tool path is say 5mm away from the bat edge but the spring enables the blade to follow the bat edge with a small bearing such as a router does or with a plastic follower. If the aim is to make the job faster I doubt that will occur using CNC. You need to make a follower type router cutter or blade and still do by hand. Unless you have 50 or 100s to do that are the same. Peter

  6. #6

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    Re: Can I perform such task with DIY CNC?

    Quote Originally Posted by peteeng View Post
    Hi Kino - If the aim is to cut the rubber then place it on the blade you may have trouble registering it accurately. If you intend placing the rubber on the bat and have the blade follow the edge that's a different matter. You will need a blade carrier that is sprung somehow so the tool path is say 5mm away from the bat edge but the spring enables the blade to follow the bat edge with a small bearing such as a router does or with a plastic follower. If the aim is to make the job faster I doubt that will occur using CNC. You need to make a follower type router cutter or blade and still do by hand. Unless you have 50 or 100s to do that are the same. Peter
    Hi,
    My goal is to cut the rubber after placing it on the blade.
    The goal is to make clean cut with some offset from the blade and I have no intention to perform massive production.
    As long as I can cut each rubber in 30min, its all good

  7. #7

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    Re: Can I perform such task with DIY CNC?

    I just made a purchase of second hand cheap CNC
    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000...3ebb7c81XrNKqO

    Its Cronos Maker 3020 which I think its just a older variation of cheap 3018/3020 CNC

    I will start with designing zig to hold the blade at same place all the time.

    Meanwhile, is there anything that I need to worry about?

    Thanks,

  8. #8
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    Re: Can I perform such task with DIY CNC?

    There is much that you need to concern yourself with.first of all,how do you plan to hold the rubber in place?Clamping the outside of the part will place obstacles in the path of the cut. Then assuming you can secure the rubber how do you propose to generate the Gcode that controls the machine?I seriously doubt that a small hobby machine will have a frame that is solid enough to resist the forces involved in pushing a static blade through rubber.I have cut a little neoprene on an industrial machine with an oscillating knife and it took a bit of experimenting to get a clean cut.You may be able to overcome these challenges in time but it would be unwise to anticipate a game with the output of the machine in the immediate future.

  9. #9
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    Re: Can I perform such task with DIY CNC?

    You might be better served, pun intended, to use a flush trim router bit after rough installing the rubber to the racket..

    https://www.amazon.com/Spiral-Router...s%2C77&sr=8-57
    Gecko G540, Rack and Pinion Drives-X and A axis, 1/2-10 5 Start Acme-Z Axis
    4-THK HSR 25 Linear Slides, KL23H2100-35-4B, Power Supply-KL-600-48 48V

  10. #10

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    Re: Can I perform such task with DIY CNC?

    Quote Originally Posted by routalot View Post
    There is much that you need to concern yourself with.first of all,how do you plan to hold the rubber in place?Clamping the outside of the part will place obstacles in the path of the cut. Then assuming you can secure the rubber how do you propose to generate the Gcode that controls the machine?I seriously doubt that a small hobby machine will have a frame that is solid enough to resist the forces involved in pushing a static blade through rubber.I have cut a little neoprene on an industrial machine with an oscillating knife and it took a bit of experimenting to get a clean cut.You may be able to overcome these challenges in time but it would be unwise to anticipate a game with the output of the machine in the immediate future.
    Just like in the picture, I am thinking about making jig/clamp that holds the blade from top part or the handle part. I dont have to go around handle portion so I think I can still be able to cut around the blade portion only.
    I am willing to experiment multiple types of end mill. if none of them gives me clean cut, I may try oscillating knife or tangential knife but Im hoping that I dont have to go that far (due to extra cost)



    Quote Originally Posted by adam_m View Post
    You might be better served, pun intended, to use a flush trim router bit after rough installing the rubber to the racket..

    https://www.amazon.com/Spiral-Router...s%2C77&sr=8-57

    Thought about using router as well.
    However, the blade has two rubbers on both side and I am worried that router base might damage the blade.
    Also, blade and rubber has different thickness as well
    The blades is around 5.5mm to 6.5mm and rubber is between 1.5mm to 2.2mm

  11. #11

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    Re: Can I perform such task with DIY CNC?

    Or, is there any cheap drag knife option that is suitable for 3018 cnc with 14mm clearance?
    I saw lots of pictures of this type of drag knife but cannot find where I can buy
    Also I saw one from donek tools but it was really expensive!

  12. #12
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    Re: Can I perform such task with DIY CNC?

    Hi Kino- With a blade you will have to do one side at a time into a cutting board. If the rubber is floppy (ie no backing board or cutting board) you have no chance of cutting it. Peter

  13. #13

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    Re: Can I perform such task with DIY CNC?

    Quote Originally Posted by peteeng View Post
    Hi Kino- With a blade you will have to do one side at a time into a cutting board. If the rubber is floppy (ie no backing board or cutting board) you have no chance of cutting it. Peter
    Yes that is my plan.
    Cut one side, flip the blade and cut the other side
    Because flipping moves the blade, this is a reason that why I think creating holder/jig is crucial.

    Also the board is very rigid solid wood with around 6mm thickness

    Thanks!!

  14. #14
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    Re: Can I perform such task with DIY CNC?

    If you're planning on building a CNC to cut rubber for your blade I think it's the wrong tool for the job. I also don't think you're going to get a drag knife through the rubber... just my opinion.

    Good luck! I'll be interested to hear how it pans out for you.

    Adam,
    Gecko G540, Rack and Pinion Drives-X and A axis, 1/2-10 5 Start Acme-Z Axis
    4-THK HSR 25 Linear Slides, KL23H2100-35-4B, Power Supply-KL-600-48 48V

  15. #15

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    Re: Can I perform such task with DIY CNC?

    Original pictures does not full represent what I am trying to achieve so I made additional picture to illustrate what Im trying to do.

    Green line is where I need to cut.

    Left side material can be discarded so that is why I think I can do with CNC

    1. Drag Knife
    Im not sure if I can find cheap drag knife that has enough clearance of total 10mm

    2. Vinyl Cutter
    I saw some people build custom holder for roland Vinyl cutter. Only concern is also clearance.

    3. End mill
    Most of endmill will not be a problem with clearance. However, I am not sure if I can produce clean cut

    4. Tangential Knife
    I think this is one of best option but there is no product that I can buy and install on my cheap CNC

    5. Oscillating Knife
    Probably this will be best option for my case but most expensive option as well.


    I dont mind going multiple passes of path to generate clear cut.

  16. #16
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    Re: Can I perform such task with DIY CNC?

    Hi Kino:
    1) drag knife - if you build your own I think this could work mechanically but knowing rubber has a very high friction & I think it won't work accurately enough
    2) vinyl cutter ie a round rolling blade needs lots of force and again due to the rubber friction I think it won't work. You will need small dia blade for this curve I think
    4) tangential knife is as you say an expensive thing to put on a cheap router and again I think the knife will have trouble

    I have experience with all of the above on various materials

    5) oscillating knife needs to be run into a needle bed and would be a very expensive solution

    3) leaving the end mill. I think this could work, I'd do a rough trim with a scissors then run the cnc. But by the time you do all this I think you will have done a good job by hand. Saying that I think you need to do some test cuts with 1 flute cutters, 2 flute and a some burrs like use for PCBs..

    To get an accurate cut against edges some systems use 2 rollers. One is adjustable. This would work for manual knife or router attached.

    if the blades are the same shape I'd look at a clicking press and knife easy to make and very good result for you...will do the job in seconds Peter

    https://youtu.be/r2EvG7aeHGw this uses a hydraulic press but a screw mechanical press is usually used as its quicker.

  17. #17
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    Re: Can I perform such task with DIY CNC?

    While a CNC machine is a great tool to have, with many unexpected uses, it doesn't seem like the most efficient tool for this particular process. But it could help you build a tool that would work. If all you're trying to do is trim the rubber pad on a ping-pong paddle a specific distance from the edge, what would seem easiest would be a small notched piece of wood or metal that would hold a replaceable blade vertically. It could be held against the paddle and guided by hand; pushing the notch against the edge and reverse side would keep it accurate. The only part that would need to be cut freehand would be where the handle interrupts the tool. It seems that the whole operation could be done faster than the paddle and pad could be clamped to the CNC machine preparatory to a cutting operation.
    Andrew Werby
    Website

  18. #18
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    Re: Can I perform such task with DIY CNC?

    If at first you don't succeed, hide the evidence.

    Cheers
    Roger

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