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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I rarely find the time to post a new thread when I do something on my CNC machine.

At the same time, I read daily what others are doing, and find projects posted by others, especially if there are pics, the most inspiring. The specific project may not even be of interest to me, but seeing their process, and how they overcame whatever problems they encountered, if any, always seems to help advance my process.

So, I have started this thread to post up things I have done using my Probotix Comet CNC. I use Fusion 360 for design and CAM. I started using Fusion about 3 yrs before I bought the CNC, so at least had a decent grasp on the 3d design process and had run many CAM simulations prior to taking the step of buying a machine that could put that to use. I am by no means an expert.

That said, I will start posting pics of various projects I have completed, and give a brief description. I hope this provides the same inspiration to others that I have experienced.

This first pic is one of the first things I "cut" successfully. The end result, a flying model of an F22, wasn't quite right. But several revisions later, and with a better feel for running the CNC, I have a well flying model, and have continued to update the design, and have cut, built, and flown several. These are cut from "dollar store foam board", and it turns out this material has also worked well for me in testing patterns for various things before cutting in the "real" material. Cutting this material on top of a foam block as spoilboard, let me learn the CNC with less fear of crashing it.:wink:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Under the model plane is a motorcycle stand. Made from 1/2" ply. Tabbed and slotted edges, glued on final assembly. The rubber top is a piece of baler belt, also cut to shape and pocketed for fasteners on the CNC.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Here are some signs I made for my dad's property. Fusion 360 text boxes have some quirks, hence the one that's off center. No matter here, as the blanks were salvage drawer fronts, and the edges were all cut down to a tight margin for final sizing. Other than the issue I had with centering at first, V-carve, or "engrave", as it's called in Fusion CAM, is pretty cool to see in action. These were perhaps the most simple project I've done, and if one wanted to just do simple text based signs, these could be cranked out easily, and quickly.

That's all for tonight. I will add more when I get some more pics transferred. And, any questions or comments are welcome.

Brian
 

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Thanks for posting the pic's. I am not a CNC-er, but like to see the projects that you guys turn out. Good job on the planes.
Herb
 

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Hi Brian:

Your projects look great! I too have a Probotix Comet and have had it for about 5 years. Love the darn machine! I use Aspire which has served me quite well although I am not always able to do 3D modeling easily. Probably my fault for not spending the time to fully grasp the process.

Several years ago I purchased a 3D printer (which I love almost as much as the Comet). I started to use Sketchup 2018 (free version) to create the models and output STL files. I did not look at Fusion 360 because I didn't want to pay for it. Now there are a few ways to get Fusion for free so I have started to take a closer look. I am wondering if I should spend time learning Fusion in hopes that I can drop Aspire and Sketchup? Would appreciate your thoughts.
 

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Oliver (Prof. Henry)
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Thanks, Brian. Seeing other’s projects and photos is one of the things that keeps me coming to the forum. I often learn something new, discover a shortcut, or find something I can adapt to my own projects. I enjoyed seeing that you were able to cut “dollar store foam board” on your CNC. I may use that in a future project and never would have considered without your post. Keep posting your stuff.
 
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Rick
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Thanks for sharing Brian , you’ve done some nice work there . Was hoping to get more pics of the jet as it progressed . Neat hobby
 

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I am wondering if I should spend time learning Fusion in hopes that I can drop Aspire and Sketchup?
Aspire and Fusion 360 are very different programs. There are different operations that are much easier done in one or the other.

Aspire is much better at V Carving that Fusion 360.
Aspire has a lot of tools specifically for 3D relief modelling. Fusion 360 does not.
IMO, most 2D CNC operations can be done much more quickly than in Fusion 360, if you are proficient with Aspire's drawing tools.

Fusion 360 has a ton of features that Aspire does not.
Parametric modeling
Assemblies
High quality rendering.
Lots more toolpath options.
Many, many other things.

There is no perfect software package that does everything. I probably use at least 5 or 6 different programs for my CNC work.
Aspire, Fusion 360, AutoCAD, MeshCAM, Lightwave (3D modeler). Whatever it takes to get the job done.
 

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Here is the latest revision of that model, test fit dry, ready for final assy. and electronics. Sitting on another project from the CNC:smile: This one flies well:smile:
"ready for electronics? do you attach controls and a motor?? very cool.
 

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Aspire and Fusion 360 are very different programs. There are different operations that are much easier done in one or the other.

Aspire is much better at V Carving that Fusion 360.
Aspire has a lot of tools specifically for 3D relief modelling. Fusion 360 does not.
IMO, most 2D CNC operations can be done much more quickly than in Fusion 360, if you are proficient with Aspire's drawing tools.

Fusion 360 has a ton of features that Aspire does not.
Parametric modeling
Assemblies
High quality rendering.
Lots more toolpath options.
Many, many other things.

There is no perfect software package that does everything. I probably use at least 5 or 6 different programs for my CNC work.
Aspire, Fusion 360, AutoCAD, MeshCAM, Lightwave (3D modeler). Whatever it takes to get the job done.
it would be fascinating to see a stand alone post with samples of the best of what each software creates... from your perspective....please..
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hi Brian:

I did not look at Fusion 360 because I didn't want to pay for it. Now there are a few ways to get Fusion for free so I have started to take a closer look. I am wondering if I should spend time learning Fusion in hopes that I can drop Aspire and Sketchup? Would appreciate your thoughts.
I have been using Fusion 360 for around 3 years, maybe a little more, using the free version. There always seems to be some misunderstanding about Fusions fee scale. I admit I was also when I first looked at it. Last I looked, just a few weeks ago, Fusion is still available for free. The stipulation is that you are a (1)student, (2)hobbyist, or (3) a startup with less than 100k in (revenue or profit, don't remember which). There is also a premium version that gives access to more advanced features, and maybe support?


As usual, the terms of use stated on Autodesk/Fusion360 web page is what you need to read. The above is just my understanding. And there is a free trial no matter which version you want or need, so I would say download it and go from there.
 

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Mike
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Brian you have some good projects in your pictures. I like your use of foam board for projects like the plane and for some test cutting.

Would love to see videos of the plane in flight after you get the electronics mounted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
To the couple of questions on the airplane... here are a few more pics. The wood pieces are lite-ply motor mount, and control horns. I don't have any good pics of the electronics, but it is standard electric rc aircraft stuff. The electronics can be bought very cheap now.

One of these ready to fly, not including the TX, can be built in a few hours, for less than $50. And when the airframe is done, the electronics can be salvaged for the next one. At that point, its $3 worth of foam board to build the next one.
 

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Rick
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Brian, do you throw these to launch them, and then there light enough that they don’t require any landing gear ?
I could get into that as a hobby . Not into serious big planes though


Any video? :)
 

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Rick
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Just looked at the design again , and that’s about as simple as it gets . If I’m correct there’s only two servos , one on each rear horizontal section ? Although I guess there would be two minimum no matter how it’s designed.
Curious how big a battery it uses , and how much air time it you get
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Rainman,

I don't have any good video of it flying. Once dialed in though, it has turned out to be a great flier. There a few flying in AZ where my dad flies with a club over the winter. The F22 is actually running 3 servos as seen in the pics. Ailerons are each on their own channel, and the elevators both move together on a third. There's some fun things you can do with mixing channels also if you have a TX capable of that.


On a 1300mAh, 3s Lipo battery, it will fly for ten minutes or more if you take it easy. Full power you need to be landing around 4 min. This all depends on motor and prop selection though.

And yes, hand launch and belly landings.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Here's my first real successful box joint. It is 4 of the same part, with the notches offset from one side of the part to the other, so the right side of one face, matches the left side of the next face, all the way around. The pieces were cut flat on the table, so the design incorporates reliefs at the inside corners of the notches. Material is 1/8" ply.

Although I modeled this in 3d, the actual CAM part of the job is based on a single 2d sketch drawing in Fusion. Using parameter definitions, it is easy to tweak the fit tighter or looser.
 
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