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Author Topic: Carbon fibre sheet - 3mm - milling from CAD - UK  (Read 450 times)
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mick66
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« on: April 02, 2020, 05:42:41 AM »

Hi

Can anyone recommend a 3rd party in the U.K. that can cut carbon sheet (3mm).  I'd need it milled actually.  From a .dxf or .dwg or Fusion 360 file.

It would be very low volume and low unit price so the larger commercial concerns are out of scope per se.  Depending how much it cost it might be worth looking at for what I want.  Guess I'm looking at hobbyist level who'd do it for a few quid on top Smiley

Cheers

Mike

PS would do it myself but don't have a milling machine
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Carbon fibre sheet - 3mm - milling from CAD - UK
Carbon fibre sheet - 3mm - milling from CAD - UK
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faif2d
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« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2020, 10:16:00 AM »

It will not be cheap because the carbon fiber eats cutting tools usually requiring diamond bits.
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mick66
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« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2020, 07:33:29 AM »

Hello

Yeah ... got some quotes back ...

£10-£20 per unit.  Seeing as how each bellcrank would need two units glued back to back (see picture) ... £20-£40 per bellcrank isn't realistic.  These bellcrank are available in he U.K. I believe so will stick with them.  It was just an excercise in 'design and manufacture' ... lol, the design part worked.

Anyway, I can barely fly CL properly anyway ... although hoping to change that this year ... if CV19 would [email protected] off.

@fai2d ... will tidy up those Buffalo cutting files soon once finished the model.  Should have canopy and spinner plug 3D too.

Cheers

Mike
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Re: Carbon fibre sheet - 3mm - milling from CAD - UK
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Russ Lister
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« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2020, 10:16:00 AM »

I've plenty of experience CNC machining... but not carbon fibre sheet. Steve's comment about bit life put me off offering to try, otherwise I can usually be far more competitive than the prices you quote. In my old day job I was using diamond tooling day to day, but not with my own very small machine.

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SP250
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« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2020, 01:22:50 PM »

Mike

Could you try and lay them up from CF tows and epoxy in a mould?
A bearing insert at the pivot and hard points of short steel or brass tube at the lead-outs and elevator pushrod connection. 
A wooden or blue foam mould can be used to be easily made with cnc or even hand tools?
Just a thought if you really wanted it in CF, otherwise just cut one from aluminium plates and bolt together with spacers.

John M
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steve-de24
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« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2020, 02:32:20 PM »

Videos on how cut and drill carbon fibre sheet.

https://www.easycomposites.co.uk/#!/composites-tutorials/how-to-cut-and-shape-carbon-fibre

Be sure to follow the safety advice!

Steve
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Russ Lister
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« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2020, 02:48:02 PM »

I'll have a look at that Steve ... thanks.
I know that my Proxxon Mill instructions warn not to mill carbon fibre because of carbon dust destroying the electrics.
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steve-de24
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« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2020, 03:07:57 PM »

And here's a web page on how to make your own carbon fibre rod to follow curves etc. If you can nail the technique there's got to be lots of applications for scale wing tips and such like.

https://www.pauzuolis-rc.com/how-to-tips/make-shaped-carbon-fiber-rods

Steve
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Russ Lister
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« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2020, 03:36:20 PM »

This is something that I have been experimenting with ... this Sopwith wing tip is from about three years ago. I need to improve my technique but the tips are useable.
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Re: Carbon fibre sheet - 3mm - milling from CAD - UK
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mick66
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« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2020, 04:21:49 PM »

My local Fablab has a milling machine but they have no experience milling carbon sheet (bit types, rpm, cutting rate) and all that.

They are happy for me to do it if I can research all the above myself.  They have a pretty big machine ... a ShopBot.

That would put it into more then realistic pricing range.

Cheers

Mike

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Big G
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« Reply #10 on: April 12, 2020, 04:29:57 PM »

Why do you want a CF bellcrank at all?

G
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mick66
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« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2020, 04:43:18 PM »

To be like the big boys in F2B.  If you use the same gear as them, surely you are as good as them ... not.

Yeah ... good question.  This is pretty much an F2B level bellcrank and I do realise a lot of people fly very successfully with more straightforward components.  It's a learning project really and I could probably use the skills in RC too.  I'm skilling up in CAD/CAM as I work in IT and sit on my [email protected]@ at a computer all day.  Why not get paid for modelling by using my 'smoko' breaks for doing modelling related stuff.  

@SP250 ... lol ... yeah, moulding CF components is also on my 'to do' list. 

What started bellcrank off is this build ... http://controlline.org.uk/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=15263 ... but to be honest I need to learn how to do more than one loop without crashing before I need to worry about CF bellcranks and such.
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JugheadP47
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« Reply #12 on: May 20, 2020, 08:13:01 PM »

Have you tried water jet cutting?  There are a half dozen water jet cutters within 20 minutes of where I live.
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flydean1
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« Reply #13 on: May 20, 2020, 10:13:57 PM »

And where is that?
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TimWescott
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« Reply #14 on: May 20, 2020, 11:48:09 PM »

+1 on water jet.  You don't need the precision of milling, and a laser cutter probably wouldn't want the epoxy smoke (although you could ask -- and there are some operations that do both).

I'd call around if I were you.  Even if you're out in the relative boonies there should be someone close by, and it's not like you live in a country where the big population centers are all spread out.  IIRC the price I got on one piece that I was considering having made was absurd for 1ea, and not too bad for 50 (except I didn't have a market for 50).  If you're willing to make a bunch and sell them, or to club together with people, that works.

Alternately, I make my own CLPA handles out of CF.  I just whack them out with a hand coping saw.  It takes patience, it uses up one saw blade for every two handles, and I need to clean up the result with sandpaper (because I don't want to find out what CF does to my nice files!).  But for a onsie it's way easier than getting something cut.
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pbrown
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« Reply #15 on: May 21, 2020, 02:42:10 AM »

Mick
Is the image in your first email what you actually want?
If so you can't water or laser it because its not a simple profile cut, it has to be milled.

If you supply the material and a DXF I can do it for you.
Better if you just send me the file and I can do a test sample first in another material first as a proof.
Thanks
Pete
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JugheadP47
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« Reply #16 on: May 21, 2020, 08:54:45 PM »

And where is that?

There should be several an any decent sized metro area.  Mine happens to be San Diego.
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JugheadP47
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« Reply #17 on: May 21, 2020, 08:58:05 PM »

+1 on water jet.  You don't need the precision of milling, and a laser cutter probably wouldn't want the epoxy smoke (although you could ask -- and there are some operations that do both).


Tried cutting some .070" plate on a 40W laser.  No go.  Fiber glass the same thickness is no problem.  The one I use is at a co-working shop and has a good exhaust system.
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mick66
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« Reply #18 on: May 22, 2020, 02:01:22 AM »

Hello

Didn't think about water cutting but as Pete has spotted, it's not a straight cut and does have a milled profile.  The community workshop (Fablab) attached to the local university has all sorts of kit and I've already mastered the laser cutter.  They can't let me laser Carbon due to Health&Safety and it would need milling anyway.

@Pete ... thanks for the offer.  To be honest, a top F2B flier nearby supplies them for a reasonable price.  It was more an excercise in learning Fusion 360 plus get them made if it wasn't too expensive.  It looks like it's expensive both effort and money wise.  I advertised the job on a couple of websites and the price even for 50 units was 2-3 times what anyone including me would want to pay.  Way more again for say 10-20 units.  Thanks again.
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