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upahill

Potential project / product idea - CNC carved equipment protection.

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Was sat in the barn trying to find ways to justify finishing my CNC build and got to thinking about a video I watched where someone was carving into a block of foam as a test before running a cut on a final peice of stock material.

I have seen the pick and pluck foam for equipment cases but would there be much interest for a bespoke foam carving for equipment boxes?

Im going to give it a go as soon as the new motors arrive but could build a stock library of cut outs for standard equipment / eyepieces etc and then cut to size / preferred layout?

My CNC is approx 4x4 foot so could cover a large selection of OTAs with custom cut outs for accessories, cables etc.

Im going to use this thread to seperate it from my other projects, but the plan is:

  • Start off simple with a case insert to hold some Hyperion eyepieces I have.
  • Practice cutting different foams to test finish.
  • Look into vacuum moulding flock covers for the finished foam inserts.

I imagine peli-cases etc would have a standard shape/size to stick to, but the external edges could be cut to fit anything.

We did something similar 10 years ago with fibreglass insulation boards and celotex, routing lines in them to enable them to be folded for ducting but I think the fibreglass material we used for that would be too dusty. As would florist foam - any other suggestions?

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Interesting!

Is flocking a good idea, though, for optical components, actually?  I spend my time trying to keep little bits of fluff off things!

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56 minutes ago, AKB said:

Interesting!

Is flocking a good idea, though, for optical components, actually?  I spend my time trying to keep little bits of fluff off things!

Good point, I guess I was trying to mitigate little bits of foam / foam dust - maybe a different treatment or perhaps not required at all with the right foam.

The inside of an old OTA I had was flocked and I did see this which made me think of it but spanners are slightly more durable than eyepieces :)

img_8319.thumb.jpg.9c5ea1a55dc2eb4f8f1a167aeaa10341.jpg

This product is called Shadowfoam and looks quite nice, can be laser cut or CNC cut too - the laser would make light work of it if done in layers.

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How about Neoprene sheet, cuts easily, but don't know if you can get it deep enough ?  but I suppose multiple sheets stuck together.....

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29 minutes ago, Dr_Ju_ju said:

How about Neoprene sheet, cuts easily, but don't know if you can get it deep enough ?  but I suppose multiple sheets stuck together.....

Hadn't considered neoprene, but I have about 150mm of travel on the cnc and can always layer up for really deep cuts.  The laser has less travel at around 80mm and would suffer from weird kerfing with multiple passes through that depth - neoprene might be tricky to laser as I believe it contains chlorine?? will have to research it a bit more.

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This does sound interesting.

An alternative to laser might be to cut to particular depth using a hot blade.
That would allow you make holes with variable depth.

When I made an EP case, it took ages to do the cut outs working from paper templates.

Looking forward to seeing your results,

David.

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