DXF Kiss Cut challenges/ using a vibro-etcher to cut card stock.

One of the things that I have been thinking about doing is setting up a parametric equations using heekscad for a generic pop-up shape export it out to DXF for direct import into my sisters pazzle inspiration software.

The idea was to have a model layout and then automatically re-generated the shape wider or flatter merely by changing a couple of key parameters.    From my preliminary experiments I’m fairly confident that this can be done in heekscad.  I’ve run into a couple of technical snags on the DXF export though as far as these Kiss cuts.

On the Heekscad side of things, I don’t think the sketcher can do different line styles at this point.  I’m still researching that one.   Part of the beauty of open source code is that if I really really really wanted that feature I could add that feature in the source myself. But as it turns out it doesn’t really matter for this project anyway.

I called the Pazzle’s tech support to inquire about whether kiss cuts could be somehow imported via a DXF.  The answer is no.    Apparently, the software was outsourced  and I was left with the impression that they weren’t very keen on making enhancements to a DXF file import.  When I made the comment that they are loosing market share not having this feature, her comment was “no one has ever asked for this before”.   It seems I get this comment alot in life…
I guess this answer sort  of irked the engineer in me and it really shouldn’t have.   This machine is really designed for home use and not a production environment.   Apparently it works fine for the target demographic who apparently ain’t me.

For my little project that I’m working on, I guess I’m going to have to figure out how to put change the linestyle manual in the Pazzles software after I do a DXF import.  If I were to go into the pop-up business I wouldn’t be doing this.

On a side note, I have the carcass of a decommissioned sears radial arm saw that I have in my shop that is just too good to throw out and I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with.  Basically I got a 100 bucks for decommissioning it. See http://www.radialarmsawrecall.com/.    It was a really nice piece of old iron, just had some safety issues.      Initially my thoughts was to turn it into an overhead CNC router/mill.  This thing is solid 1960’s (I think) cast iron, but still I thought the radial arm would have some flex.    Then I ran across the reprap project.  This carcass would be ideal for that (no side loads)  Part of the decommissioning of this saw was that I needed to turn in the carriage to get the bucks.  I’ve actually built a new carriage built with a reprap in mind but I thinking about this a bit, it would be a big deal to modify this thing to cut paper.   (I’m at the point where I need to machine the Arm to mount pulleys and a stepper).  The pazzles system uses a sticky matt and I knife type cutting actions.

I wonder….. I have a vibro-etcher… I wonder if that could be used to cut paper… Time for a quick experiment…
Just back from the shop….  I really got to clean up down there.  It took me a while to find my vibroetcher.  It seems  card stock cuts out  just fine using a vibroetcher.  Sure not as crisp as a knife cut but I bet if I played around with it I could get it to come out just fine. I’m thinking that I could mount this in my eventual version of a radial arm saw reprap and have a cnc paper cutter has a bonus.  I believe the beauty of using the vibro-etch method is that I don’t think you’ll need sticky paper since there are no side loads in the cutting action….  (If anyone tries patenting this….. Hey world you heard it here first and this idea is being given away) (Hope I don’t regret this)

Back on the project side of things.    This popup stuff is really intriguing.  I wanted to had a background that pops up but it’s colliding with my what’s going to be my model piano.   Just a problem that needs to be solved.   I need to take a another trip to borders check out the pop-ups again.  I’m at the kindergarten level on this pop-up card stuff and the stuff in the kids section at Borders is grad school kind of  stuff.

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