G-Code CNC Files for the rocket

G-Code CNC Files for the rocket

Rocket CNC cut from 2mm craft foam. Image Copyright 2010 elabz.com

Rocket CNC cut from 2mm craft foam

After a very long delay I have finally posted the SVG drawings and the resulting G-Code files for the Retro Rocket and its pedestal that were described in the first Laser Cutting DIY post. The files are compressed into a zip archive that can be downloaded from the CNC Files page. Below is some additional information about the files
The delay was pretty much caused by a small error in the G-Code file which I meant to correct before posting the files but could never find time. The error causes the router to leave four tiny squares uncut from one of the rings. Basically, you’ll have to use an X-Acto knife to cut them off (or leave them – they look like small antennae :) )

Please note that the G-Code is prepared for a 3-axis router but the z-axis movement was only used for marking the spots where the laser should be turned off (the only way I could do it in DXF2GCODE ). I have added an M3 (SPINDLE ON CLOCKWISE) command to every downward movement of the z-axis and M5 (SPINDLE OFF) to every upward one. So, if you are going to cut it by a laser, you can simplify the code by removing Z-axis movements. Note that my laser diode’s power supply was wired for M3-on, M5-off. It’s one of the two ways to do it. You could have done M4/M5. In that case please use your favorite text editor to replace all instances of M3 on M4.
The files have horizontal feed speeds of 100mm/min by default. With the 200nW 650nm laser diode I have it was the highest speed possible cutting black 2mm craft foam. For any other color 100mm/min will be too fast with this tiny laser. If you find your laser not cutting all the material, again, use your favorite text editor ( mine’s Geany, BTW) to replace all instances of F100 onto F50 or whatever feed speed is appropriate.

The size of the slots that hold the pieces together is 1.55mm (as designed – it’s slightly more because of non-perfect laser focus) to squeeze 2mm foam enough to hold strong enough to support the whole structure. I have a model that’s standing on its own (no glue used) for 9 months so far. You should be able to cut it from 3mm foam as well (sold where fly fishing supplies are sold) and it should still work and will be even stronger, especially for the pedestal.

Below is a picture of my cut rocket parts. Note light blue color – cut at F50 feed setting.

Cut Retro Rocket Parts

Cut Retro Rocket Parts - Image Copyright 2011 Elabz.com

The files are under Creative Commons 3.0 license – do whatever you like with them provided by you link to elabz.com from online documents or mention elabz.com as original creator in off-line materials.

If you make your own, I would love to see your rocket, especially if you made any modifications. Please either send me the photos to info AT elabz DOT com or send me a link to a Flikr or other picture hosting where your photo is, I would love to link to it or show it on this page.

P.S. In case someone’s wondering, PER ASPERA AD ASTRA means “through adversity to the stars” in Latin.

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