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Cutting Ribs with a Cricut Vinyl Cutter

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Cutting Ribs with a Cricut Vinyl Cutter

Old 01-15-2019, 04:19 PM
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Bipe Flyer
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Default Cutting Ribs with a Cricut Vinyl Cutter

I recently got a Cricut Maker and tried some LST ribs. It takes a while, but the cuts are perfect. Way better than die cut, and as good as laser cut, minus the burning. It can cut from any bmp, jpg, gif, png, dxf, svg etc.
I'm going to have a lot of fun with this thing.
Old 01-17-2019, 07:54 AM
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Bipe, very cool ! I would think if a person was heavy into rubber powered, that type of cutter would be perfect. I would anticipate that maybe 1/16" would be the thickest you could cut. But, then again, you could use it to 'outline' a rib of thicker dimensions and then hand cut / sand to final shape. A lot of options you have created for yourself here.

Mike
Old 01-17-2019, 10:24 AM
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It says it can cut up to 3/32" balsa and 1/16" basswood. I might try a whole kit to see how it works.
Old 02-10-2019, 05:11 AM
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Originally Posted by RACE 66
Bipe, very cool ! I would think if a person was heavy into rubber powered, that type of cutter would be perfect. I would anticipate that maybe 1/16" would be the thickest you could cut. But, then again, you could use it to 'outline' a rib of thicker dimensions and then hand cut / sand to final shape. A lot of options you have created for yourself here.

Mike

I use 1/16 inch balsa for ribs on up to .25 aize glow planes and 3/32 on up to .45 glow. Looks like a pretty handy device to me.
Old 02-10-2019, 04:55 PM
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I played with the settings and it can cut 3/32" with fewer passes than my first try.
Old 02-10-2019, 05:08 PM
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Bipe: Which model of the Cricut cutter do you have? I have an ancient one that I cut Monokote letters and numbers on, about 70% successful of the time. This is all it's good for. I'll take a look on the net to see what they have to offer in the product.
Thanks
Mike
Old 02-10-2019, 05:56 PM
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I have the Maker and I'm using the knife blade to cut balsa. Here's a link to a comparison page to see what might be different from yours.

https://shop.cricut.com/en_us/machines.html
Old 02-11-2019, 11:19 AM
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Bipe:
Holy Smokes ! The 'Matcher' is a hot rod compared to my old unit after reviewing what it can do. Of course as with any upgraded machines, the price reflects that to. It appears that the knife cutter just came out as seeing others that had purchased the machine earlier they were disappointed that it wasn't out at the time of their purchase. The few reviews that I did see the knife cutter used was that they were happy with the results.
This may be my next purchase, as with vinyl, Monokote cutting with regards to model building.
Question to you, what are you using for programs to use for cutting balsa, like ribs, bulkheads and the like?
Thanks
Mike
Old 02-11-2019, 03:46 PM
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To be honest, I rarely build up wings with ribs because I have a CNC foam cutter that uses airfoil cut files created with Tile Print. I draw my plans in Turbocad and print them with Tile Print, and then cut them by hand. I usually build using stick bulkheads, because they're stronger and take up less space. I see using this more for vinyl and covering, but I wanted to see how it worked with balsa. I've cut .040 styrene sheet with it too. It leaves a bit of a burr that needs to be sanded off, but it does a nice job.

Old 02-11-2019, 05:43 PM
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Bipe Flyer:

Any idea how long the blade will last cutting balsa? The blades seem a bit spendy ($$) but maybe not if they last a long time.
Old 02-11-2019, 08:23 PM
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That's a good question. They're like a heavier version of an X-acto knife blade. They sell replacement tips, so you don't have to replace the whole blade unit, but they're not exactly cheap either.
https://www.amazon.com/Cricut-200391...gateway&sr=8-6

I'll probably try sharpening mine with a diamond stone when it gets dull.
Old 02-16-2019, 10:53 AM
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I also have a Maker. I use Monokote trim sheets and use the Maker to cut out any custom decals I want. It cuts them perfectly - never an issue. I also have cut large 3/32 balsa ribs. They also come out perfectly, but take a long time!! The Maker is an awesome machine for builders!



Old 01-13-2020, 08:20 PM
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Gonna make my first model. Can you tell me which cutter is better? I'd like a link to the shop and your feedback for it. Independent searches have led me to such models, but in fact, I do not know whether they are good or not.
Old 01-14-2020, 08:53 PM
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I forgot to mention the source. This is where I found information about the Cricut machine. You ever worked with one of these before?
Old 01-21-2020, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Daniel-J
I forgot to mention the source. This is where I found information about the Cricut machine. You ever worked with one of these before?
I did the same research when I bought mine and I came to the conclusion that the Maker suited my needs best. I almost didn't buy a Cricut because their software was only online and you couldn't use the machine when their site was down, which does happen occasionally. They now have an offline application, so it is no longer a problem.

I recently bought a 3018 Pro CNC router kit with a 10 Watt laser module. It it much better suited for cutting balsa than the Cricut. But for vinyl or Monokote, the Cricut is awesome!
Old 11-16-2021, 02:28 AM
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I realize this is an old thread but I just picked up a Cricut Maker and had a question about cutting parts. Do the .jpg's or other source files I'm using to cut the part need to be solid (filled?) Or can they be line drawings like you see on the Guillows or Comet rubber powered plans?
Old 11-17-2021, 05:42 AM
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Originally Posted by gutmark
I realize this is an old thread but I just picked up a Cricut Maker and had a question about cutting parts. Do the .jpg's or other source files I'm using to cut the part need to be solid (filled?) Or can they be line drawings like you see on the Guillows or Comet rubber powered plans?
Hi gutmark,
line drawings will work fine. In the circuit software, you can specify which areas to cut (which if I remember correctly, auto fills within the lines). I always started with line drawing as I would trace parts from plans, and then scan as jpeg. The software takes a bit of playing around with, but it is pretty straightforward. Once you have your image loaded electronically - put the pen in the Maker and do a trial run (draw on white paper to make sure the dimensions are correct). Once verified, load the knife and balsa, and cut!
Old 11-17-2021, 07:53 AM
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Thanks for the info! I didn’t think about the trial run - that could save some balsa!
Old 11-17-2021, 08:13 AM
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Originally Posted by gutmark
Thanks for the info! I didn’t think about the trial run - that could save some balsa!
Oh yes! Balsa is no longer cheap!!
Old 02-20-2023, 05:59 AM
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What programs are you using to trace the image? Can you import a jpeg or bmp into the Cricut software and trace, or do it before you import?
Old 02-20-2023, 07:14 AM
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I use an inexpensive CAD program to trace/modify images imported from pdf plans I download from Outerzone. Delta Cad is what I have used for a very long time but there are many others including free open source CAD programs (LibreCad, FreeCad). You can also use vector based drawing programs like Inkscape or Corel Draw. Then I export to the Cricut as a svg file which I have discovered works much better than other file types including dxf or jpg. Then draw on paper with a pen as previously mentioned to test the drawing, then cut away.

Be aware that most plans have numerous critical errors that must be found and corrected or the Cricut/laser parts will not fit properly. I make corrections in my CAD software before cutting. My advice is to measure the plans carefully before cutting anything. CAD drawn plans are usually OK, but with other plans, be careful (the older the design, the greater the odds of errors).

For instance:

1. On a tapered wing measure the length of each rib against the wing top view length between the leading and trailing edges. I have seen errors exceeding 1/8 inch, (ribs too short and too long).
2. Measure cut outs for spars, leading edges and trailing edges for proper dimensions of the proposed wood piece used.
3. Measure the dimensions of all formers against the size shown on the side view and top view.
4. Measure rib spacing on plans, they are rarely uniform from rib to rib, causing unequal wing panel lengths. I no longer build over the plans like I used to.

I used to think I was a terrible scratch builder! Then a fellow builder showed me all the errors in a set of plans for a plane I was building. No wonder the parts didn’t fit!

Last edited by 049flyer; 02-20-2023 at 07:23 AM.
Old 02-20-2023, 10:06 AM
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Thanks, I just sketched up a rectangle in CAD. I exported it as a .svg and imported into Cricut and it worked flawlessly. I am working my way up to ribs, for now I am cutting graphics, such as windows, insignias, etc. I am starting to like this thing.
Old 02-20-2023, 04:30 PM
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ddeaton:

Awesome!

I struggled with getting dxf files exported from CAD to work in Cricut, sometimes it worked and sometimes not. I spent hours trying different things until I finally tried the svg file format. So far that works every time!

You will need the extra sticky cutting mat, for cutting balsa, I think it’s the purple one. I also add a few pieces of masking tape to be extra sure the wood doesn’t shift on the pad.

I like the Cricut better than the laser I used to have, no exhaust fan, fumes, no burnt edges and less noise. Plus the cricut cuts vinyl graphics!
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Old 02-20-2023, 04:36 PM
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I will try and take some pictures then post them

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