How do I convert a Freeship model to make a plug?

Discussion in 'Fiberglass and Composite Boat Building' started by TJ Cameron, Apr 2, 2013.

  1. TJ Cameron
    Joined: Mar 2012
    Posts: 12
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    Location: USA

    TJ Cameron Junior Member

    I have developed a Freeship model of an 18' catamaran I would like to build.

    I am considering building a mold plug by either:

    A. CNC'ing foam with a glass overlay
    B. building a cedar strip plug around CNC'd wood stations.

    Here are my questions:

    A1. How do I convert my Freeship model to software code that can be understood by a CNC machine for 3D shaping?
    A2. What type of foam or other material for the plug do you recommend?

    B. How do I convert my Freeship model to software code that can be understood by a CNC machine for 2D cutting of MDF stations?

    Thanks in advance for any replies.
  2. groper
    Joined: Jun 2011
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    Location: australia

    groper Senior Member

    View the model in body plan view and make sure you have specified the station locations, ie number of stations and their longitudinal spacing. Make sure you have the detail level selected to maximum. Select export 2D polylines from the menu. It will generate a DXF file of the station cross sections. The DXF file can be sent to your CNC router guys who will use it to program their cut files.

    So, make your stations where you want your mold frames to be. Helps if you can manipulate the files so that you have nooks included so that you may use the nooks for lining up your frames both horizontally level, vertically plumb, and straight in line longitudinally. I use autoCAD for making these changes to the 2D section shapes before cutting, i also nest them so they fit within the material sheet size of the material your using such MDF etc...
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