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Old 01-08-2016, 05:34 PM   #1
solentlife
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Default How my Laser helps my modelling

Given that we often pay out 00's of Euros / $ on models. When they crash its a heart-bender.

So repair is always a factor and getting it accurate is the biggest factor for many. I have built / repaired / scratched out models for near 50 years ...

The acquisition of the cheapo $500 Chinese Laser machine at the time seemed a bit silly ... but believe me - its a machine that excels in giving me accurate and reproducible parts.

Here is an example of the Hobby King Cessna. (We'll ignore that fact that it's a pig to fly !)

Last outing had it nose in and destroy the motor mount. All I had was the pieces. So use of a scanner on the piece ... highlight / copy / reverse and add to the scan to recreate the whole. Save too jpg ... import to Laser machine ... draw the Polylines around it ...

Cut it out and voila : Perfect new piece to fit.

Time to do ? about 20 mins including time to clean and prepare remnant for scanning.

Here's the photo sequence :





Here I have it scanned and using Copy / Paste have copied parts to create the whole ...





Import jpg into Laser program ..



Draw polylines round and holes etc...





Then send to cutter (this is 4mm Ply and needs multiple passes) :



I have a ply piece I use as a test before putting clean material in ... you can see the firewall outline here :



Now the final cut :






Perfect fit to model.

This is the beauty of the machine ... a partial piece after a crash can be reconstructed and then cut. Previously my gasoline powered Extra suffered catastrophic crash. But because I could scan one sides pieces along with various 'pick-ups' from site - near perfect replacements could be made on computer ... then laser cut.

My $500 investment ? How much has it saved in being able to put back in the air models that otherwise would have been binned ?

It also cuts immaculate vinyl decals ! and foam sheet !

Nigel

222kph PKJ,EDF Concorde, Mini4,Mig3,T45,PKJ twin,ME109,Edge540,Cessna182,Skymaster Biplane,F15,F16,Badius,Ultimate,SE5,Qbee10,450 Heli,V911,J3 Cub Founder 9x forum: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Flysky_RC_radio/
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Old 01-08-2016, 06:56 PM   #2
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Awesome! I want one!

It's never too late to have a happy childhood.
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Old 01-08-2016, 06:59 PM   #3
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That's just too awesome, nice work!
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Old 01-08-2016, 07:26 PM   #4
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If you really want to see Laser work putting something back together ... try this one !!

http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/show...ighlight=Laser



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Old 01-09-2016, 10:58 AM   #5
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Playing devils advocate...

I could have cut that part out by tracing the old part onto the sheet of plywood and cutting out with a hand jig saw, or even quicker with a power saw. I honestly dont think there is any piece that's possible to lake with a laser cutter that you couldn't also make with hand tools. I'd bet that for a one off piece it would have been far quicker doing it the old fashioned way too.

IMHO these lasers cutters really only come into their own when making multiple copies (kit production for instance). For one off's the time spent making the CAD file is at least as much as actually hand cutting the parts.
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Old 01-09-2016, 12:12 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by JetPlaneFlyer View Post
Playing devils advocate...

I could have cut that part out by tracing the old part onto the sheet of plywood and cutting out with a hand jig saw, or even quicker with a power saw. I honestly dont think there is any piece that's possible to lake with a laser cutter that you couldn't also make with hand tools. I'd bet that for a one off piece it would have been far quicker doing it the old fashioned way too.

IMHO these lasers cutters really only come into their own when making multiple copies (kit production for instance). For one off's the time spent making the CAD file is at least as much as actually hand cutting the parts.
I may be an old hand modeller brought up with printed sheet stock etc. But my cutting and shaping by hand is not the best. The laser of course comes into its own for kits or multiple cut jobs. I have all the parts I have drawn up saved as MDR files ready to make that part again.

As to CAD ... what CAD ?

Lets take the firewall I just made. (a + b etc. are by hand ... )

a) First is to take the remaining piece and trace it. Then to overlay reversed to trace the missing part.

That part equates imho to about the same time as it took me to scan and paste.

b) Next is to start cutting out - assuming the trace you did is onto the wood direct. 4mm plywood and its a small piece as well ... even with Marine Grade - the number of times top veneer sheers away during cutting.

I have a JPG file that loads into the Laser ... less than couple minutes to trace polylines and then send to cutter.

c) Hand cutting means cutting to a rough shape and finishing with files, sandpaper etc. to create the final shape.... not exactly quick ...

I have no finishing to do except to give a few wipes with sandpaper to remove excess ash from the cutter.

I have no missing veneer .. I have clean cuts .... it fits exact ....

To me the debate is like comparing Automatic Gearbox to Manual Gearbox. Both are good ... both work. One is not better than other ... just different ways to get to end result.

My posting this as with the last one with similar post from you JPF had similar reply from me. I applaud that you wish to spend time doing it by hand. I don't ... that's the simple truth. I had that new piece cut and fitted in less than 30 minutes including motor bolted back in place, ready to fly. Honestly - I don't think you could do that by hand unless you made your own shaped simple firewall. I wished to reproduce the original non square ...

Nigel

222kph PKJ,EDF Concorde, Mini4,Mig3,T45,PKJ twin,ME109,Edge540,Cessna182,Skymaster Biplane,F15,F16,Badius,Ultimate,SE5,Qbee10,450 Heli,V911,J3 Cub Founder 9x forum: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Flysky_RC_radio/
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Old 01-09-2016, 08:36 PM   #7
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The best part, you never have to cut it out again. A bad prop strike or nose it would destroy the same part, and it would take seconds to make a new one.

My dad has his laser, and we have used if. For the most part you can make the part easier by hand, but if it something you ever have to replace, it only takes seconds the next time.

Look at all the laser cut parts made by eflight and the slowstick mods. You could easily do the same thing and make a ton of kits yourself. After you draw it up once, its ready to go.

slow stock prop reversal. it flies! easily! 543 watt dual motor bipe slow stick. push-me-pull-you. 242 watt 3 channel slow stick. 365 watt mini ultra stick. 415 watt mini contender. 810 watt ultra stick .25e. 220 watt alpha 450 sport (retired).
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