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Examples - 2mm plywood parts for scale aircraft.

The builder of this 1/8 scale Short Singapore is Mr. Alastair Rivers from plans by Mr. Clive Henderson's.
Laser cutting by High Tech Carving.

The laser cut parts required.

The Wings

10 minutes cut time

16 minutes cut time

17 minutes cut time

Please note :- Not all parts shown.

25 minutes cut time

32 minutes cut time

The Fuselage

16 minutes cut time

13 minutes cut time

13 minutes cut time

10 minutes cut time

16 minutes cut time

5 minutes cut time

18 minutes cut time

23 minutes cut time

19 minutes cut time

The repetitive bits.

29 minutes cut time

25 minutes cut time

14 minutes cut time

28 minutes cut time

37 minutes cut time

38 minutes cut time

36 minutes cut time

36 minutes cut time

30 minutes cut time

25 minutes cut time


Total recorded laser cutting time was 

8 hours 41 minutes.

How long would it take by hand?

How the parts were made
Producing laser cut parts from CAD vector files.

If you are interested in getting parts cut from your paper plans look here.
We are happy to do it but there is more work involved. 

Step 1 :-
The builder of the 1/8 scale Short Singapore Mr.Alastair Rivers gave us DXF files of the parts to be cut.

Mr. Clive Henderson's had drawn the plans and laid the parts out in his TurboCAD draughting package.

As we come from a draughting background, we run the latest versions of AutoCAD, Rhino and are currently running CoralDRAW  X3 and an old licence of Solidworks. Thus we can handle and convert a lot of vector-based files.

Generally files are suppled in one of the industrially recognised vector based formats. Such as DXF, DWG, HPGL etc.
If you are running a CAD package that does not use the above please discuss this with us so we can get the best method of transferring your data.

Step 2 :-
We then load the files into a drawing program (such as AutoCAD) to check we can read them and no glitches have occurred in the data conversion.

We have a look at the files for possible problems and then export the files to the laser.

Step 3 :-
The files then have their cutting speeds and powers applied to them before the start button is pressed. For this material the speed was set at 30, the main power set at 80% and the cornering power set at 50%. This resulted in a 0.22mm cut width.

Step 4 :-
Now the laser is cutting the material.
The laser is cutting nominal 1.6mm 3 ply Plywood (actual 2.0mm thick)
The cut width is a nominal 0.22mm.

The finished part.

These parts did not have any 'bridges' left between the parts and the surrounding scrap. This meant that there was a jigsaw puzzle for Alastair to do before he could start assembly. Also the plywood has quite a bit of inbuilt tension in it. When a part is totally cut out it can spring up and catch the laser head. This can result in a reject job and potential damage to the laser.

Alastair's hard work coming together on the Empanage.

Click to enlarge