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Other Does anyone own a laser cutter?

Discussion in 'General' started by liratheal, 15 Oct 2018.

  1. liratheal

    liratheal Sharing is Caring

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    Ideally capable of cutting something like 3mm plywood or 3mm solid colour acrylic for this daft DOOM pentagram desk inlay of mine.

    I've asked around a few companies and well. The cheapest quote I've had so far is £150 - but only if I have two made, so really, £300.

    Ideally 400x400, but 300x300 also works.

    So.. this might be better in the trading forum I guess since I'm technically asking for quotes or something? I dunno. Apologies to whichever mod has to work that one out!
     
  2. RedFlames

    RedFlames ...is not a Belgian football team

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    I might know someone, I've given them a prod and i'll let you know if/when they get back to me.
     
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  3. Journeyer

    Journeyer Well-Known Member

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    Couldn't you just use a scrollsaw?
     
  4. liratheal

    liratheal Sharing is Caring

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    The laser cutting is a backup plan to me not being as skilled as I think I am - Which hopefully I'll find out this weekend - but the complexity of it all makes it very easy to screw up so I'm half betting on needing a machine to do it for me.

    If I had access to one! Sadly, I do not.
     
    Last edited: 16 Oct 2018
  5. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    That seems suuuuuper expensive. Might be worth seeing if there's a nearby hackspace with a laser cutter - they'll normally charge a token amount per hour to cover electricity and wear and tear, after a training period so you don't set anything on fire. There's this one an hour away in Stoke-on-Trent, but there's no laser cutter on the equipment list.
     
  6. MLyons

    MLyons Half dev, Half doge. Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    Could also try local schools with engineering departments for the laser cutter.
     
  7. liratheal

    liratheal Sharing is Caring

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    Interesting. I'd not considered that - Although typical that that one in Stoke doesn't have a laser cuter!

    Sadly, my local schools are all 'science' and 'language' specialised, and I bet my socks the one I went to doesn't have any swanky kit! I'll have a google anyway, and see if there's anything engineering related not a million miles away.

    I'm glad I'm not totally out of place thinking the prices I've had back so far are .. Questionably high.
     
  8. MLyons

    MLyons Half dev, Half doge. Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    Mine was also a science school but the technology department had a laser cutter
     
  9. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    Absolutely they are. Have you tried one of the specialist online services, like RazorLAB? No minimum orders or setup fee, and it does 3mm acrylic in a range of colours as well as plywood and MDF (and 3mm corrugated card, if you wanted a cheaper way to try out a few designs before finalising it.)
     
  10. liratheal

    liratheal Sharing is Caring

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    Sadly, the schools around me range from "Oh.. That's a school? I thought it was a memorial to the blitz.." to "Oh.. That's not a prison?", and their budgets don't tend to get spent on stuff like that. Mine had, in my tenure, a full metal workshop and a woodshop - Metalshop was closed and dismantled due to 'budget' either during my time or very shortly after. I think the woodshop has a belt sander and a bandsaw these days. Maybe some hammers. And that was the 'best' highschool in the area.

    I have, as it happens, but no amount of following their instructions has prepared my 'art' in a format their website will accept. Which probably says more about me than their site - I'm waiting on a response from their help address at the moment.
     
  11. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    Annoying. Another one to try is DirtyPCBs' new laser-cutting service. It gets done in China with the very cheapest supplier, so comes out absolutely dirt cheap - *but* there's a five-piece minimum. May still work out cheaper than a one-off cut from the UK, though!
     
  12. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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    There is a guy on here that had one, but I don't remember his name. 1080? 1280? he has a Fallout avatar.. He did give a machine away that needed repair, but I think he had another.

    Mind you, not seen him about forever now.
     
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  13. 13eightyfour

    13eightyfour Formerly Titanium Angel

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    That'll be me :grin:

    I did give one of the lasers away, but I still have one of them that's in regular use and have done a few bits for forum members in the past. The cutting size of mine is 300x500 though.

    Lira, if you send over what you're looking for assuming you're happy enough with 300x300 I'll see what I can do, I've definitely got plywood in stock, and some acrylics (no idea on colours right now though). If I've got stock of something suitable for you it'll just be the postage costs to cover.
     
  14. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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    lol my memory isn't as bad as I thought it was :D

    Edit. You lurker you :D
     
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  15. liratheal

    liratheal Sharing is Caring

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    I mean, 300x300 would be fine - the 400x400 version I've been looking at is sodding huge. Perhaps, one might even say, too big.

    https://imgur.com/a/LNCSx5c

    That's the album I've been stuffing things into for linking purposes - I do have an .ai, a .svg, .psd, and .eps (I think..). Could probably also share the onedrive folder with you if that worked out easier.

    I've spoken to a company this morning and they're concerned that there's a lot of detail and no breaks in the cuts - So everything falls apart when you pick it up. Which made me think acrylic as I've got some solvent I could use to bond that to a clear layer without much fuss. I'd be fine with doing the little stuff with a dremel and my engraving bits(IE: Doomguy's face and all the splatter) if the main circles, pentagrams and demon/goat skull could be cut and I have a massive jigsaw puzzle.

    The look of the material it's cut out of is the least important aspect - It'll be between a dark grey/black tinted layer so you get the effect shown with the original image (also in that imgur album), all it needs to do is fairly successfully block light.
     
  16. 13eightyfour

    13eightyfour Formerly Titanium Angel

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    I think I'm struggling to picture exactly how you want it look/what you're looking for, it sounds like actually cutting out all of the parts, but is there a reason why it can't be 'engraved' with just the outer edge cut giving you a single piece?

    I can do either so it isn't an issue either way, just want to make sure I fully understand what it is that you need.
     
  17. liratheal

    liratheal Sharing is Caring

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    I think, the more I look at how laser cutters work, I need to re-draw it so there are sections cut out (Like the main rings and pentagram). So two lines rather than one thick one.

    It could, potentially, be engraved - But the back lighting won't be as effective without a lot of manual painting.

    I think the best way to explain it is those smart-mirror things - It looks like a mirror when it's off, but has the text/info when it's on? Except, a black square when it's off, and the pentagram/circles/etc illuminated when on.
     
  18. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    Piece of smoked plastic. Vinyl cutter. Black vinyl. Use vinyl cutter to make vinyl decal. Apply vinyl decal to underside of plastic. ???. Profit.

    Much, *much* easier than what you're trying to do with a laser cutter. Also cheaper. Same effect: looks solid when dark, decal shows up when lit.
     
  19. liratheal

    liratheal Sharing is Caring

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    You and your relentless logic!

    I hadn't even considered that as an option - And you're right, that might be infinitely cheaper/easier. Given that one of our customers has a vinyl cutter..
     
  20. 13eightyfour

    13eightyfour Formerly Titanium Angel

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    Vinyl would definitely be the easier option to achieve what you want, you'll probably still have to re-draw the pentagram into the individual paths for the cutter, but it'll be much easier than having to piece together all the cut bits from a laser cutter, it looks like there would be 28 pieces just in the teeth alone!
     

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