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Other Google Sketchup to Laser cutting

Discussion in 'General' started by DeadP1xels, 13 Jun 2019.

  1. DeadP1xels

    DeadP1xels Music Enthusiast

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    Quick one,

    I have a model in Google SketchUp that features a control panel I'd like to have laser cut for switches, faders and a crystal display. I want it to fit relatively flush and clean which is why I don't want to try botch it myself.

    I'm not too fussed what its made from at this stage metal, acrylic or plywood its just to get something more physical in my hands besides some cardboard.

    My questions Is two fold

    1) What extension/program will I need to get my panel into the correct format for laser cutting or What freeware software could I used to create designs for laser cutting

    2) Where would your recommended go-to service would be for these kind of small volume projects?
     
  2. Goatee

    Goatee Well-Known Member

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    Do you have a maker space locally?

    Do you have a link to the file? Is it if your own making?
     
  3. DeadP1xels

    DeadP1xels Music Enthusiast

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    Not that I’m aware of, nope because I need to turn into something more suitable filetype wise

    I’ve just been recommended LibreCAD, I’m not fully sure how to use it quite yet but I’m sure I could learn it seems simple enough

    I’ve just tried some googling for services that will provide some sort of instant quote with a basic shape and it seemed to be a lot more than I expected...
     
  4. liratheal

    liratheal Sharing is Caring

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    Having looked into laser cutting on more than one occasion, the most cost effective way about it seems to be finding the nearest maker space with a social media presence and a laser cutter of the appropriate dimensions, and finding someone who'll take your file and cut it in exchange for beer and/or cash. Or going, learning what you need to do yourself, and doing it yourself if it's close enough.
     
  5. Goatee

    Goatee Well-Known Member

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    Is it a .skp file (default sketchup file)?

    Have you considered 3d printing?
     
  6. VipersGratitude

    VipersGratitude Well-Known Member

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    In my experience the best CAD/CAM workflow is Autodesk Fusion 360. It's not freeware, but the license costs nothing for hobbyists or businesses with less than $100k turnover.
    The extension you want to use is .dxf
    As for where to get it cut, it's cheapest to use a local makerspace as others have pointed out, using an online service is prohibitively expensive for a project where you just want something a little more tangible.
     
  7. Nealieboyee

    Nealieboyee Packaging Master!

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    @DeadP1xels What size is the panel? I could CNC it for you. No charge. I have some 1.5mm and 3mm aluminium lying around I could use. Or walnut, maple, plywood, polycarbonate. Whatever you want.
     
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  8. 13eightyfour

    13eightyfour Formerly Titanium Angel

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    I use CorelDraw for all my laser files, mainly because it integrates perfectly with my lasers required software. I've used inkscape and illustrator in the past but they require an additional step or two to produce the cutting file.
     
  9. Flibblebot

    Flibblebot Smile with me

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    I've got a Cohesion3D board with RPi running LaserWeb in my laser cutter, so my laser workflow is Illustrator -> Export as DXF -> Import to LaserWeb -> Cut

    For me, it's Illustrator for 2D stuff and Fusion360 for 3D stuff. I was never brave enough to insert the dodgy Chinese thumbstick into my PC :eeek:
     
  10. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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  11. Goatee

    Goatee Well-Known Member

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    Does increasing the number of sides for curves get round that?
     
  12. Nealieboyee

    Nealieboyee Packaging Master!

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    I haven't got around to learning fusion properly yet, so I still use SU. I use an export to STL plugin which works beautifully when importing into Aspire or Vcarve.
     
  13. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    @Goatee - Yes and no. For a switch panel it's fine, for a bushing or slip fit part, it sucks. It can make your SU and G-code file sizes absurdly big too.
    The amount of sanding to smooth out even a 100 side polygon compared to a proper curve is significant.
     
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  14. Goatee

    Goatee Well-Known Member

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    That’s interesting to know. Hadn’t thought about that.
     

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