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monkeytennis

Laser Cut Acrylic

8 posts in this topic

I stumbled across a company called RazorLAB online that offer a laser cutting/engraving service with an instant online-quote facility.  They accept Inkscape (a free vector drawing program) files so I thought I'd give them a try as an experiment.

 

I wanted to get a complete set of slats laser cut as for my last Dalek I was able to cut them on a band saw at work but have since changed jobs and no longer have access to their workshop equipment.

 

RazorLAB offer three different size template files that must be used to generate an online quote.  The largest size; P3, could only fit 15 large slats and 8 small ones so I had to finish drawing the slats onto their second largest size template, P2.  As I only needed a couple of slats and a couple of spares I also added some spokes for an early gun and a clear disc the right size to slot into the front of a soup tin.

 

To make sure I didn't waste too much money, I just ordered the P2 file to start with, just to be sure I had got drawing correct.   The material was 3mm thick, clear acrylic sheet.

 

Those four slats, four gun spokes and clear disc cost me £22.50 including VAT and delivery.  I ordered them on the 11th and they arrived today, although they state it could take 28 days for delivery.

 

They were delivered, taped together in a hand-written jiffy bag, so I'm guessing it isn't an especially big company.  That said, the parts look good, with nice edges and accurate sizing (I checked with my vernier calipers).  You can just about see the quantisation of the laser steps so the edges aren't 100% smooth but they are as good as can be expected.

 

The clear slat is a spare from my last Dalek and is a couple of mm oversized.

 

I'm going to order the rest of the slats now.  If they come out okay then I shall put the Inkscape files in the download area.  I'd love to know if anyone else has similar experiences, and how the prices compare.

 

IMG_0596.JPGimage1.JPGimage2.JPGimage3.JPGimage4.JPGimage5.JPG

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Very nice. :) I have a box full of laser cut octagons just like those, that I had made a couple of years ago. If you run into problems and need any spares, give me a shout.

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Is RazorLAB versatile with what software programs you can give them? I hope they do AutoCAD or another form of CAD software :S 

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On their website it looks like their online quote system only accepts Adobe Illustrator, Inkscape or CoralDRAW files but I guess you could email them to find out.  Maybe you could export to an intermediate file format and then import that into one of their accepted programs?

 

-------

 

Incidentally, I just put through my order for the remaining slats and it cost a further £49.33 including VAT and delivery.  Not the cheapest method of making slats but it is convenient.

Edited by monkeytennis
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I was able to find a shop that sells acrylics around my area:

 

http://www.northernplasticsupplies.com.au/

 

However I think it would be a lot harder to get something custom from them. 

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My remaining slats arrived today.  They look good.  Ready for painting.

 

So for a full set of slats, with some spares, and the gun mantles it cost me in total £71.83.  Not cheap, but it is one job ticked off with only a couple of hours effort.

 

(Pending approval) The Inkscape files are available in the Downloads section here: 

 

IMG_0927.JPGimage1 (14).JPG

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Just downloaded  the P2 file and opened it in Inkscape. When I zoom in I can see the disk and four slats, but not the octagons. Are the octagons present in the file in the downloads section?

 

Thanks

 

ian

OK - answering my own question: you have to be super zoomed in to see the octagons: I'm at 700% now!

 

ian

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Yeah, unfortunately the line width needs to be microscopic, otherwise it will make multiple cuts (as the width of the laser beam is tiny) and will cost much more to produce.

 

It is a pain and made the file a bit of a nightmare to make.

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