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Anyone use a laser cutter for chassis?

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  • Anyone use a laser cutter for chassis?

    Does anyone use a laser cutter for making custom chassis? I have access to one and was wondering if there is a place to acquire the designs or at least get a starter design that I can edit in a program to fit my purposes? Finally what free programs do you use to create or edit these designs? My last question what materials and thickness is a good starting point to work with. I've heard of G10 being a good material, but can't seem to find something online that looks like what I want.
    Last edited by Loan Shark; December 5, 2020, 10:39 PM.
    Loan Shark aka Matt
    I am Alive because Organ Donation Worked... TWICE

  • #2
    Last year I took a tour of my local Makerspace and they had a CNC driven laser cutter. If there is a Makerspace near you you could call and find out if there is anyone there that can answer your questions.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by RichD View Post
      Last year I took a tour of my local Makerspace and they had a CNC driven laser cutter. If there is a Makerspace near you you could call and find out if there is anyone there that can answer your questions.
      We don't have one here.
      Loan Shark aka Matt
      I am Alive because Organ Donation Worked... TWICE

      Comment


      • #4

        Matt, lots of steel chassis are laser cut,..........as far as chassis designs, you are more or less on your own, unless you copy some existing stuff. The end usage of the chassis will heavily influence its design,....so,...what do you want it for??........1/24th, 1/32, ...what type of tracks. what motors, will you be using sponge or "hard" tires.??.....lots of questions before the design takes place.

        Cheers
        Chris Walker

        The following are all 1/32.....meant for club type racing, using rubber/urethane tires and typical plastic chassis car motors.

        Click image for larger version  Name:	fetch?id=3037&d=1571864750.jpg Views:	88 Size:	75.7 KB ID:	67657


        Click image for larger version  Name:	DSCN4618.jpg Views:	0 Size:	209.5 KB ID:	67783



        Click image for larger version  Name:	fetch?id=51331&d=1598533704.jpg Views:	88 Size:	210.1 KB ID:	67658
        Last edited by chrisguyw; December 6, 2020, 05:58 PM.

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        • #5
          I haven't used a laser cutter for a chassis but have cut some scale aircraft airframes on one. I did consider a slot chassis as a good project, but decided the development work to get to the speed where it might be competitive with current plastic chassis cars would take more time (and skill ) than I have. For a starting point I thought about taking ideas from the commercial steel frame pan type chassis. G10 would be the material I would use. As RichD suggested, if you have a local makerspace, check with them, they usually offer how to classes and have lots of experience working with different materials. Any of the available 2D vector drawing programs should work for doing your drawings (you can use a 3D program if you are familiar with one but the third dimension isn't needed for through cuts). I use Corel Draw but I'm a dinosaur who worked with it for decades professionally and just hung onto my last version when I retired.
          cheers
          Scott
          Edit: oops too slow posting - pay more attention to Chris than to me. Does the laser you have access to have the capability of cutting steel? If so, that's the way to go - I just chose G10 as the lased cutter I use doesn't do metal cutting.
          Last edited by GT6; December 5, 2020, 11:00 PM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by chrisguyw View Post
            Matt, lots of steel chassis are laser cut,..........as far as chassis designs, you are more or less on your own, unless you copy some existing stuff. The end usage of the chassis will heavily influence its design,....so,...what do you want it for??........1/24th, 1/32, ...what type of tracks. what motors, will you be using sponge or "hard" tires.??.....lots of questions before the design takes place.

            Cheers
            Chris Walker



            Click image for larger version  Name:	fetch?id=3037&d=1571864750.jpg Views:	11 Size:	75.7 KB ID:	67657



            Click image for larger version  Name:	fetch?id=51331&d=1598533704.jpg Views:	11 Size:	210.1 KB ID:	67658
            My thoughts were for 1/32, updating some Fly & other manufacturers bodies with a better chassis. Maybe even test for some Proxies. Running on wood routed tracks almost exclusively, running on urethane and rubber. Possibly building Slot.it pods into them.
            Last edited by Loan Shark; December 5, 2020, 11:38 PM.
            Loan Shark aka Matt
            I am Alive because Organ Donation Worked... TWICE

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by GT6 View Post
              I haven't used a laser cutter for a chassis but have cut some scale aircraft airframes on one. I did consider a slot chassis as a good project, but decided the development work to get to the speed where it might be competitive with current plastic chassis cars would take more time (and skill ) than I have. For a starting point I thought about taking ideas from the commercial steel frame pan type chassis. G10 would be the material I would use. As RichD suggested, if you have a local makerspace, check with them, they usually offer how to classes and have lots of experience working with different materials. Any of the available 2D vector drawing programs should work for doing your drawings (you can use a 3D program if you are familiar with one but the third dimension isn't needed for through cuts). I use Corel Draw but I'm a dinosaur who worked with it for decades professionally and just hung onto my last version when I retired.
              cheers
              Scott
              Edit: oops too slow posting - pay more attention to Chris than to me. Does the laser you have access to have the capability of cutting steel? If so, that's the way to go - I just chose G10 as the lased cutter I use doesn't do metal cutting.
              I'm betting this laser cutter doesn't cut metal, so G10 would be my choice as well. Where do I find a source for it? Google and online stores haven't been any help at all.
              Loan Shark aka Matt
              I am Alive because Organ Donation Worked... TWICE

              Comment


              • GT6
                GT6 commented
                Editing a comment
                I got mine at the local electronics shop (people use it as a base for electronics projects) but a look at Amazon or eBay under "G10 sheet" brought up quite a selection.
                cheers
                Scott

            • #8
              McMaster-Carr is a good source for raw materials and hardware. www.mcmaster.com

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              • #9
                More technology and equipment that would be fun to play with.

                Comment


                • #10
                  Absolutely have at that.

                  Look into the machine you have access to, ask a few questions of who uses it, find out what it can cut and what file you have to supply.

                  Then work up a test file and see what you can get.

                  I would love to see an affordable laser cutter in the marketplace that could cut 0.030” brass or steel - but I don’t think those are at consumer cost levels.

                  But cutting other materials could be really useful as well.

                  NYMODIFIEDS.COM

                  Comment


                  • Loan Shark
                    Loan Shark commented
                    Editing a comment
                    It belongs to my daughter. She uses it in her crafting business. I don't have the specs right now but it cost $8k Cdn. She mentioned she uses a Glowforge account to upload the designs. She can create the designs as svg files on Cricut, Inkscape, or Adobe Illustrator.
                    Last edited by Loan Shark; December 7, 2020, 01:04 AM.

                  • Vintage 1/24
                    Vintage 1/24 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Adobe illustrator is the all around gold standard tool to my thinking, but reasonable people differ.

                    Whatever you use, create a test file and see how it works. How small a diameter hole can the machine cut, how thick and which materials can it handle, what do the edges look like, how smooth are continous curves, how sharp are hard corners, can you cut half-depth scores, how close can you make two cut out shapes next to each other, all that kind of fooling around.

                    Find out what it can do - then work with that. That unique tool may prove really useful.
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