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GNRi1959

Laser Cutter

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Is there a desktop laser cutter on the market that can cut plasticard easily from autoCad drawings? Anyone with experience of these machines?

 

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Laser cutters and plastics (styrene) gives off some poisonous gas, IIRC. Chlorine gas I think. I think thicker acrylic is ok. What thickness of material are you looking at? R. 

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51 minutes ago, Glenderg said:

Laser cutters and plastics (styrene) gives off some poisonous gas, IIRC. Chlorine gas I think. I think thicker acrylic is ok. What thickness of material are you looking at? R. 

There's no chlorine in styrene, but the fumes are certainly not good for you.

Chlorine could become available from some other polymers, notably PVC, obviously.

It would be wise to avoid any polymer (partial) combustion products.

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5 hours ago, Glenderg said:

Laser cutters and plastics (styrene) gives off some poisonous gas, IIRC. Chlorine gas I think. I think thicker acrylic is ok. What thickness of material are you looking at? R. 

Thicknesses suitable to produce wagon sides and ends. Can they cut Wills Scenic sheets (random stone etc) so I can produce buildings I've drawn up?

 

Edited by GNRi1959

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Wills sheets are 2-3mm thick, but easy to score and snap using a craft knife. No experience of laser cutters, but sounds like they come with a few things to beware of.

 An alternative might be to try York Model Makers. They advertise in the magazines and produce a host of architectural fittings such as doors and windows. High quality and good value. In 7mm scale windows come in under a pound a piece and when microstrip now costs around 45p per 300mm length, it makes you stop and think.

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Cutting wills sheets with a craft knife can be very dangerous. I’ve had one or two very deep cuts after blades slipped!

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46 minutes ago, GNRi1959 said:

Cutting wills sheets with a craft knife can be very dangerous. I’ve had one or two very deep cuts after blades slipped!

Olfa (and others) make "plastic cutters" which are a much safer option than the standard 'Stanley knife' approach.

PC-L_4_enl.jpg

They work by 'ploughing' a V-shaped groove which is then used to snap the sheet.

Much less scope for personal damage....

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11 hours ago, GNRi1959 said:

Cutting wills sheets with a craft knife can be very dangerous. I’ve had one or two very deep cuts after blades slipped!

Would be a liar if I said I had no scars (picking up a soldering iron at the hot end is a bad idea too). However, provided the blade is really sharp, then you don't need to apply too much pressure and hence the knife is less likely to slip. Have used craft knives with snap off blades for years. As soon as the tip starts to wear, simply snap off a new one.

 (Mostly) works for me, though the Olfa gizmo certainly looks good.

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