ooo

Home engineering question

11 posts in this topic

I know a lot of you have experience fabricating stuff at work and at home, so hopefully you can help me. I want to find a way to automatically cut panels like this:

18InstrumentPanelSheetMetal.jpg?width=73

With mainly circular holes, but some slots and squares, my panels will be around 30x15 cm so quite small, ideally I would like to cut 2mm thick sheet aluminium, but could I  switch to perspex type stuff too if that's easier ??

I guess factorys use lasers or pucnhes to do this, but can I use a CNC machine ?, and has anyone tried crappy stuff from ebay ?

What sort of machine do I need ? and how much do they cost.

Also are there any that can do laser engraving as well as cutting ?

 

Cheers !!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How many are you making? Are you going to be making any the same in the future?

If it's a one off I would invest in some decent home saws / starret cutters of the right size and some marking out tools. If you're planning on doing many then a profiler will be able to laser cut them for you, they should save the program which will save time and money on the next batch. You will get stung with a minimum order charge though so a more viable option if you're doing more panels.

If you go down the cnc route then it will save time if you can produce your panels as dxf files, the profiler will then be able to transfer it straight into the cnc laser. You need to be able to use autocad or similar though and your drawings need to be accurate.

Doing them in perspex would require a cnc router rather than a laser cutter, most plastics fabricators would be able to cut them out for you though.

edit: most cnc lasers will be able to engrave at the same time as cutting.

Edited by forteh

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I 'll be doing quite a lot of them, by hand isn't really an option. But obviously I am limited by cost, a few hundred quid is okay, but has to be under a grand really for the stuff.

I'm fine with CAD software, I used a CNC cutter once many moons ago. I'm trying to work out what I would need and what is realistic, the tolerance doesn't need to be super accurate it just has to be neat.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Get your drawings over to some profilers and see what they come back with. If you're working to a price point why not mild steel or is weight an issue?

The more you do, the cheaper it will be with commercial laser cutting.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you switch to perspex, this place can do custom laser cutting on plastics for like £20 and you can probably get multiples of the same panel in the size they can cut up to (384 x 384mm). You can upload .eps files and the website will automatically give you a quote. I've only gotten a quote from them though, never an actual piece cos I'm too lazy to finish my projects lol. Maybe you can be the guinea pig so I can see how well their laser cutting is.

http://www.razorlab.co.uk/

Edited by weirdoku
1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lasers by far your best and cheapest option , you should be able to get each one done for a round £40 going off the job I was quoted on recently 

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Brilliant thanks guys, i will get some quotes for laser cutting. And I can maybe use razorlab to get my prototypes done instead.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Whenever I get stuff laser cut through work for my own projects these guys often seem to be the cheapest of our suppliers for small/thin/fiddly bits. They should be able to give you a quote from .dwg or .dxf files. (maybe other file types too, but I've never needed to know.)

http://www.laser.co.uk/

(I've no idea what they're like to deal with as an individual though, but they're good with small jobs for a large company. Hopefully they're decent!)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm currently building my own CNC router...

IMG_20160318_185042751_HDR.jpg

IMG_20160318_185030408.jpg

IMG_20160318_185015037.jpg

3 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.