Is anyone here able to lasercut some metal parts?

DGE-Railroad

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I think I may need to get some rods and linkages cut. Is there anyone on here (andnin the UK) that can offer that service if I can provide the required files?

I thought I may as well ask the question as it would be nicer to pay a member of the community than a faceless organisation that Google suggests :)
 

Paul M

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I think I may need to get some rods and linkages cut. Is there anyone on here (andnin the UK) that can offer that service if I can provide the required files?

I thought I may as well ask the question as it would be nicer to pay a member of the community than a faceless organisation that Google suggests :)
There was a company at the last Garden Railway Show in Peterborough, heaven knows what their name is though! They were selling cheap metal lazer cut spanners.
 

PhilP

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Wouldn't be Engineers Laser, would it?

Though I think they tend to do Model Engineering parts?
 

PhilP

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There is a chap on GRF 'Busted Bricks' but he is in Europe..

A set of Frames, Stretchers, and Rods was about £14 with a similar figure, for carriage.
This was (18?) months ago, though.

PhilP.
 

DGE-Railroad

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Thanks both :)
I'll try Busted Bricks and Engineers Laser. I hadn't thought of the latter.

PhilP PhilP GRF? It's probably obvious but I'm a bear of little brain!
 

PhilP

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Thanks both :)
I'll try Busted Bricks and Engineers Laser. I hadn't thought of the latter.

PhilP PhilP GRF? It's probably obvious but I'm a bear of little brain!
Model Engineers Laser were at Peterborough in 2018..

GRF is the Garden Rails Forum..

PhilP
 
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Northsider

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Laser cutters to cut metal are much more expensive and therefore rarer. For example, most schools (my own included) have machines that will cut wood/paper/card/polymers, but not metal...

If you can find a bored model engineer with a milling machine, they may be happy to do what you need.
 
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DGE-Railroad

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Laser cutters to cut metal are much more expensive and therefore rarer. For example, most schools (my own included) have machines that will cut wood/paper/card/polymers, but not metal...

If you can find a bored model engineer with a milling machine, they may be happy to do what you need.

Yes, sorry I'd meant if someone worked in the industry. I wasn't expecting someone to have one in the garage :)
Although on here, it wouldn't completely suprise me!

I did wonder if I could invest in a small and cheap CNC router that'd be able to mill aluminium, even if it meant taking slow and light cuts. It'd only need to something like an A5 or A4 sized bed.

Given I'm working with G-code a fair bit. It'd be extremely useful to be able to use the 3D printer or CNC router dependant on the part.

It soon became clear though that even with very humble requirements, the machine would probably need to be £800+ and that's definitely out of my league.
 

DGE-Railroad

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More research and I've found this
DIY CNC Router
Which would be capable of milling aluminium with light cuts and the correct feed rates/cutters, etc.

At the risk of adding another project to the ever-growing pile, I think I may have a go at it in 2021. If it's capable of doing this, for the price of a 3D printer, it would make a great companion for these sort of tasks
 

phils2um

Phil S
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Don't want to intrude on you CNC router fun;), but have you considered water jet cutting for your rods? It might be another option for getting complex flat pieces cut from sheet stock if you can find someone near you. Price shouldn't be too outrageous.
 
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maxi-model

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Interesting thread. I have been wanting to get a lengthened connecting rod for my "shortie" heavily modified Annie chassis - The cylinders are closed right up to the leading drivers and pistons connected to the trailing axle, bit like their Fn3 2-6-6-2. The idea was to create a pair of them to make a basis for a Mallet. Really need to take a picture to show. Thought about getting them machined(4) but then other things and sanity took over. Max
 

Paul M

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More research and I've found this
DIY CNC Router
Which would be capable of milling aluminium with light cuts and the correct feed rates/cutters, etc.

At the risk of adding another project to the ever-growing pile, I think I may have a go at it in 2021. If it's capable of doing this, for the price of a 3D printer, it would make a great companion for these sort of tasks
That looks a useful bit of kit. If it's as good as they say, it looks perfect for creating parts to assemble like kits. Foam board modelling would be a lot easier, especially if you're scoring brickwork
 
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PhilP

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That looks a useful bit of kit. If it's as good as they say, it looks perfect for creating parts to assemble like kits. Foam board modelling would be a lot easier, especially if you're scoring brickwork
The problem is, it would cut through the top surface of the foamboard..
Really, for mortar - courses, you want to indent, but leave the surface layer intact.. :nerd:
 
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DGE-Railroad

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Don't want to intrude on you CNC router fun;), but have you considered water jet cutting for your rods? It might be another option for getting complex flat pieces cut from sheet stock if you can find someone near you. Price shouldn't be too outrageous.
That's a really good point Phil. Thanks for suggesting it.
I think if I wanted only flat parts that'd be the way forwards, what's appealing about holding off and trying the DIY router option is that I'll also be able to try more 3-dimensional small parts like wheels, rods with yokes and such.
 

DGE-Railroad

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The problem is, it would cut through the top surface of the foamboard..
Really, for mortar - courses, you want to indent, but leave the surface layer intact.. :nerd:
Good point. I guess you might be able to use a blunt tool in the collet and without turning the router on, just perform a tiny negative z movement and then trace the design? That'd tick the indent box I'd have thought.
 

Paul M

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Good point. I guess you might be able to use a blunt tool in the collet and without turning the router on, just perform a tiny negative z movement and then trace the design? That'd tick the indent box I'd have thought.
Even setting everything thing up to the right depth etc, an manually sliding the piece to be indented would be less of a faff than a ruler
 

DGE-Railroad

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Well I've ordered some hardware to get me started. I'll start a separate thread on the build and keep the posts coming once I get the chance to try it.

Actually, trying the indent-tracing out on foamex/board will be a great first test before trying to mill anything, especially metal.
 

PhilP

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I will also follow this with interest..

I have long considered a CNC drill /mill would probably be of more use to me than a 3D printer?

PhilP
 

DGE-Railroad

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I will also follow this with interest..

I have long considered a CNC drill /mill would probably be of more use to me than a 3D printer?

PhilP
My reasoning is similar Phil - it was always one of those things I wanted and had reasons to use, but I couldn't justify the space and cost for an ex-industrial one, especially since my needs were quite small :) All the cheap chinese desktop ones seem to struggle with milling soft metal and often require a fair bit of upgrading in the first place.

Another thing that had put me off 10 years or so ago was the whole CNC control environment, which seemed pretty proprietary. The rise of the 3D printer has driven progress there I think and it's more integrated into a process I'm more familiar with.

The parts should start arriving in the next couple of weeks, by which time I should have printed off all of the 3D parts. Once I have a pile of bits, I'll post something.
I'll no doubt need help from folks here when it comes to the wiring and programming. The latter seems a bit involved and I think some people have struggled with it.

It all looks very well designed and supported though, so I'm feeling positive about it.
 
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