Friday, 4 July 2014

Laser Cut parts

posted 31 Oct 2013 06:43 by David Taylor
I just got back from EcoLaser in Alberton where I picked up the first parts I ever had laser cut.
Click to see the full size image
(Click to see full size image)
I sent these guys the dxf files I created using OpenSCAD and specified the fact that I needed the big parts cut from 3mm aluminium while the small bits should be cut from 4.5mm. They quoted me R 26.16 for a set. I had to get 6 sets to fulfil their minimum order, but at least now I have a couple of sets I can experiment on. They fit my trucks perfectly.
When I was shopping around for quotes I did ask for a quote to have the same parts CNC'd. The quote I got back was more that R 1500.00 for one set.
Stephan from StreamlineCNC was nice enough to send me the reply below when I asked him to explain the big difference in price:
The different methods used in machining and laser cutting make it very difficult for me to compete directly with their pricing.

In the case of the Tool Carrier, for instance. They would likely cut all their 3mm alu orders from different clients together. The plate lies loose on the bed of the machine and once cut, the parts just need to be picked up and delivered. On the cnc I need to write a cad program which is not as basic as for their machine. I need to clamp the alu plate down to cut it, so in your case it will need a jig with tapped holes made specifically for your plate which I will likely not use again. This also need a cad program to be written for specifically and a separate piece of alu to be cut out of. I need to load the tools in the machine for that job. It might be that some of the tools needed will already be in the machine, but not always likely. Then that set of tools need to be calibrated and that program loaded and orientated to the piece of material. Although your job is not a very complicated one, all these operations have to be done before we cut. That is also the reason that it gets less expensive the more parts you do in one set-up.
 Stephan did warn me that the laser cut parts are much worse quality that what you would get from laser cutting thought.
Click to see full size image
(Click to see the full sized image)
These parts are going to need quite a bit of sanding and filing before they can be used.
I've also bought an E3D-v5 All metal HotEnd. Now if only international and South African shipping was as good as RoyalMail.

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