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Day 99: laser cutting experiments


TurboSnail

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One of the potential solutions to the chassis issue for my 3D printed locos was to make frames from something else, with spacers - one of the materials tried is this laser cut Delrin - stable, low friction and pretty strong, and relatively cheap. However, it hasn't cut particularly well and is susceptible to warping, so I think this is a non-starter. Definitely worth an experiment though, and it provided the inspiration to try another method, which I think has worked well.

 

There's also a set of gears cut in the Delrin - nice, but not quite perfect geometry, so they don't run quietly. I think this would work really well for bigger gears, where the kerf of the laser isn't proportionally as large. 

 

The conrod shown is cut in plywood and is very fragile. I'm planning to try and reinforce it with something (wire? superglue?) and use them. Hopefully will be fine with some careful handling, certainly better than 3D printed efforts.

 

I don't mean to sound ungrateful to my laser cutting friend! It's definitely a great technique that has a lot of applications, but I think the super-precise mechanical parts are maybe not the place for it. 

 

day99.jpg.6863f9beb05cf75890aacbb0585e9ceb.jpg

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 Interesting to see this, as I have considered cutting out frames in (3mm) acrylic - this doesn't suffer the problems of warping, though finer parts are more likely to break (having done 16mm scale ornate Caledonian Railway benches).  It definitely opens up interesting possibilities for creating chassis for locos where no commercial one is suitable

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9 hours ago, Caley 439 said:

 Interesting to see this, as I have considered cutting out frames in (3mm) acrylic - this doesn't suffer the problems of warping, though finer parts are more likely to break (having done 16mm scale ornate Caledonian Railway benches).  It definitely opens up interesting possibilities for creating chassis for locos where no commercial one is suitable

3mm acrylic might be workable, though possibly not in OO - you run out of space to fit a motor and gears very quickly (the outside edges of most chassis are around 12mm apart). 16mm might be good though, you could definitely do the gears in it too (though delrin would still be best for gears). I've got another plan though that appears to be working using a different material, but I don't want to give away too much until I know it works!

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