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 Laser Cutting

 

FX Models staff create many of the master patterns for models by utilizing  our in-house laser cutter. This allows us to use popular CAD programs to create master files of parts, send them to the cutter, and then reproduce them in any scale or material. Our laser cutter is a 24 x 24 open industrial table that allows us to put much larger stock through it than the table might normally allow. The laser has been upgraded recently to a nice 25 watt system and we can do everything from engraving a photo on a piece of kleenex (we did!) to cutting 1/2 inch acrylic. At this wattage, metal is still out of reach so no brass sheet can be cut yet. The beam width is 0.007 inch. Very fine detail is routinely achieved.

FX Models is also the originator of the  DME  (Direct Model Engraving) process by which we engrave directly onto model patterns of many kinds to in many cases triple or quadruple the level of visible detail.  The web site in general as well as this page contain numerous examples of this process in practice. 

Below are examples of the laser cutter at work and of its output.

 

 

Laser Cutter table (right side of image) and vertical laser head (center of image)

 

 

Our 1/192 688-i shows laser cut detail very clearly in this image.

 

Disney Nautilus ornate wheelhouse gussets 

laser cut with rivet detail (not very visible!)

 

Tail Shroud ring for the Disney Nautilus project. Laser cut from 

3 separate acrylic pieces and solvent adhered together to form a strong arched part. 

 

 

For the Nautilus Project, the entire interior was laser cut, including ship's wheel, 

the grid floor in the forward part of the wheelhouse, rails for the spiral staircase, the 

spiral staircase itself, ornate gussets in the wheelhouse, plus other details.

 

 

This specimen table from  'Nemo's salon' in the Disney Nautilus was 

created in a CAD program first, then laser cut, assembled, and painted. 

The jars of specimens are just circles cut out of  acrylic of differing thickness and diameters.

 

 

Test cutting the Nautilus grid deck with styrene. The final floor

was cut in acrylic. Here you can see the laser head as it cuts a square.

 

 

Cutting RC Aircraft ribs from CAD plans

 

 

The laser cutter can engrave at the same time that it cuts 

so in this image you can see the rib identifiers are engraved in the ribs that are

also then cut. It is a good practice to do all engraving cuts first so placement of the engraved 

detail is not affected if the part shifts after being cut from its medium.

 

 

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