Laser cutting plexiglass and plant ills drawing

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Laser cutting plexiglass and plant ills drawing

Postby Enrico Schiaffella » Tue Sep 11, 2018 7:45 am

Yesterday I talked to a guy who could precisely laser cut a guitar plantilla on a piece of plexiglass.

He said he would need a vectorial drawing. He suggested to use illustrator. Is there anybody here who is familiar with this process?

So far I used autocad and raster images but the curve to me was not very smooth... thanks
Enrico Schiaffella
 
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Re: Laser cutting plexiglass and plant ills drawing

Postby Freeman Keller » Tue Sep 11, 2018 11:32 am

Enrico, cnc lasers are used quite often in industry now - I come from metal fabrication and we cut most of our sheet metal pieces with lasers. As you know, Taylor makes a lot of parts with lasers - you can turn the power down and inscribe on them if you want text or lines or something.

The usual process is to design your part with a 2D drafting program - it must be a vector drawing (not a bit map). Autocadd is a perfectly acceptable design tool - just make sure that you make all of the curves continuous splines - the laser doesn't like gaps. Export your drawing as a dxf file and give it to the laser guy and he can do the rest.

The metal plate in this picture is a template for the top of a tri cone resonator that I will use for routing. It was drawn in Autocadd and cut on a metal working laser

Image
Freeman Keller
 
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Re: Laser cutting plexiglass and plant ills drawing

Postby Enrico Schiaffella » Tue Sep 11, 2018 12:12 pm

Thanks Freeman. So, if I correctly understand, I insert a raster image of a guitar shape that I am interested in. I trace the body outline using the tool spline. Save that as a def file. My only doubt is how accurate should I be in tracing the contour? Are there different levels of accuracy? I am afraid that the laser cutter will copy bumps in the plantilla. Is it reasonably easy to figure out if I did a good job in tracing the outline? Many thanks
Enrico Schiaffella
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2012 9:46 am

Re: Laser cutting plexiglass and plant ills drawing

Postby Mark Fogleman » Tue Sep 11, 2018 2:51 pm

Have you looked at Inkscape? It is what I use to export to svg but for a plotter/cutter.
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Re: Laser cutting plexiglass and plant ills drawing

Postby Freeman Keller » Tue Sep 11, 2018 3:34 pm

Enrico Schiaffella wrote:Thanks Freeman. So, if I correctly understand, I insert a raster image of a guitar shape that I am interested in. I trace the body outline using the tool spline. Save that as a def file. My only doubt is how accurate should I be in tracing the contour? Are there different levels of accuracy? I am afraid that the laser cutter will copy bumps in the plantilla. Is it reasonably easy to figure out if I did a good job in tracing the outline? Many thanks


There are a variety of ways to draw smooth curves with most drafting programs. One is to draw circles or arcs and connect them with line segments, another is to locate points on your curve and connect them with poly lines. The point is, you want a smooth continuous line with no wobbles or gaps. The laser cutter will have its own software that drives the cutting head, very much like in the old cadd days when we used pen plotters (does that date me). Our laser software checked for problems with the imported file but it would assume that bumps were part of the design.

My company owned a Trumpf CO2 laser (no wise cracks, please) which was close to a million dollar machine. When we did outside work we simply took the customer's cadd drawing and imported it, I'm assuming your guy can do the same, but best to find out exactly what he needs.

You might want to contact some of the lutherie suppliers like StewMac who offers laser cut products and find out how they get them manufactured. Also, the other lutherie forum has a sub forum on cnc, you might ask there also. Laser cutting is just another form of cnc shaping.

http://luthiersforum.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=10106
Freeman Keller
 
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Re: Laser cutting plexiglass and plant ills drawing

Postby Enrico Schiaffella » Wed Sep 12, 2018 12:26 am

Mark Fogleman wrote:Have you looked at Inkscape? It is what I use to export to svg but for a plotter/cutter.


Ok thanks I’ll give it a try.

Freeman Keller wrote:
Enrico Schiaffella wrote:Thanks Freeman. So, if I correctly understand, I insert a raster image of a guitar shape that I am interested in. I trace the body outline using the tool spline. Save that as a def file. My only doubt is how accurate should I be in tracing the contour? Are there different levels of accuracy? I am afraid that the laser cutter will copy bumps in the plantilla. Is it reasonably easy to figure out if I did a good job in tracing the outline? Many thanks


There are a variety of ways to draw smooth curves with most drafting programs. One is to draw circles or arcs and connect them with line segments, another is to locate points on your curve and connect them with poly lines. The point is, you want a smooth continuous line with no wobbles or gaps. The laser cutter will have its own software that drives the cutting head, very much like in the old cadd days when we used pen plotters (does that date me). Our laser software checked for problems with the imported file but it would assume that bumps were part of the design.

My company owned a Trumpf CO2 laser (no wise cracks, please) which was close to a million dollar machine. When we did outside work we simply took the customer's cadd drawing and imported it, I'm assuming your guy can do the same, but best to find out exactly what he needs.

You might want to contact some of the lutherie suppliers like StewMac who offers laser cut products and find out how they get them manufactured. Also, the other lutherie forum has a sub forum on cnc, you might ask there also. Laser cutting is just another form of cnc shaping.

http://luthiersforum.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=10106


Thanks
Enrico Schiaffella
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2012 9:46 am


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