Bad Experiences with Laser Cutting.
by Phillip Powell
Hi I ordered a set of Laser cut parts from a well known company here in the UK called Belair. It was a complete waste of time and money (£80+)the nub of the problem for me was that the plans drawn by a well known designer (Philip Kent) were wrong so when they were scanned and converted to a format usable by the CNC laser cutter it produced very accurate useless parts that didn't line up or fit the required stock size wood for assembly. In fact it would be true to say that the amount of time and effort modifying the wing ribs to make the wing equal to that of cutting them myself.
I should point out at this point that I had little or no problems with the fuselage.
My request to companies that produce CNC cut parts is quite simple make sure they fit the together and if a slot is called for that is a given size then check that it is. Inaccuracies because of the width of the drawn line are commonplace when they are scanned for conversion and just because the designer is a well known good bloke doesn't make them infallible.
Just in case you think I am nit picking I had to change eleven ribs out of fifteen adding varying amounts to increase their length from five to ten millimetres and adjust every slot and cutout for the ribs.
Yes I would have produced ribs that didn't fit as well as the drawing was wrong but I would have seen this as I went along and it wouldn't have cost me anywhere near £80. We must remember these laser cutting machines are computer controlled which means rubbish in rubbish out very accurate rubbish.