Laser cut metal parts

Cantina_Dude

Concept
Hey folks!

I recently had my first exposure to laser cutting metal parts for a run of Darth Vader belts I'm currently doing and thought I'd share a bit about my experience.

I used an online company called "SendCutSend" that had great reviews, offered quick turnaround times, and was surprisingly affordable. Their business model requires a bit of work to be done by the customer on the front end to get the required design drawing files formatted properly to streamline their process, which is what I think contributes to the lower prices. You can submit your designs as .dxf, .ai, .eps. or .dwg files so there are options depending on what software you are most comfortable with. You just follow their guidelines when submitting your drawing files, select which material and thickness you want, then pay the invoice and wait for your pieces to arrive.They are based out of Reno, Nevada and currently only ship within the USA, which, since I live in Canada, was a little hurtle I had to sort out with some help from @boba87fett who was kind enough to receive my order and re-direct it my way afterwards.

I decided to include a couple Boba Fett parts in my order that I figured would work as laser cut sheet metal parts, namely the jetpack vent and the jetpack rocket fins and I couldn't be happier with the results!

Laser_Cut_Fett_Parts.JPG

The parts match all the measurements of my drawings perfectly and the finish of the cut edge is smoother than I was anticipating. It'll take just a little bit of sanding to deburr/clean up everything and they will be ready for my future jetpack build. If anyone is curious about getting some parts laser cut, I'd certainly recommend giving it a go. The fewer cuts involved in a single part, the cheaper it will be. It's less about the size/thickness of the part, and more about the complexity, as the price of a single part largely comes down to the amount of time it takes to cut it. For example, the fins cost $1.71 USD per piece cut out of 0.187 inch thick aluminum, while the vent cost $5.07 USD per part cut out of 0.080 inch thick aluminum. The company I dealt with did have a $29 USD minimum order per material/thickness, so I had to keep that in mind when selecting different materials and thicknesses for all of my designs in my order.

Anyway, I'm now hooked on this whole process and excitedly looking around at every project I have on the horizon seeking more flat metal things to get laser cut... 😂
 
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