Calcutta sidings 2 and universal fiddle yard first test

Tell us about your layout, where you put it, how you built it, how you operate it.
Tim Horn
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Re: Calcutta sidings 2 and universal fiddle yard first test

Postby Tim Horn » Wed Jan 02, 2013 2:03 pm

Had a good couple of days over the New Year to get to grips with a bit of drawing for the last building I'm doing for Phil.

Drawn in Turbocad and exported into the laser cutter, cut on 1mm mdf. Obviously need to adjust the end brick work to interlace properly, but the idea seems to work quite well.

Happy modelling for 2013 :)

Office Front artwork TJH01 2nd January 2013 Copyright Tim Horn.jpg
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Office laser cut TJH02 1st January 2013 Copyright Tim Horn.jpg
Office laser cut TJH02 2nd January 2013 Copyright Tim Horn.jpg

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Rod Cameron
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Re: Calcutta sidings 2 and universal fiddle yard first test

Postby Rod Cameron » Wed Jan 02, 2013 6:09 pm

Tim Horn wrote:Drawn in Turbocad and exported into the laser cutter, cut on 1mm mdf.


So you've got your own laser cutter? Any details please Tim, cost especially?
Rod

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LesGros
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Re: Calcutta sidings 2 and universal fiddle yard first test

Postby LesGros » Wed Jan 02, 2013 6:50 pm

Rod,
I suspect that a laser cutter will be too expensive for the average modeller, but Fred Aldous in Manchester could be the way to go to realise a project.
http://www.fredaldous.co.uk/laser-cutting-service
The Fred Aldous Laser Studio is available to hire on a 1/2 day to full day basis
LesG

The man who never made a mistake
never made anything useful

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Rod Cameron
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Re: Calcutta sidings 2 and universal fiddle yard first test

Postby Rod Cameron » Thu Jan 03, 2013 12:22 am

Thanks Les

I'm not looking at having my own yet (!) but like 3D printers it won't be that long before they come into the range of say an Area Group if they can justify the usage.
Rod

Terry Bendall
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Re: Calcutta sidings 2 and universal fiddle yard first test

Postby Terry Bendall » Thu Jan 03, 2013 7:15 am

Tim Horn wrote:Drawn in Turbocad and exported into the laser cutter


Very nice Tim. Beats hand scribing. :)

For those who want laser cutting done, there are several companies that do this. One of these is CD3D Modelmaking who were at Scaleforum last year. See the show guide for contact details. There are of course others as well.

Terry Bendall

Tim Horn
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Re: Calcutta sidings 2 and universal fiddle yard first test

Postby Tim Horn » Thu Jan 03, 2013 10:12 am

Hi Rod,

It was purchased early last year form these chaps http://hpclaser.co.uk/index.php?main_pa ... 6u8s44mp42

The only issue I had was double door access, so I had to go for one of the smaller ones. Wish I had found a way of getting a bigger one in the shed now, as the work bed of 300 by 400 isn't really big enough for my plans for building buildings for Tring!

The biggest challenge has been finding the right material to lasercut. I know of a couple of people who now have similar machines in their workshops, so access to them is getting easier, and I wouldn't want to be without it now.

Thanks Terry, beats trying to match up brickwork in plasticard too :)

Tim

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David B
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Re: Calcutta sidings 2 and universal fiddle yard first test

Postby David B » Thu Jan 03, 2013 2:17 pm

I know it's a long way off, but the Missenden Autumn Weekend in October has arranged for Bob Gledhill to tutor a course on laser cutting. You will need a laptop and some software, but something like Inkscape is free and Bob says will do the job. If you have software already, then that's all to the good.

Further details of Bob's course are being prepared and will be put on the website soon, but what there is already, together with an article Bob wrote in the MERG magazine, can be seen on the Autumn Weekend page of the Missenden Modellers' site.

Booking for the Autumn Weekend is not likely to be open for a while yet, but places on Bob's course will be limited, so it could be worth while to put it in your diary. You also have plenty of time to save up for a great weekend.

David

Tim Horn
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Re: Calcutta sidings 2 and universal fiddle yard first test

Postby Tim Horn » Thu Jan 03, 2013 5:33 pm

Just to add to the scene, a quick go at some fencing.

Cheers
Tim
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Fence version 1 TJH02 3rd January 2012 Copyright Tim Horn.jpg

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barhamd
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Re: Calcutta sidings 2 and universal fiddle yard first test

Postby barhamd » Thu Jan 03, 2013 10:36 pm

You might be lucky and find that there is a 'hackspace' movement opening up something in your area. These seem to be springing up in quite a few major cities and offering 'interesting equipment' to use for the price of a gym membership (anyone suggesting I could personally make better use of the gym membership will be ignored). http://hackspace.org.uk/view/Main_Page I've joined makespace in Cambridge and the team are about to purchase a laser-cutter and we have our eyes on a small lathe, CNC milling machine and we have a small 3D printer already.

David Barham

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Rod Cameron
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Re: Calcutta sidings 2 and universal fiddle yard first test

Postby Rod Cameron » Fri Jan 04, 2013 11:07 am

Interesting concept although the name hack(er)space is a bit unfortunate! (Or maybe not considering my woodwork).
Rod

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John McAleely
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Re: Calcutta sidings 2 and universal fiddle yard first test

Postby John McAleely » Fri Jan 04, 2013 7:26 pm

davidb wrote:I know it's a long way off, but the Missenden Autumn Weekend in October has arranged for Bob Gledhill to tutor a course on laser cutting.



Sounds interesting. Will there be a laser cutter onsite as well, so that it's the full hands-on experience? After a recent talk in our area group, I'm keen to spin up a CAD package and get some modelling done with it...

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grovenor-2685
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Re: Calcutta sidings 2 and universal fiddle yard first test

Postby grovenor-2685 » Fri Jan 04, 2013 7:34 pm

Following Dave Barham's link above there is one of these Hackspaces in London that has a laser cutter, how far are you from Hoxton?
Refer https://london.hackspace.org.uk/
Keith

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David B
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Re: Calcutta sidings 2 and universal fiddle yard first test

Postby David B » Fri Jan 04, 2013 8:16 pm

John McAleely wrote:Sounds interesting. Will there be a laser cutter onsite as well, so that it's the full hands-on experience? After a recent talk in our area group, I'm keen to spin up a CAD package and get some modelling done with it...


Yes, John. Bob will have a laser cutter. I think, though, that in order to let everyone get something done, items will need be smaller rather than whole buildings, but the idea is that people can get an introduction and then fly solo, preparing files so that they an be cut elsewhere (like Hackspace that Keith refers to). There will be plenty of opportunity to ask questions and come away understanding the process. I found Bob's article very interesting.

David

Terry Bendall
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Re: Calcutta sidings 2 and universal fiddle yard first test

Postby Terry Bendall » Sat Jan 05, 2013 8:39 am

In Scalefour News 168 I wrote about the use of CNC machines and railway modelling, including laser cutters and even in the short space since then, things have moved on. I have now almost retired from the work that I was doing in schools so I am a little out of touch. The first thing of course is to produce the drawing and there are many CAD drawing programmes that can be used. These days, for the majority of the software, operating the laser cutter is not much more difficult than printing a document from whatever word processing software that you use. There will be a bit of setting up of the laser cutter - speeds and power setting of the laser, but after that it is quite easy. The time taken for the actual cutting process will depend on complexity of the object and the type of material but it will normally be measured in minutes rather than hours. Producing the parts for a brick wall would be easy; adding details such as window surrounds, ornamental pediments, window cills etc would take a lot longer by laser cutting and some of these sorts of details would probably be best made using other techniques such as resin casting. There are also special wood based materials that are used for laser cutting, both plywood and MDF. It is also easy to cut plastics in a laser cutter, both syrene and acrylic and for larger buildings acrylic might be more stable.

Terry Bendall

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Flymo748
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Re: Calcutta sidings 2 and universal fiddle yard first test

Postby Flymo748 » Sat Jan 12, 2013 10:16 pm

davidb wrote:
John McAleely wrote:Sounds interesting. Will there be a laser cutter onsite as well, so that it's the full hands-on experience? After a recent talk in our area group, I'm keen to spin up a CAD package and get some modelling done with it...


Yes, John. Bob will have a laser cutter. I think, though, that in order to let everyone get something done, items will need be smaller rather than whole buildings, but the idea is that people can get an introduction and then fly solo, preparing files so that they an be cut elsewhere (like Hackspace that Keith refers to). There will be plenty of opportunity to ask questions and come away understanding the process. I found Bob's article very interesting.

Speaking with Chris Langdon today, at the St Albans exhibition, it is likely that places on the laser cutting class will be restricted to a maximum of ten. So those interested would be well served in booking onto it soon after bookings open.

However for 2014 there are also likely to be at least one more class with a "technology" based theme.

Cheers
Flymo
Beware of Trains - occasional modelling in progress!
www.5522models.co.uk

Tim Horn
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Re: Calcutta sidings 2 and universal fiddle yard first test

Postby Tim Horn » Sun Jan 13, 2013 12:05 am

Testing more laser cuts, I've managed to put a few blown faces into some brickwork for the office chimney. 1mm MDF and sprayed up in Halfords red primer. I'm still not happy with it, but it's starting to look how I want the bricks to look.

image.jpg

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barhamd
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Re: Calcutta sidings 2 and universal fiddle yard first test

Postby barhamd » Sun Jan 13, 2013 4:17 pm

Probably time for a 'laser cutting' thread...

This was my first attempt with the cutter Makespace in Cambridge had delivered last week. This was a wall based on Thaxted water tower. I must admit to being pretty bowled over by what the machine can do. I've decided to draw out a little weighbridge hunt ~50mm x 40mm as a test piece as it has most of the features of much larger buildings and will give me a basic building to try different ideas on.

DSCF4075.JPG


The things I'm trying to get my brain around at the moment are:-

What material to cut the majority of the building from? Do I use an MDF, something commonly available like 3mm or do I use a plastic, maybe 1mm ABS?
What is the best approach for the corners? Do I try to make a butt joint, but use a material thin enough that the brick closures are still correct? do I try to mitre the corners either by filing or even using a jig to hold the part at 45 degrees and then slice of the angle on the laser cutter? Do I try to cut every other brick out on the corners and dovetail the walls together?
What is the best approach to windows? If I use a thicker material like 3mm MDF for the walls do I have to make the windows to fit into the recess in the wall? If I use a thinner wall material do I have multiple layers to give window reveals?
Just how clever can you get with cutting depths and engraving? The cutter can also engrave a larger area so can I do things like the recesses in a paneled door using the engraving or do I have to use multiple layers of material? Can I also engrave certain bricks away to give a slightly less perfect wall finish and is it worth doing so?

Obviously the possibilities are huge and I'm really looking forward to playing about with it but if anyone has any advice to give me please do!

thanks
David Barham

Alan Turner
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Re: Calcutta sidings 2 and universal fiddle yard first test

Postby Alan Turner » Sun Jan 13, 2013 5:10 pm

The thiness MDF I can find, of LASER quality, is 2mm. Where do you get your 1mm MDF from please?

regards

Alan

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barhamd
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Re: Calcutta sidings 2 and universal fiddle yard first test

Postby barhamd » Sun Jan 13, 2013 5:24 pm

The Model Shop in London sell it mail order, it ain't cheap though..
http://www.modelshop.co.uk/mdf-384-c.asp

David

Terry Bendall
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Re: Calcutta sidings 2 and universal fiddle yard first test

Postby Terry Bendall » Mon Jan 14, 2013 7:35 am

barhamd wrote:The things I'm trying to get my brain around at the moment are:-

What material to cut the majority of the building from? Do I use an MDF, something commonly available like 3mm or do I use a plastic, maybe 1mm ABS?
What is the best approach for the corners? Do I try to make a butt joint, but use a material thin enough that the brick closures are still correct? do I try to mitre the corners either by filing or even using a jig to hold the part at 45 degrees and then slice of the angle on the laser cutter? Do I try to cut every other brick out on the corners and dovetail the walls together?
What is the best approach to windows? If I use a thicker material like 3mm MDF for the walls do I have to make the windows to fit into the recess in the wall? If I use a thinner wall material do I have multiple layers to give window reveals?
Just how clever can you get with cutting depths and engraving? The cutter can also engrave a larger area so can I do things like the recesses in a paneled door using the engraving or do I have to use multiple layers of material? Can I also engrave certain bricks away to give a slightly less perfect wall finish and is it worth doing so?


MDF will certainly work well on a laser cutter as Tim and others have shown. They will also work on plastics and schools often use acrylic (Perspex) which is easily available, ans stryene would also work. Many of the firms who do offer a laser cutting service use styrene,

The depth of cut can be controlled so it would certainly be possible to cut a panelled door. You could cut out the bricks at the corners to make an interlocking joint but to be really accurate you would need to get the bonding right. This is where looking at the corner of a real brick built building is useful. A mitred corner would be more difficult since it would have to be done by a series of shallow passes and would probably give a series of steps rather than a smooth angles edge.

Using a jig on the laser cutter to hold a piece of material at 45 degress to enable a mitre to be cut is unlikely to work since there would probably not be sufficient room for the cuttiung head to move down. It has to be close to the top of the work piece and the rest of the material would get in the way.

Terry Bendall

Alan Turner
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Re: Calcutta sidings 2 and universal fiddle yard first test

Postby Alan Turner » Mon Jan 14, 2013 9:14 am

Terry Bendall wrote: Many of the firms who do offer a laser cutting service use styrene,

Terry Bendall


Not in my experience. Styrene is usualy a banned material as it damages the LASER.

regards

Alan

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Rod Cameron
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Re: Calcutta sidings 2 and universal fiddle yard first test

Postby Rod Cameron » Mon Jan 14, 2013 10:53 am

Alan Turner wrote:
Terry Bendall wrote: Many of the firms who do offer a laser cutting service use styrene,


Not in my experience. Styrene is usualy a banned material as it damages the LASER.


York Model Making use Rowmark, an acrylic-type material.

http://yorkmodelmaking.com/services/doc ... 6-2012.pdf
Rod

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barhamd
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Re: Calcutta sidings 2 and universal fiddle yard first test

Postby barhamd » Mon Jan 14, 2013 8:40 pm

I think the problem with standard plasticard is that it gives of chlorine gas when it is burned by the laser. Doesn't damage the laser - just the operators!

I just ordered some ABS which is laser-cutable from 4D so I'll see how that goes.

David Barham

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TonyMont
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Re: Calcutta sidings 2 and universal fiddle yard first test

Postby TonyMont » Mon Jan 14, 2013 10:12 pm

Hi all,
Just to say that in the picture framing business we use various thicknesses of mdf, 2mm, 2.5 and 3. There are wholesale suppliers all over the country who will sell 48x36 inch sheets at very reasonable prices to anyone.
Regards,
Tony.

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John McAleely
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Re: Calcutta sidings 2 and universal fiddle yard first test

Postby John McAleely » Tue Jan 15, 2013 1:21 pm

barhamd wrote:This was my first attempt with the cutter Makespace in Cambridge had delivered last week.


I see the Cambridge Makespace has an open evening tonight. I shall go along - anyone else from this forum likely to be there?


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