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Scanning Plans for reference and tranfer to CAD

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Scanning Plans for reference and tranfer to CAD

Old 09-22-2003, 09:23 AM
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Default RE: Scanning Plans for reference and tranfer to CAD

They mentioned that although CAD was popular it still wasn't for their base customers.
That's still the case. The laser machines that Universal produces are made for the award and engraving industry (trophies, plaques, etc...). The machines we're originally built as a replacement for routing engravers. I just happened to find a better use for the machine.

About three years ago, I had a customer wanting to do a lite ply ARF in which the fuselage sides were 40 inches long. I can't remember Universal being able to handle that size.
The largest table size that I'm aware of is a 18x36 inch model. I use a 12x24 inch, which may sound small, but I do mostly small work (R/C and non-R/C). The small laser makes great cuts on balsa (small kerf, no carbonization, no taper).

I have also been keeping notes on laser time, cost of materials, shipping/handling etc. for a host of projects. Did the whole thing for one sheet of 1/8" by 4" by 48" run on a L.M.I. laser machine containing 56 parts and text. Took 379 seconds to complete that sheet the first time through at a real cost of $3.18, including me buying the wood and shipping to them and back. Upon reorder with same exact parts, but rearranged using some compiling software, and one line cuts two parts, it went down to 196 seconds and a real cost of $2.48 per sheet. Cannot offset those shipping and material purchase prices any more now. What is your estimate on costs for a similar project?
No idea. I'd have to see the drawings to make an estimate. The biggest factor is the total line length, which accounts for the laser time. There is also the number of sheets, tooling changover time, etc... I'm assuming that the above estimates are for a run of kits/sheets.
Old 09-22-2003, 09:35 PM
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Default RE: Scanning Plans for reference and tranfer to CAD

I guess that the biggest competitor to Universal is Epilog out of Denver. Used to be a trophy shop about six blocks from where I live. They mentioned the Epilog did work at a much finer resolution than the Universal, so they bought it. When it came time to go larger, they initially bought another Epilog, but then sent it back as it was worse than the older smaller machine. They said there was some problem with the automatic focusing function. So they bought a Universal, and then moved.

With that ARF, I had to go to my ol' friend who cuts ornamental iron. The fuselage sides were stacked onto a sheet that was 42 by 24 inch.

My method of accounting for cost to make one sheet is sort of home brew. Most of my projects are not high volume, as moreover I arrange for maybe four to seven kits to be cut at one time. I chuck up the data into Excell to get a cost per kit/sheet. The cost per purchase of raw material is known by the billing. I proportion, shipping costs according to thickness and count. The setup fee gets equally distributed. I then also get a count of the total number of parts per kit, then backwards assign proportion of the cutting costs per sheet based upon this, as those with more parts usually cost more. I had the laser cutting firm write down in pencil the time involved on certain sheets and use this also for accounting purposes. They note the time for a balsa sheet, however the plywood always seems less, as the sheets are smaller overall. I will have to use your suggestion and get a number as to total length of lines involved per sheet and see how that compares too, as I am always interested in comparing costs for jobs.


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