Finding a cutting service

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barney

Finding a cutting service

Postby barney » Mon Mar 02, 2009 12:06 pm

This may be off-topic here (apologies if so!), but I'm wondering how you go about finding a service that will take your digital file (maybe by email) and cut the design for you. I'm guessing this is what you lot are doing in here! :D

In particular I'm thinking of cutting fairly thin wood (or something similar), definitely flat (2d design), and very low volume (just for my personal use, not making a business out of it). And low price too of course!
I'm not looking for particular recommendations of companies because that varies from country to country, but are there any particular key words or phrases to look for for this kind of thing? Does it make a difference whether it's cut by a saw or by a laser? Or what kind of price might be reasonable for say a 20cm square shape? How do they generally work out the prices?
Thanks!

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loonquawl
Posts: 135
Joined: Thu May 15, 2008 7:57 pm

Re: Finding a cutting service

Postby loonquawl » Wed Mar 04, 2009 12:28 am

Hi.

I'd try 2D rapid prototyping. There is a lot of cutting facilities out there, but they mainly cater to those who want decals out of foil. As you want something made from balsa, that is probably more down the rapid prototyping alley. For a price estimate, try Ponoko, they give a free estimate, if you supply the .svg (they also have some sample svgs) - Beware! they have problems with Inkscape-made svg, and offer special blank files for you to use, so the scaling will be correct.

barney

Re: Finding a cutting service

Postby barney » Sat Mar 28, 2009 12:52 am

Thanks for the reply, however it's not really "rapid prototyping" or "balsa" that I'm after - I'm not a bulk manufacturer trying out ideas before a big production run, I'm just interested in making designs for my own use - I'm not sure balsa will look ornamental enough. Maybe it will though!
Ponoko is interesting but out of the question for Europeans - their example quotes 40 USD just for sending a pair of cufflinks to Europe. For anything made of wood it jumps to 50 USD and that's even before material costs OR cutting costs!

Basically I need to find my own, European-based service, but I don't know what to look for. Is it machining, drilling, laser-cutting, milling, CNC or what? What are the pros/cons of laser cutting versus mechanical cutting? Is balsa typically the wood used for such things or is there a choice?

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loonquawl
Posts: 135
Joined: Thu May 15, 2008 7:57 pm

Re: Finding a cutting service

Postby loonquawl » Sat Mar 28, 2009 1:14 am

I still think it is rapid prototyping that you are after :-)
Laser engraving might be another search term. Engravers often can do outlines as well, or can work with material you send them. Also, if you are looking for the shape, and not for some special material, you might try speciality services : electronics or fronts

marymn
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Dec 03, 2009 10:18 pm

Re: Finding a cutting service

Postby marymn » Thu Dec 03, 2009 10:55 pm

Hi...
Of course their is a difference between saw cut and laser cut..
In laser cut it will be a fine one.
The service person charges you according to the type of material which you want to cut and of course the size.









barney wrote:This may be off-topic here (apologies if so!), but I'm wondering how you go about finding a service that will take your digital file (maybe by email) and cut the design for you. I'm guessing this is what you lot are doing in here! :D

In particular I'm thinking of cutting fairly thin wood (or something similar), definitely flat (2d design), and very low volume (just for my personal use, not making a business out of it). And low price too of course!
I'm not looking for particular recommendations of companies because that varies from country to country, but are there any particular key words or phrases to look for for this kind of thing? Does it make a difference whether it's cut by a saw or by a laser? Or what kind of price might be reasonable for say a 20cm square shape? How do they generally work out the prices?
Thanks!


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