Estes Laser-Cut Fins???

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Pyro Pro

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Sorry if this has already been posted somewhere, but when I looked at the Estes ad's on the front and back cover of the new Sport Rocketry it said that most of the new kits come with laser-cut fins !!!

I wonder how these will work out...
 
Seem to work just fine for Fliskits and Semroc. Has to be better than die-crushed fins.
 
I have built a number of kits with laser cut fins and I have to say it is a vast improvement over die cut.
Gone are the days of breaking fins in half trying to seperate them from the sheet. Gone are the days of filling the deep voids in the end grain.
Laser cut is a pleasure to work with.
 
Yes, I've had a lot of experience with Semroc laser cuts, I just hope Estes is just as high quality as the Semroc ones (but I wouldn't really bet on it).

EDIT: just read missileman's response, i'm finding it hard to go back to rockets without laser-cut fins, they really save a lot of time and are very precise.
 
Now I don't really know the link but North Coast Rocketry had laser cut fins that were really nice. Now NCR was sold under the Estes umbrella but I don't know if Estes actually made the kits themselfs or not.
 
better than die crush , but you still have to cut them loose, still have to sand them and still have to fill them, on my sunward kit the black powder got onto everything I touched...so for me personaly it doesn't really matter as much. it's indeed an improvement if the die crush problem goes away.
 
laser-cut are so much better, its a pain if a fin breaks, or having to fill in the voids, woohoo, no more of of that:)
 
All of the Quest kits being manufactured from here on out will have laser cut fins as well. Both the old designs as well as future ones will all have this upgrade. Now if all of these manufacturers could "Laser sanding sealer" them as well!!!
 
I've used Semroc and ASP laser cut fins, and they were fantastic. Just clip the little thread of wood holding the fins in the sheet and a little sanding. Great stuff.

All the Edmonds gliders are laser cut too I think. I've built three of those, all great.

I too am curious how the big companie's turn out. I guess it's time to grab a new estes kit. Is that Spaceship 1 out yet?:D
 
I got an Estes kit with the first laser cut fins I've seen. And they didn't seem any different than die-cut fins. I still had to free them from the sheet, delicately, and sand down the edges and burrs. And, for some reason, there is small, very precise, round hole in each fin.

So far, I can't figure out what's so hot about laser cut. What surprises me is that you can use a laser to cut wood without setting it on fire.

My guess would be the reason manufacturers are moving to laser cut is because it's cheaper to re-program a laser for a new design than it is to make dies.
 
Originally posted by rokitflite
All of the Quest kits being manufactured from here on out will have laser cut fins as well. Both the old designs as well as future ones will all have this upgrade. Now if all of these manufacturers could "Laser sanding sealer" them as well!!!
Amen!
:D
 
Originally posted by Orporg
I got an Estes kit with the first laser cut fins I've seen. And they didn't seem any different than die-cut fins. I still had to free them from the sheet, delicately, and sand down the edges and burrs. And, for some reason, there is small, very precise, round hole in each fin.

Probably a flaw in the cutting template. Sometimes a point gets embedded in the file that doesn't show up on the screen, but the computer sees it.

So far, I can't figure out what's so hot about laser cut. What surprises me is that you can use a laser to cut wood without setting it on fire.

Oh you can set it on fire, trust me. :D

My guess would be the reason manufacturers are moving to laser cut is because it's cheaper to re-program a laser for a new design than it is to make dies.

You bet it is, and dies have to be replaced when they wear out. You can also get a higher degree of accuracy from the laser than from dies.
 
I flew my Quest EZ Glider yesterday on a Quest B6-4. It went extremely straight up and glided in nice circles, but with the very slight breeze (only a couple of mph) it flew beyond visual range. i should have stuck with the A motors.....

So, since it's laser cut and goes together in a jiffy, I need to get more of these. So does everyone else. Maybe they can sell bulk replacement gliders at NARAM? It is B multi round........

Originally posted by rokitflite
All of the Quest kits being manufactured from here on out will have laser cut fins as well. Both the old designs as well as future ones will all have this upgrade. Now if all of these manufacturers could "Laser sanding sealer" them as well!!!
 
Laser cutting is the bomb!

I just got back from the laser cutter today and I had a blast! I was just hanging out there BSing with the guys and I cut out all of the fins for 60 of my next kit, about 500 various sized centering rings out of plywood AND cardboard and other fins I might need for future designs. It only took about an hour. Laser cutting is the wave of the future and with the newer, higher powered lasers it will be faster than die cutting machines. It is also nice to be able to show up with a couple of designs on a CD and have them cut out with no set up charge!

What kills me is that the "scrap" material looks so good I have a hard time throwing it out!!!
 
Originally posted by rokitflite
Laser cutting is the bomb!
What kills me is that the "scrap" material looks so good I have a hard time throwing it out!!!

Been there, done it... I save the bigger pieces for scratch-building. They come in handy for detailing also. But with that much scrap material you may need a big box... Hey, here is an idea: put some of that scrap in separate little bags and add it to your next kits as a "momento"...
 
As most of you know, I build R/C airplanes.

Many many kits (and ARFs) are now laser cut. And for precisely all the reason mentioned above.

These R/C planes have hundreds of parts, that used to be 'die crushed'. Now, with Laser cutting, similar parts (like wing ribs) are pretty much all exactly the same. No 'sanding to shape' required anymore.
 
Yep... me like laser cut fins also... (caveman talk)...

I just got my first rocket from "certain manufacturer" which included laser cut fins and they look clean and professional. Attention to detail is what I like and certainly laser cut adds appeal to any model... IMHO
 
Originally posted by Dr Wogz
As most of you know, I build R/C airplanes.

Many many kits (and ARFs) are now laser cut. And for precisely all the reason mentioned above.

These R/C planes have hundreds of parts, that used to be 'die crushed'. Now, with Laser cutting, similar parts (like wing ribs) are pretty much all exactly the same. No 'sanding to shape' required anymore.

I have built a PICA 1/8 Corsair and a SIG 4*60 that were both laser cut. It is hard to ever go back to a die cut kit. The fit is amazing. Too bad the ARF makers are getting to have all the fun of building since kits are getting far and few between.

The scrap from the Corsair is enough to build several fin units for rockets. Unlike diecuts, where much of the scrap in the skeletons are cracked and split after removing the parts, the laser cut skeletons can still be used.

Scott
 
Originally posted by rosko_racer
Yep... me like laser cut fins also... (caveman talk)...

I just got my first rocket from "certain manufacturer" which included laser cut fins and they look clean and professional. Attention to detail is what I like and certainly laser cut adds appeal to any model... IMHO
Why no mention of who "certain manufacturer" is?
:)
 
Laser cut balsa is definately a huge selling point these days, as it is accurate, and the cost is more than reasonable.

I had the dilema of just tossing in a piece of balsa for the builder to cut the fins, or to have the fins laser cut. Then I looked at cost.

45 cents more per kit. And I would have to cut the sheets to length myself, and I couldn't cut something straight to save my life.

The Anubis will have laser cut fins. Centering rings too. The cost for those was I like 5 cents more than die cut.

For 50 more per kit, a cost I can easily absorb, the quality of the kit goes way up. And I can still keep the retail cost of the kit on target.

Definately worth it.

Bob
 
Awww yer all a bunch of wusses!

I still remember the Comet kits with the printed balsa!

That was a MAN'S airplane kit!
 
I still remember the Comet kits with the printed balsa!

Fah! I remember Estes kits that didn't even have printed balsa. You had to cut out templates and trace them out by hand.

ALTERNATE RESPONSE 1

And you know how hard it was to draw lines on balsa with a quill full of home-made ink? Bah, young whippersnappers don't know how good they have it.

ALTERNATE RESPONSE 2

Fah! I remember when model kits came with a packet of balsa seeds. And if your pappy didn't have a saw mill, you had to cut out the boards by hand.
 
I don't mind cutting out fins, straight lines are easy and fun.

but for a model with an "interesting" fin pattern, like Estes Rock-It, laser cut is really nice. (not that anyone could tell if you didn't cut them out "right" :)

laser cut fins are preferred by my kids. but laser cutting doesn't save on sanding. for whatever reason I just gotta sand off the "burned" dark edges. maybe it takes up primer and paint just as well, dunno, never tried it.
 
Originally posted by JRThro
Why no mention of who "certain manufacturer" is?
:)

Ok OK Ok Ok (cousin Vinnie)!!! This "certain manufacturer" is our colleague Rokitflite. I recently bought his last Odyssey kit (cool kit BTW Rokitflite!!!) and the laser cut fins are a plus. Saves up on time and no errors if you cut them by hand (you know, knife goes in a different direction... even with a metal ruller as a guide...). If the model has a complex fin pattern then yes, LC fins should be included. I do enjoy scatchbuilding and hand cutting the fins is part of the fun. Laser cut or not, this does not bother me, but I like LC.
 
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