# Laser cutting fin slots

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#### cwbullet

##### Obsessed with Rocketry
Staff member
Global Mod
I noticed one of my kits had fin slots cut with a laser. Curiosity is killing me.

How do manufacturers cut fin slots with a laser? What tool do they use?

#### sandman

##### Well-Known Member
They use a standard laser cutter with a rotating parts holder.

A laser cutter is basically a printer but instead of an inkjet sprayer head to make the lines it uses a laser cutter of anywhere between 20 and 70watts (more or less).

The sheet of material, balsa, basswood...whatever is placed on the bed and you use a vectored drawing software like CAD or Corel for the drawings. When you hit print instead of just printing lines it cuts the lines.

For something like a tube, the cutting bed that you place the material to be cut on is lowered and a rollers set with two rollers at each end is set in place and the tube is layed onto the rollers so it can be rotated for the exact position.

That's a very simple explination but you should get the idea.

This should show it better.

https://www.epiloglaser.com/index.htm

Keep in mind these machines are costly starting at about $11,000.00 then going up from there #### troj ##### Wielder Of the Skillet Of Harsh Discipline, Potent Keep in mind these machines are costly starting at about$11,000.00 then going up from there
Yah, I was talking with a kit manufacturer who happens to own a laser cutter about them, and he said something along the lines of "You can buy a new car for less than they cost"

I happened to get an email from somewhere that pointed me to Epilog; they showed a used laser cutter for the low, low price of $24,000. :y: I'll gladly pay the folks who own these little gizmos for their services! -Kevin #### sandman ##### Well-Known Member Yah, I was talking with a kit manufacturer who happens to own a laser cutter about them, and he said something along the lines of "You can buy a new car for less than they cost" I happened to get an email from somewhere that pointed me to Epilog; they showed a used laser cutter for the low, low price of$24,000. :y:

I'll gladly pay the folks who own these little gizmos for their services!

-Kevin
You need to have enough work to keep one of these things busy enough to pay for itself.

Even if you manufacture a lot of kits you only need the machine about 4 hours a week. Not enough to justify the expense.

#### troj

##### Wielder Of the Skillet Of Harsh Discipline, Potent
You need to have enough work to keep one of these things busy enough to pay for itself.

Even if you manufacture a lot of kits you only need the machine about 4 hours a week. Not enough to justify the expense.
Yup. Sounds like a small number of manufacturers have them, and they do work for others, to help pay for their investment.

Fortunately, it seems like most (if not all) of the kit manufacturers out there share a very positive relationship, which makes this kind of resource shearing feasible.

-Kevin

#### nmcafee

##### Member
I have a laser engraver we use for our business. Am always happy to do some odd jobs, shoot me a PM and we can discuss and figure out a fair price.

It is an amazing machine

Nathan