Re: artist wants carved styrene shapes

From: cwho (
Date: Tue Jul 07 1998 - 23:38:34 EEST

We use our laser on a daily basis to make large topographic forms cut
from expnaded styrene sheet. Our machine is a large xy table that runs
HPGL files with a stationary laser. It is adequate for architectual
models of topography but more than aobut 50 lyaers gets very laborious.
Currently we define the individual slices by hand on a 2D cad
program.(this is becase the data comes to us a contour lines like on a
topo map.) We would love any input on applying a 3d mesh to this data
and slicing w/ software. Th diffiucult part seems to be the cost
effective generation of a 3-d meshed topography given the wide range of
inputs that we get.

The laser is relatively good at cutting thicker syrofoam although you
have to deal with the fact that the beam "waist" or focus inherenlty
gives tapered edges.

We have considered putting in a manual adjustment to the laser head to
provide a "beveled" edge, however as we are usually trying to create a
stepped contour (lucky us the architects want it as a reference!) it has
not been cost effective.


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