Our group is utilizing 21st century tools during our CH750 plans built project when possible. Here, we have hired a local metal fabrication shop to laser cut many of our fuselage parts. A serious time saver.

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Comment by Joe Harrington on December 21, 2010 at 8:43pm

There seems to be very little evidence of localized heat damage in the material that we cut. The dross is very small and can easily be removed by a gloved hand. A deburring tool should easily clean up the edges. We had already cut all of our thick parts with a water jet but using the laser jet on the thinner materials was much easier and inexpensive. Sebastien had warned us that the heat issues of laser cutting might be a problem. We are lay- men, so we did not make the decision to go this way lightly. We looked at the internet and read as much as we could (that we could understand) and it didn't seem to us as a big issue. We then laser cut a few trial pieces a few months ago. We looked at the pieces with a magnifying glass and they looked fine. We noticed when we were taking the pieces off the table within seconds of making the cut, there was no heat detected with bare hands (any heat must dissipate rapidly. Having said all that, I would not want to use it on critical parts like lift strut fittings, etc just to be safe. 

The shop was using nitrogen in their cutter, but as I mentioned the cut seemed quite clean with little dross. The do normal cut galvanized steel for HVAC ducting.

The shop was extremely accommodating and was a pleasure to work with. The parts are dead-on size wise and we are very happy so far. If we run into any issues, I will report back.

Comment by Jonathan Porter on December 20, 2010 at 12:34am

Do you suffer with localised heat issues on alu - and what about the dross?  I have always used punchpresses and routers (and some water cutting) for sensitive parts....  How did it go?

Comment by Jon L Bateman on December 19, 2010 at 6:51pm

I use ours at work for steel templates but we dont run nitrogen to cut aluminum cleanly. Last part I did was a mock up of my instrument panel.

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