The idea for this model came to me when I was browsing Instructables and came upon this nice project – the Pocket Laser Engraver. Basically, its author, Groover, describes building a laser diode cutter not unlike the one I’m using here but based on parts of discarded DVD-RW drives. In fact, the diode he’s using is also salvaged from one of those drives. I got intrigued by the project due to the fact that I never throw anything electronics away and I have a little stash of CD and DVD drives myself that I would love to put to some fun use.
One of the obvious limitations of such cutter would be its workspace envelope size – only 1.5″x1.5″ (38x38mm) and so it felt like a good enough challenge to try a see what can be squeezed into such a tight space.
I picked Supermarine Spitfire MKII plane for its recognizable shape (most especially the elliptical wings) because it became apparent from the beginning that the model cannot be too detailed. At 1:212 scale small details disappear real fast and so it’s appearance is largely based on how close the outer shapes are to the real thing.
The archive with the CNC and vector files for the Supermarine Spitfire MKII model contains three sets of G-Code. Two sets have all the parts and the pedestal and the third file has just the pedestal on its own in case you want to cut it out of a different color foam, as pictured above.
The rate feeds in the G-Code files are 50mm/min for the plane (assuming it would be cut out of dark blue or dark green colored foam) and 75mm/min for the pedestal in its separate file – assuming the pedestal would be cut out of black foam which cuts much better than any other color.
The model assembles without glue. Due to its small size, a steady hand and a toothpick as an aid will be needed. No other tools required for assembly.
As always, if you cut your own model or made modifications, I’d love to see a picture of your project and post it here if you like. Please send your pictures to info AT elabz DOT com.
Edit: Here is a picture of the Spitfire model cut by Groover on the actual intended cutter. I don’t have the small one yet although I’m planning on building it. I’m still cutting on a regular CNC router with the laser mounted on Z axis. Feels like hitting nails with a microscope