Custom Cutting Info

We offer custom cutting services for those who want to design their own planes and boats, and we offer production cutting services for those who wish to sell their designs themselves. Please read through this page before contacting us for cutting services.

We do not convert plans to cut files. Currently we do not have anyone we can recommend for this kind of job. If you find a good CAD designer we would be happy to refer others to them.

Our laser is an Epilog Legend 36EXT. It has a cutting platform that is 24"x36" and is a 75W CO2 laser. We can cut or etch many materials - please email with specific requirements. Sorry, we cannot cut carbon fiber.

Our stock is as follows (all dimensions in inches):

Balsa: 4x36, contest weight when available - otherwise AAA grade
1/32, 1/16, 3/32, 1/8, 3/16, 1/4

Basswood: 4x24
1/32, 1/16, 3/32, 1/8, 3/16, 1/4

Birch plywood: 12x24 sheets
1/64, 1/32, 1/16, 1/8

Liteply (poplar): 12x24 sheets
1/8

Note: plywood is produced in Europe and is actually made to metric dimensions. If you need close tolerances please send a test cut first. You will be charged for the test cut, but, it is better than designing a complete structure only to find out you have to change dimensions of slots/tabs/notches. Wood dimensions also vary quite a bit from batch to batch and sometimes from sheet to sheet. Variation of 0.010" thickness is not unusual.

Actual thicknesses are:
  • 1/8" nominal ply is 3.0mm
  • 1/16" nominal ply is 1.5mm
  • 1/32" nominal ply is 0.8mm
  • 1/64" nominal ply is 0.4mm
We do not provide cost estimates for individual cuts. There are too many variables in a cut for us to give a specific cost without actually running the file through the laser: the material, types of lines you use, how many lines there are, the order of the cuts, etc. The ordering of the cuts can be streamlined through the use of polylines in CAD (some CAD programs call them connected lines).

What Does Laser Cutting Cost?

Cost for laser-cutting your file is made up of four components.

(1) A $20 setup fee for each new cut file. The charge may be higher if the cut file does not conform to our guidelines or is very large. If this is the case, we will notify you before cutting.

(2) $1.75 per minute of laser cutting time.

(3) Materials.

(4) Shipping.

To get a rough idea of your cost, count the number of sheets of wood you are using.

Balsa 4x36
1/32 to 1/8 thick = $10 per sheet
3/16 thick = $12 per sheet
1/4" = $14 per sheet

Bass 4x24
1/32 to 3/16 thick = $7 per sheet
1/4 thick = $8 per sheet

Birch plywood
1/64 to 1/16 thick = $0.15 per sq in
1/8 thick = $0.30 per sq in

Liteply
1/8 thick = $0.15 per sq in

Of course these are general numbers. If you pack a lot of small parts on a sheet the price will be higher. Things that increase costs include: a lot of lightening holes and notches, a lot of part number etching, double cutting, etc. Actual prices can be double the estimates above.

If you are interested in production costs then we will cut one kit for you, at your cost, and give you the exact cost for producing your parts. Production costs are 20-30% less than single unit costs. Production is six or more kits ordered at one time.

The process goes as follows:
1. You send cut files and we review them for compatibility with our system. We notify you if changes are required.
2. We cut the files.
3. We calculate the cost plus shipping and send you an invoice via PayPal.
4. When you pay the invoice we ship your parts.

There are no refunds for custom work. If we make a mistake we will fix it at no charge to you.

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