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Rauda Scale Models Inc.





In addition to custom scale model fabrication, we also offer the following fabrication services:

1.----Laser parts based on laser ready drawings you supply
2.---3-axis cnc machined parts
3.---3-d printed parts
4.---Vinyl cutting

1. Lasering Guidelines

We need a dwg, dxf, or .ai file. The limitations of the .ai file (adobe illustrator) is that it needs to be drawn using vectors. Meaning no raster images such as .jpg .png .tiff etc.. Please note we can create laser ready files from raster images, but that would be an additional charge for studio cad time. All elements must be drawn using only lines, arcs, and circles.

There can be none of the following:

The work envelope limit is 43" x 43". Nest your pieces within this area, and keep .250" in from the material edge. Please verify if we have on hand the material needed for your project, and what sizes are available.

Explode your drawing several times before sending it to us.

Also, do the following using autocad:
1.---Type in the command line: qselect
2.--Object Type window select 'line'
3.--Properties window select 'length'
4.--Operator window select 'less than'
5.--In the value window type '.003'

Go through the above steps again, but #2 input 'arcs' and #3 input 'arc length' instead of 'line'

If there will be laser scribed text use artxt.shx font. Then do the following using autocad (will not work using autocad lt)
1.---Type in the command line 'txtexp'
2.--Specify entities by selecting all text to be laser scribed
3.--Hit enter
4.--Use explode command and explode all text to be laser scribed.

Layers set by the following colors:
Scribe lines (such as panel lines)----------------------------green
Interior cut lines (such as window openings)--------------yellow
Exterior cut lines (such as wall perimeter)----------------red

Laser kerf is approximately .009" (that is the amount of material removed by the laser) Scribe lines should not be closer to each other or an edge by .040" As a general rule the thinnest cross section a material can be lasered is dictated by the thickness of the material. Example: you are lasering window mullions from .060" thick acrylic - the mullions themselves cannot be thinner than .060".

Please verify if we have on hand the material needed for your project, and what sizes are available. We can laser the following materials:
1.---Acrylic from 1/32" thick to 1/2" thick (call for 1/32" and 1/2" available sizes. All other thicknesses of acrylic can be up to 43" x 43")
2.--Basswood 1/32" & 1/8" call for sizes available. Thickness varies typically by about .007", and this material can be affected by changes in humidity. We do no guarantee the direction of the wood grain.
3.--Polyurethane Foam up to 3/8" thick
4.--Museum Board (for nesting maximum size is 31.5" x 39.5")
5.--Styrene can be lasered, but needs to stay in the range of .010"-.020" thickness. We can laser thicker styrene, but will have melting issues.
6.--Polycarbonate bubbles and melts. However, it can be lasered up to 1/8"
8.--No metal

Please note that fractional thickness for acrylic is not actual, true thickness.
1/32" = .032" - .036"
1/16" = .055" - .060"
3/32" = .080" - .090"
1/8" = .111" - .116"
3/16" =.167" - .175"
1/4" = .225" - .234"
3/8" = .365" - .373"
1/2" = .450" - .468"

2. 3-Axis CNC

Our CNC router capabilities include a 3 axis 48" x 96" x 6" table which can be used to cut materials such as wood, high density polyurethane foam, and other softer materials. This can be used to cut out anything from 3d ship hulls, to 3d terrain maps or flat-cut-out objects and designs. We can also cut non-ferrous metals in billet or sheet form on a dual head 3-axis CNC with a 48" x 48" bed. The dual head setup which allows us to cut two of the same item simultaneously which translates into efficiency and cost savings. The setup for these machines as far a file types is similar to the setup process for 3D printing.

If your project is a 3D terrain model (sometimes called a topographic model) you only need to provide us one of the following pieces of information: 1. DEM file of the terrain to be modeled. 2. Longitude and Latitude coordinates with a map showing an outline of your particular topographic model. 3. A map with an outline of what the terrain model will cover.

In most cases the 3rd option is the most common approach to convey the area to be covered by the terrain model. The following is a great way to get us the needed topographic information: Step 1. Using Google Earth go to your area that will be represented by the terrain model. Using the 'add polygon' tool outline the area to be modeled. Your area will be solid (probably all white). Now go to the 'New Polygon' window and select 'Style, Color' and click on the box 'Filled+Outlined'. A drop down will appear and select 'Outlined'. While the 'New Polygon' window is still open, you also can change the color of the line that delineates your topography, and make the line fatter (more visible). When finished with these adjustments click 'OK'. How to get this terrain model information to Rauda Scale Models Inc. ? On the left side of your screen you will see a sidebar that will have 'Untitled Polygon' with a checked box next to it. Bring your cursor over the word 'Untitled Polygon' and right click. A drop down menu will appear and select 'Save Place As.....'. Name your file and save it. It will be a .kmz file, and this is what you would attach in an email and send to us. Once we receive this .kmz file, when we open it, it will automatically take us to Google Earth. Here we will see the area you have outlined for the 3D terrain model.

Now if this is too convoluted, another way would be to take a hard copy map that includes the area you would like the model to cover, and simply draw a box that roughly designates the terrain map area. Now you can either scan it, or take a digital photograph and email us the jpg..

If we are provided coordinates or a map with an outline, we will take that information and search our database to generate the required DEM. file needed for your 3D terrain map.

3. 3D Printing

We use the latest 3D printing technologies such as FDM, SLS, and SLA. We can produce 3D printed parts in a wide range of materials and resolutions. From a tiny rice grain sized cleat or stair rung on a ship mast, to context buildings on a large architectural model depicting an urban setting. We can advise you to the most appropriate and cost effective material and process for your architectural model or terrain model. The achievable level of detail has never been seen before, yet it is cost effective for the appropriate project.

If your project is not part of an architectural model or terrain model, don't hesitate to contact us. We model makers are fabricators first and foremost, so we can build anything for you, ranging from a prototype engineering model to a full scale shampoo bottle. Our only limitation is the size capacity of the 3D printers.

To determine if 3D printing is a process to be used for your project, we need to analyze the two factors that drive the cost of this technology.

1. The quality of the 3D file the client can provide.

If the provided 3D file is water-tight, shelled, and does not have naked edges or non-manifold surfaces we have to spend no CAD time to make the file 3D print-ready.

However, the way engineers, architects and designers create their 3D drawings, it is not necessary for them to spend additional labor hours eliminating naked edges, non-manifold edges etc. Because of this, it is typical that we do have to spend some CAD time cleaning up the provided file to make it 3D print-ready. Shelling is the most problematic. Various software have the 'shelling' function, but unfortunately none of them magically work out as you wish every time. For example it is not uncommon that the 'shelling' command creates naked edges, which in turn is not 3D printable.

By utilizing our experience with 3D printing, we can quickly quantify what amount of additional CAD time yields the greatest savings. At times increasing the machining time results in far greater savings than spending more hours at CAD. Send us your file and we can quickly let you know what it will take to make your file 3D print-ready.

2. Size of the item to 3D print

There are a couple factors to consider when 3D printing an item when it comes to size.

The first is - will your item fit in the work envelope of the machines we use.
Medium Resolution maximum 3D printed size is: 25" x 21" x 13"
Super High Resolution maximum 3D printed size is: 9.75" x 9.75" x 7.75" We can break down your item into multiple pieces, but then we need to consider seam lines, overall strength, and the cost of additional CAD time.

Please note that the larger the item by volume the more machine time required which in turn results in higher cost.

For architectural models 3D printing can be utilized for various elements of the model depending on scale. For example, if the architectural model is at a large scale such as 1/2" = 1'-0", and it is depicting the interior of a condominium, then items such as faucets, shower heads, sinks, door handles, and furniture are 3D printed. Features such as doors, walls, kitchen cabinets are more cost effective for the model maker to fabricate using a laser and sheet materials such as acrylic. Now if the architectural model is of a University campus at the scale of 1" = 50', then it is possible that 3D printing the buildings is the most cost effective approach. In these situations, we model makers have to analyze the provided information to determine if the electronic files of the buildings require little or no CAD time to be 3D printable. If the information is very incomplete then we use our traditional model making methods.

At this stage of 3D printing technology, it is not yet cost effective to create terrain models that are several square feet in size. However, if your topographic model fits in the palm of your hand, then it is very possible that 3D printing is the most cost effective approach for our model makers to create your map.

-ABS plastic (low to medium resolution) - Available in many embedded colors. This means the color is throughout the thickness of the material. Most affordable and strongest
-Nylon (medium resolution) - Available in many dyed colors. Please note the dyed color penetrates the material only a few thousands of an inch. Therefore, it is conceivable to scratch through the dyed color and expose the material color. Most affordable and strongest. We have used this material for models that will be handled by the public.
-Aluminum impregnated nylon (medium resolution) Most affordable and strongest.
-Acrylic (high, medium high, and super-high resolution) Expensive but smoothest finish. Please note that this particular process includes a wax support structure that needs to be carefully cleaned off of each part prior to painting or gluing. We are set up to clean these types of 3D printed parts as efficiently as possible. Let us know if you would like us to add this step. For architectural models and engineering models this is the most common material we have used.
-Steel / brass / bronze / silver (low to medium resolution) Most expensive. Please note we cannot guarantee the consistency of color in a single print using these metals. Also, the color you might expect of a given material might not meet your expectations. Meaning, if you have stainless steel printed it might actually come out with a tint of copper.

We can also hand-finish any 3D printed parts. This covers a range of tasks including but not limited to: removing any of the roughness or layering associated with the 3D printing process, cleaning off the wax if a high resolution part is printed. Also, we can paint any 3D printed part to match any color selected.

Our model makers are able to create a 3D printable part from information as vague as a dimensioned hand sketch on a napkin. We are also able to make the necessary adjustments to existing 3D files to produce a print-ready file. Our technical staff uses Rhinoceros 3D to create 3D drawings, which can import files from programs such as 3D Studio, Solid Works, Autocad, Sketchup, and many others. We can also typically work with an .STL file created by almost any 3D program, as well as some point clouds from laser scans.

4. Vinyl Cutter

We have the ability to custom cut vinyl decals for a variety of uses. We can cut vinyl to apply to a model you have commissioned for details such as labels, icons, or signage. This could be on an architectural model, terrain model or any other type of project our model makers are fabricating for you. We can set up your single color graphic and create a cut-vinyl decal ready-to-apply in a variety of colors. We can use any vector-based graphic, or convert almost any non-vector graphic for a set-up fee. Our vinyl cutter can cut up to 24" wide, and as long as a roll of vinyl, typically up to 100 FT. We can cut items as small as 12pt fonts. To see colors and finishes available, follow these links to 3M and Gerber's color charts:

3M Color Chart

GERBER Color Chart