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Material choice for gantry plates?

Discussion in 'Laser Cutters' started by Anthony Bolgar, Dec 14, 2016.

  1. Anthony Bolgar

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    I would welcome some advice however on material choices for the gantry plates for a 750mm X 750mm laser diode engraver. I do not think that a laser engraver needs aluminum plates, but I would like something that is more dimensionaly stable than MDF (Which is what I am prototyping this build with), but has more strength than acrylic. Does any one have any brilliant ideas?
     
  2. JustinTime

    JustinTime Master
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    How about Bakelite?
     
  3. Rick 2.0

    Rick 2.0 OpenBuilds Team
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  4. Jonathon Duerig

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    If you go with phenolic (garolite), make sure it is thick because while it is strong it is also brittle. The other material that occurs to me is polycarbonate.
     
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  5. Joe Santarsiero

    Joe Santarsiero OB addict
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    Garrolite G10 is a bit different than phenolic. It's fiber reinforced.
    Adding, it's very dimensionally stable in a wide temperature range and a really realy rigid material. First thing that popped in my head reading Tonys post was garolite. Rick beat me to it. The downside to Garolite is that it can be pretty nasty stuff to work with. Fluids and/or really good evacuation and filteration is necessary. Treat it like asbestos while cutting it. Other than that I'm sure it's one of the better choices. 6mm or 1/4" thick is a good starting point....or you could just use 1/4" aluminum.
     
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  6. GrayUK

    GrayUK Master
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    I've picked up some pretty thick chopping boards, as used in the kitchen, in the past. They have no flex whatsoever and are very similar to Garolite. I have used some as sample gantry plate patterns on the Ox Machine, and they performed very well considering. I think two boards, each about 8mm, bonded together would provide a very rigid support material.
    Gray
     
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  7. kev20009

    kev20009 Journeyman
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    hi Anthony, I used a lot of phenolic on my first cnc, nice to cut and good finish, but on the laser im doing using aluminium as price match is same on ebay in uk, the 8mm is a good choice as I found with this you could thread tap it, hope this helps a little, kev
     
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  8. Anthony Bolgar

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    Thanks for every ones input, it is appreciated. I have it narrowed to garolite or aluminum. Leaning towards aluminum right now.
     

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