Market Survey- Laser Cut Wish List

Discussion in 'General Card Modeling' started by bclemens, May 13, 2008.

  1. bclemens

    bclemens Member

    Greetings, all.

    I am considering investing in a laser cutting outfit as a business venture. As an avid paper modeler, I see the potential to provide laser-cut accessories for paper models. I'd like to do some market research here to see what kind of potential might be in this...

    What kind of things would you like to see available as laser-cut sheets that are not readily available now? Ship railings? Ladders? Tank tracks? Other generic things? Any input you can give would be most welcome!

  2. logicman

    logicman Greybeard


    Blank disks in various standard diameters & thicknesses, for laminating.

    Maybe some standard spoke arrangements: 4,6,8,12 spokes?

    Great for trains, cars, tanks, about everything really.

  3. bclemens

    bclemens Member

    Excellent! Yes, disks would be very handy and could be provided in assorted sizes and thickness. The spoke arrangements could extend out a ways and be easily trimmed and matched with laser-cut rims of various diameters to make wheels of assorted sizes- good idea, thanks!!
  4. Stev0

    Stev0 Active Member

    Pretty much anything thin and difficult to cut by hand or requires repetitive cuts.

    What about formers? Nothing like a perfectly shaped former. =)
  5. bclemens

    bclemens Member

    Hmmm...indeed. Then I'd have to buy all the popular models in order to design the formers :) Sounds good to me!
  6. cdavenport

    cdavenport Member

    With a good scanner and file conversion software, you could scan the original and transfer files to the laser cutter.

    BTW, all perfectly legal since you are selling accessories.

    I can think of one use right off the bat...bulkheads for Digital Navy products. They may even be willing to work out a deal with you.
  7. Art Decko

    Art Decko Member

    How finely can a laser cutter cut cardstock?
  8. bclemens

    bclemens Member

    The table-top models I'm looking at are spec'd to cut a 1/1000th inch kerf.
  9. dansls1

    dansls1 Member

    I have yet to build any models using laser cut formers, although I have a couple in my stacks and they look like they will save some cutting time and blade usage.

    I would think that tank tracks and ship railings would be the biggest sellers. That's based on most often seen requests for help and complaints about tedious builds.

    Personally, the biggest accessory I want is clear canopies. I know there are DIY methods around, but it just doesn't excite me to even try. I know that strays from your request and capabilites with a laser cutter - but figured I'd throw my 2 cents in anyway ;)
  10. shoki2000

    shoki2000 Active Member

    I have no problem providing you with formers for GreMir kits, just specify the format they should be in :thumb:
  11. keith

    keith Member

    To go with the circles. I'd like to see some precision made card cogs of various sizes.

    Just a thought, Hexagons and squares - for those table top gamers.

    Whats the maximum thickness you can cut without it catching fire?
    You could do some modular card parts like the old linka system for railways?
  12. SCEtoAux

    SCEtoAux Member

    Ratlines for ship models would be useful.
  13. Stev0

    Stev0 Active Member

    Also another idea would be to give someone a free set of lasers to whomever ships you a purchased model. They buy it online and have it shipped to your address and then you have the model for reference. You build a set of laser parts and ship it and the model to the customer.

    A great way to get actual models to get the parts for free. Who would not want to have a set of free laser parts. No costs out of pocket beyond your design set and it's going to cost you anyhow to get a set of lasers created.
  14. David H

    David H Member

    Can you really just copy someone else's artwork for profit?

    Surely it would be polite to get the agreement of kit's publisher as Michael has given above?

    I would like to see hatch covers (waffle pattern) blocks and dead eyes for rigging. As I understand it you can control the depth of cutting too?

  15. bclemens

    bclemens Member

    Excellent ideas one and all! This is very encouraging. Michael, I think this kind of collaboration between fine model designers and a laser cutting operation could be a win-win-win (designer, customer, and me). Thanks.

    David H, obviously working off of a designer's direct designs could only be done with permission such as Michael offered above- and I wouldn't have access to them otherwise. But there is no copyright infringement if someone works from the dimensions of a published kit to create an after-market accessory or enhancement. This would be the same as an automotive parts company making a bolt-on replacement carburetor...And I don't see why any kit designer would have a problem with a third-party creating enhancements that might cause someone to be more likely to buy his model. In any case, providing laser cut formers for a model for profit would not be providing an alternative to buying that model. Capitalizing on the popularity of someone else's creation is simply, well, Capitalism :thumb:

  16. NYC Irish

    NYC Irish Member

    In the name of All thats card models could you please do Railings for ships, especially ones that we could dictate sizes and scales. Ive given up on a few projects as I couldnt find 3 or 2 bar stanchions at 1/144 scale and no other laser cutter was willing to design them...really appreciated if you would try

    John John
  17. bclemens

    bclemens Member

    To answer Keith and David H:

    Yes you can control the power of the laser in order to control the depth of cut. Therefore one can texture or engrave surfaces as well as cut.

    As far as how thick can you cut, That depends on the laser power (= $). From what I've seen the less expensive desktop models I am looking at can easily cut through any card stock that would be used in paper modeling.
  18. logicman

    logicman Greybeard

    As e.g. canopies for paper planes, glow-plug engines for balsa ones, true-scale wheels for rtr rolling stock, windows for buildings, etc., etc.

    If that was a legal issue, there'd be more lawyers than modellers.

    Wait a minute - there are more lawyers than modellers.

  19. dansls1

    dansls1 Member

    Hmm, laser frames for Gremir kits. Depending on price, I would quite possibly purchase those at some point - starting with the P61 that's near the top of my build list...
  20. cdavenport

    cdavenport Member

    Perhaps Kooklik will work with you to produce bulkheads, etc for Thaipaperwork models! That would be killer. I would get right to work on the U-Boat if I didn't have to cut out all those bulkheads. There are just so many companies that would benefit from this. In fact, I wager a good number of modelers would pay the extra cost if pre-cut formers were included in the price of a kit.

    I know the plastics guys are doing this. For companies that sell digital downloads, customers could have the option of also purchasing your laser-cut product, shipped directly from you!

    It just takes some communication and coordination. I, for one, would love this option!

    Gremir models has stepped up to the plate already. I have a few of their kits waiting to be built. I just need those laser-cut formers to start!!

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