Monday, 20 March 2017

Laser-cut roads

A while ago, when I had access to someone with access to a laser cutter, I designed these interlocking road sections and had them cut out of 3mm MDF. There are more of them, but this is all I could be bothered laying out.

The zig-zag tabs at each end of the sections means that they can be flipped end for end to change the direction of a curve and still interlock. The sections are about 50mm wide.

I've bevelled all the edges on my benchtop sander, and eventually they'll be painted and flocked. And that will be a bit tricky, because MDF just loves to warp — I'll have to seal them, both sides, with a spirit-based sealer before I go on to doing the actual decorative paintwork.

Having actually had them made, and tried them out in various experimental layouts, I can say that they work as expected. However, I'm not really sure that the interlocking tabs actually add any useful functionality — they'd probably be just as useful, and a bit quicker to set up and take down, if they just butted up end to end. Also, I'm not sure that there's any real benefit to using MDF over, say, pieces of felt or rubber.

Still, I've got them now.