Pre-cut tubes for scratch built space frames anyone?

I traded E mails with someone... can't remember who... where i brought this very thing up... his position was with liability... chassis not engineered properly etc... but really this is the way to go... i know i would like it. I am thinking about taking my plans to a machine shop and having them do all the cuts.. would really shorten the build time for the scratch built crowd.
Hmmm, not engineered properly would be up to the designer.

Its a good point though.

Failure will always have started at a stress raiser and the stress raisers that the square cut holes/tabs produce could be an issue if you are marginal on your FOS.

Still it could save you *hours* and while I don't guess it's cheap could actually save you a substantial amount. If nothing else in not wasting material, not using cutting disks, electricity, not having to buy bandsaws, holesaws, cut-off saws etc.
After looking at the site and the pictures.... i would'nt necessarily want the little tabs and holes just each piece cut to the right length and angle... then the weak points if engineered properly would be your own welding and welding prep. With limited space to work in (a one car garage full of machines already) not having to take up space for a cutting station and long length tube storage sure looks like a plus. I did speak with a local shop who said they would cut to length and accurate angles for me but only in their "off" or down time between big jobs and at a per cut cost. All i have right now to make cuts is a chop saw and air disk neither of which i can make accurate cuts with. These methods worked ok for my last chassis build but i want the "40" to be built to a much higher standard. Too bad this guy is on the wrong side of the pond for me.

Trevor Booth

Lifetime Supporter
This is nothing new, 3D software is commercially available like Catia, ProE, that can output the files to a 3D laser cutter. I have done this type of work before hand. Tab and hole locating is part and parcel of Laser cutting. What he has done is applied the same tab and hole philosophy to tubing. The tab and hole in the tubing is not a great issue in terms of stress, what is critical is the joint design and where you place the tab and hole. Speaking from lots of experience whilst laser cutting is accurate, you can get a build up of tolerance, some sort of SIMPLE jig is a must to locate critical components. It is however a very quick way to manufacture a space frame.