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  1. Over the last few months I've been looking into building T-Trak modules as a way of getting some of my layout ideas into reality without having to build a single large layout. This has also coincided with research into laser-cutting services and I figured that it would be fairly easy to combine the two. As such, I'm pleased to present my prototype laser-cut T-Trak module. It's not perfect as I made a small miscalculation in the measurements of the front panel but it holds together well and is surprisingly rigid. I designed the pieces to slot together using tabs and slots; the tabs on the top piece match up with the T-Trak alternate spacing standard and Kato trackbed width to act as a guide for laying track. I had it laser-cut by Razorlab (UK) and the process is almost as simple as designing the pieces in a vector graphics program (I use Inkscape, free software), uploading it to Razorlab's website and getting an instant quote. It took about 5 days from order to arriving on the doorstep. The material is 3mm plywood, which is the thickest Razorlab have. I was a little concerned that it might not be thick enough but it seems to be more than suffice for this size of module. Larger modules may need cross-bracing and module size will be limited by Razorlab's maximum material size (790 x 384 mm). For me, the benefit of laser-cutting is that I don't need to invest in tools that I would otherwise never use and that it is much easier to achieve high levels of precision - I know from experience woodworking is not my specialty. Now that I've got a good prototype, I'm looking forward to decorating it with scenery and designing some more adventurous modules to make progress towards those layout ideas I've been itching to create!
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