Manufacturing Bespoke Model Aircrafts with Scan2CAD

Updated Jan 19, 2018
Camden Custom Cutters Model Aircraft Manufacturing

Since 2010, Camden Custom Cutters have been providing bespoke RC model aircraft kits that can’t be found elsewhere. Its customers rely on it for unique models—and, in turn, it relies on Scan2CAD to make them a reality.

Your software is the heart of our business — without it, we would not have a business.Roger Marshall, Camden Custom Cutters

About Camden Custom Cutters

Over the past seven years, Camden Custom Cutters have been making kits for radio-controlled model aircraft. The business caters to the community of model aircraft enthusiasts who are looking for something a little different from your standard kit. As such, the kits that Camden Custom Cutters produce aren’t available from other commercial sources; in many cases, they are one-of-a-kind.

The image above shows how one of Camden Custom Cutters’ models looks when fully assembled. But there’s a lot of work that goes into each model before it gets to that stage. For the customer, it involves hours of gluing, screwing, bolting, and decorating, as well as installing engines and other equipment. However, the real work on each model begins in Camden.

How each kit is created

In some cases, Camden Custom Cutters are able to find existing designs to use to create their kits. Often, however, the company has to start from the very beginning: with a pencil and paper. Camden Custom Cutters will create a usable paper plan set for their model, before scanning it into a digital image—usually in PDF format. After that is where Scan2CAD comes in. Camden use Scan2CAD to convert their raster images to vector images—a crucial part of the process, laying the groundwork for all future stages.

After using Scan2CAD to convert from PDF to DWG, Camden Custom Cutters can edit their design in Scan2CAD or export to another CAD application like AutoCAD. This helps them to make necessary edits and tweaks, making their designs production-ready. Then, they’ll identify specific aircraft parts and make nested DXF files. Next comes the manufacturing stage: Camden use high-powered laser cutters to machine their aircraft parts out of thin wood sheets, such as balsa, poplar, or basswood. Then, the manufactured parts are ready to ship out to customers, who assemble the models ready for radio-controlled flight.

From Paper Design to CAD and Manufacturing

From Paper Design to CAD Conversion and Manufacturing

The original Paper design (top right). The design converted in Scan2CAD (lower right) and the laser cut shapes.

One recent example of a model created by Camden Custom Cutters is the British World War I Sopwith Triplane aircraft below. As with all models, it started life as a large paper blueprint. It was then scanned and saved as a TIFF file. Then, Camden used Scan2CAD to convert from TIFF to DXF. After editing the designs, they are saved as DXF. At this point, it was ready for laser cutting in balsa wood.

And the final result? Well, it’s something quite amazing. Here’s the fully assembled aircraft.

Sopwith Triplane Completed Model

The fully assembled model by Camden Custom Cutters

Why Scan2CAD?

For Camden Custom Cutters, it was a case of trying the rest before trying the best. The company had already put several other raster-to-vector conversion programs to the test before Scan2CAD. When they discovered Scan2CAD, they quickly realised it was superior by far.

Roger Marshall is the man behind the business; the one who transforms paper designs into finished aircraft parts.

According to Roger;

“It’s a true statement that the success of our business has been singularly dependent on Scan2CAD”.

As well as the software’s technical superiority, Roger also credits the Scan2CAD team for their support and responsiveness. He notes that when experiencing some file size issues with the software, “support staff quickly resolved our problems with later releases”.

It’s been five years since the company started using Scan2CAD, and it’s a partnership that looks set to continue well into the future. Scan2CAD has helped Roger turn ideas into reality, and allowed his business to take off.

Scan2CAD is helping makers to create innovative and unique products the world over. As the market leader in conversion, Scan2CAD is the ultimate vectorization software, and comes complete with a wide range of raster and vector editing tools to help you get the job done.

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