Cutting RC plane sections from a .STL file



I have been using the graphics program Blender to start with an .obj file of an airplane then create the inside sections to make scale RC planes. I export the sections as an .stl to print on my 3D printer. Then I trace the sections onto balsa or ply and cut them out. I want to make the process easier and cut them with a laser cutter. I have ordered a Glowforge for this purpose, maybe to sell kits. I’m not sure how to get the sections into a format the Glowforge will accept. Here is a link to the sections on youmagine.

This is an .stl file which I know is 3D, but the sections are only 2D. Can this file be easily converted for use on the Glowforge. Obviously, the parts need to remain exactly the same size.




I’ve never done that sort of work so may be looking at this wrong, but to me it looks like 3D CAD would be an ideal tool for the design of the R/C parts. You can design the parts in and check them for fit in an assembly in CAD. Once you are satisfied with the part designs, create 2D DXF files of the parts and use them to cut them out on your GlowForge.

I use OnShape ( to do the same sort of thing for working model engines and make the parts on a CNC mill and lathe but Fusion 360 by Autodesk would also work. Both products have free versions and OnShape runs in Windows, Mac, or Linux and on I-phones, I-Pads, and Android phones and tablets.


So I found out I can export .dxf files using Blender. I added the file to the youmagine page. Here is the link again:

So, will this cut on the Glowforge. I think I created the sections to fill up most of the cutting area listed for the Glowforge - 12" X 20".


You’re so close to what you need: grab 123d make. You can import the STL and it will give you scores of options for how to slice it, including intersecting slots and even numbers for easy assembly. Then you can output it as a 2D PDF that we’ll happily ingest. This was the secret to making the cardboard globe in the video!


I really think 123make and GF will be a marriage made in heaven.