Drilling Really Tiny Holes?

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Tchail
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Drilling Really Tiny Holes?

Post by Tchail » Tue Sep 12, 2017 8:07 pm

I bought a Rogue One Star Destroyer model, and am interested in lighting it with 0.25 mm fiber optics.

The problem is, how do I drill the thousand(s) of tiny holes?

I have a pin vise, but based on my experience with #80 drill bits, I would end up breaking a lot of those. And the cheapest I've been able to find them is 10 for $6.00.

I do have a really crazy idea about using a laser diode from a DVD or Blu Ray burner to burn tiny holes. I've seen a bunch of videos of people using laser diodes to light matches, engrave wood, and pop balloons, but I wonder if anyone has ever tried it with drilling holes in polystyrene or resin...

One problem is how do you keep the beam focused as the laser drills through the plastic.

Any thoughts?
“In the beginning the universe was created. This made a lot of people angry, and has generally been regarded as a bad move." Episode 5, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

wowyz
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Re: Drilling Really Tiny Holes?

Post by wowyz » Tue Sep 12, 2017 8:14 pm

Use a pinvise with lots of small drill-bits(snap easily).

Add fiber optics from an LED.

Ant
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Re: Drilling Really Tiny Holes?

Post by Ant » Wed Sep 13, 2017 2:21 am

I made myself a mini drill from a 12v motor & 600RPM gearbox combo, and miniature chuck, both from ebay for a total of less than 5 quid that I have been using with 0.5mm drills on my Zvezda SD and haven't broken a drill yet. It's fast enough to drill a hole in a couple of seconds, but not fast enough to melt the plastic. Being so small and light it's much easier to hold steady than my Dremel too.

Image

I think any laser solution would be extremely difficult- you'd be melting a hole many times deeper than its diameter which is going to leave a mess. A BR laser only just has the power to burn dark materials, white styrene would reflect most of that energy and you would almost certainly end up causing yourself eye damage at some point along the way. No model is worth that.

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southwestforests
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Re: Drilling Really Tiny Holes?

Post by southwestforests » Wed Sep 13, 2017 11:08 am

Since early 1980s I've used number 80, 79, 78, bits for various things in model trains such as adding metal grab irons to plastic body shells. Best I've been able to determine is that there is no easy way and bits will eventually break in much the same way as how cats will eventually hack up hairballs.
Some helpful hints are:
Be very aware of developing getfinisheditis on each and every hole, that is prime time for breaking bits; you can bet your grandkids' inheritance on it.
Nibble at it about 5 holes at a time then get up and leave: yes, it will probably take a year to do the job.
Drill with no distractions, none, zero, zilch, no TV, no radio, no CD, no iTunes, no screaming toddlers, no relatives asking where the 16 ounce iced tea glasses are, nothing, if you aren't 100% focused you will break the bit.
The drain from being that focused is why only 5 holes at a sitting.
"There are a thousand things that can happen when you go light a rocket engine, and only one of them is good."
Tom Mueller of SpaceX, in Air and Space, Jan. 2011

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Tchail
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Re: Drilling Really Tiny Holes?

Post by Tchail » Wed Sep 13, 2017 4:08 pm

Ant wrote:
Wed Sep 13, 2017 2:21 am
I made myself a mini drill from a 12v motor & 600RPM gearbox combo, and miniature chuck, both from ebay for a total of less than 5 quid that I have been using with 0.5mm drills on my Zvezda SD and haven't broken a drill yet. It's fast enough to drill a hole in a couple of seconds, but not fast enough to melt the plastic. Being so small and light it's much easier to hold steady than my Dremel too.

Image

I think any laser solution would be extremely difficult- you'd be melting a hole many times deeper than its diameter which is going to leave a mess. A BR laser only just has the power to burn dark materials, white styrene would reflect most of that energy and you would almost certainly end up causing yourself eye damage at some point along the way. No model is worth that.
This looks like a great solution!

Thanks!

-T
“In the beginning the universe was created. This made a lot of people angry, and has generally been regarded as a bad move." Episode 5, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

wowyz
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Re: Drilling Really Tiny Holes?

Post by wowyz » Wed Sep 13, 2017 4:31 pm

I got a wave pen style router, small, light and smooth speed dial.
This one: https://hlj.com/product/WAVHT-190

But prefer a pinvise as I go down to 0.1mm bits (look at it wrong and it breaks).

Great advise above. go slowly, few holes at a time.

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Tchail
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Re: Drilling Really Tiny Holes?

Post by Tchail » Thu Sep 14, 2017 8:06 pm

Never mind!

I figured out the answers to my questions!

Thanks anyway!

-T
“In the beginning the universe was created. This made a lot of people angry, and has generally been regarded as a bad move." Episode 5, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

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Re: Drilling Really Tiny Holes?

Post by E-Dub » Sun Sep 17, 2017 9:03 am

If you're friendly with your dentist he (or she) would probably be willing to give you old dental bits. Even when they're no longer good for teeth they're fine for styrene and resin. Been using them for years and have only broken two.
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Tchail
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Re: Drilling Really Tiny Holes?

Post by Tchail » Sun Sep 17, 2017 3:09 pm

E-Dub wrote:
Sun Sep 17, 2017 9:03 am
If you're friendly with your dentist he (or she) would probably be willing to give you old dental bits. Even when they're no longer good for teeth they're fine for styrene and resin. Been using them for years and have only broken two.
I found these on Amazon.com:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00O0 ... UTF8&psc=1

I think a big part of the problem of using a hand/manual/spring loaded pin vise is the amount of pressure you end up putting on the drill bit.

I like Ant's suggestion, and I've ordered the parts off of Ye 'Ol Bay of Evil. I think the bits will last longer if they're able to "nibble" at the plastic.
“In the beginning the universe was created. This made a lot of people angry, and has generally been regarded as a bad move." Episode 5, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

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