CTR Lasers - ATAT Model Step 3

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ATAT model step 3

ATAT Star Wars model - 1  2  3  4  5

Make sure that you have carried out step one and step two of this model before working through this page... following the instructions in order is important.

ATAT Star Wars free laser cut design files from CTR
This project consists of instructions and free downloads and is NOT FOR SALE OR REDISTRIBUTION.
The design files remain the property of CTR Future Ltd. and the design files and any subsequent models created from our files are NOT FOR PROFIT.
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Step 3 - Belly

  1. Source your materials.
    Materials required: one sheets of 2mm wood or similar modelmaking material. Size: 305 x 305mm.
    Glue suitable for your material (i.e. PVA or wood glue).
    Small clamps are beneficial in holding the parts together while the glue sets to prevent your pieces from sliding out of alignment.

    HINT: You can re-nest the parts if your machine is smaller, or if you're using scraps of material.

    TIP: It's best to continue using the same material as for the previous stages (please see step 1 for initial material advice).

    REMINDER: The rest of the ATAT model is designed from the same 2mm material, so you might want to source a larger sheet and use parts of it as required for this model.
  2. Head over to our downloads page (design files) and download the ATAT part 3.
    This DXF file is compatible with our British CTR laser machines (and most others!).
    Direct link - click here.
  3. Below you can see an image of the layout for the pieces you will cut.

    TIP:It would be handy to have a honeycomb bed in your machine at this stage to catch the smaller pieces. But otherwise, if you have a CTR machine you can simply pick them out of the base tray in the machine.

    IMPORTANT:If you decide to re-nest the file, you can move each yellow piece, but make sure the internals are all kept in place in relation to each outline, otherwise you'll find some parts won't fit together.
    ATAT belly assembly cut pieces layout
    INFORMATION:We're actually making two base plates here so that the model can be taken apart if you want to (the top can be removed from the leg assembly), or you can glue it all securely in place depending on your preference. But before I get carried away, you need to cut the design file, again remembering that the red lines are to be scored and the black lines cut entirely through the material.

    TIP:You may notice, to avoid engraving and make the file cut faster, the design has two coils, which create a nice mark on the material but work a lot faster than engraving can sometimes. A coil also runs faster than concentric circles, and the small start and finish point are negligible in my opinion (feel free to change it if you prefer though!).

    INFORMATION:Once the parts are cut (or while they're cutting, so long as you never leave any laser machine unattended while it is processing a job!) I'll point out another interesting feature of this model (which is also used later on the head)... a living hinge. You may have noticed when picking up the block with zig zagged lines on that it stretches and flexes. This is one type of living hinge, where the cuts in the material allow what should be a flat piece to flex and form to different shapes. Admittedly this example is a very loose hinge, but it needs to be for this design.
  4. Now that your parts are cut, carefully put the six support pieces to one side for the next step as these are not yet required.
  5. You first need to work with the four hip pieces and a under-belly (image below).
    ATAT belly hips layout
  6. Making sure that the engraved sides of the four hips face outwards (so that you can see the detail when the model is assembled) and that the narrow end of each piece touch together and the larger end with the hole cut out sticks out from the under-belly (as pictured above), you need to glue the four hip joints onto the under belly. Each hip piece has two slot holes which slip onto the tabs on the under-belly.

    TIP: Make sure you get these as straight (vertically) as possible, as the legs will later be glued onto these pieces and any sharp angles at this stage will make your ATAT look more like a gangly newborn horse, with legs going everywhere. To help with this, the upper belly can currently be positioned on the tops of the hips, making sure that the two score marks line up the correct way with the under belly indicator marks, and that the four slot holes in the upper belly line up correctly with the top arches of the hips.

    IMPORTANT: DO NOT glue the upper belly in place yet. This is just to be used for lining the hips up at the moment.

    ATAT belly hips 1 layout
    ATAT belly hips 2 layout
    ATAT belly hips 3 layout
  7. When the glue has set (be patient, as it makes the next step easier), take the stomach (living hinge / zig-zag piece). This piece will sit with its two long (solid) edges on top of the under belly with the rest hanging underneath.
    IMPORTANT:To do this, first identify where the two scored lines are. This is to help you line the under belly up with the upper belly and stomach so that the all three pieces are facing the correct way.

    The stomach is designed so that its edges will sit flush with the edges of the hip pieces. To do this, slide one end of the stomach piece up through the hole in the under belly. Being careful not to snap your material, carefully work the stomach piece so that the entire long edge of each side are on the top of the under belly, with the rest hanging through the hole and underneath the under belly. This then needs to be glued in place (you can glue underneath the long edges of the stomach and where it sits on the lower belly, and also along the sides where the long edges of the stomach butt up against the hips (clamps would be handy here to hold the material in place while the glue sets).
  8. When the glue has set, take the two stomach ends and glue them so that the straight edge of each is fixed to the bottom of the under belly so that the stomach can stretch around its curved edge. Make sure that engraved ends face outwards again so that you will see the detail on the final model.
    ATAT belly stomach ends
    ATAT belly stomach ends view 1
  9. IMPORTANT REMINDER: No matter how tempting it is, do NOT glue the legs and feet together or to the belly yet. This will be one of the last steps, so that you can position them as desired, while still offering the required support for the body weight, especially as there is a fair amount of material which goes into the head and makes it a little front-heavy. You don't want your ATAT doing a nose-dive.


I hope everything went smoothly for you in this step. Sorry if the names of the pieces for identification are a bit bizarre... let us know if you prefer the next steps (and future projects) to be more along the lines of "put part A01 into slot B02".

Click here for step 4 ...