DC-KIII CO2 Laser Cutter

What things would you use at the maker shop?
Booka
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Re: DC-KIII CO2 Laser Cutter

Postby Booka » Mon May 28, 2012 1:53 pm

I was going to suggest that the Checkout Class have a fee included for wear and tear on the unit. That way you can still recover some of the up front cost, but not have to track use.

But you have to make that call. And I think that it is great that you have gone through the effort to even allow members to have access.

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Thorpedo
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Re: DC-KIII CO2 Laser Cutter

Postby Thorpedo » Thu Jun 07, 2012 10:04 am

I installed MoshiDraw 2012 on the laser engraver. MoshiDraw 2012 allows the importation of more file formats (see the wiki (link) for the different formats). Disappointingly, these formats are not the ones the InkScape software uses. Also MoshiDraw 2012 appears to be a complete rewrite from the older version. The older version of MoshiDraw seems to work better for something projects. So I guess one can use one of the other depending on what will work better.

I am going to try to use email to set up a class for the few people that have expressed an interest this Saturday or Sunday (6/10/12) since the events TCMaker email is not being responded to. Maybe add in some MakerBot instruction also. I don't have access to the blog or event creation systems.

I noticed that if one waits to open the laser engraver for a half minute to a minute after the laser finishes that the smoke smell from the vaporized material is eliminated. This is probably because the ventilation system has more time to suck out any fumes in the machine. It is hard not to open and examine your work right away after the laser is done. But opening the top right away allows the fumes into the workspace area. Then people complain.

Does anyone have a 2D CAD program, like TurboCAD, that they are not using anymore? I would like to install such a program on the laser engraver computer that Scott donated. I think such a program would be useful for creating images for cutting out parts for projects on the laser engraver because it would be more precise than the drawing programs.

Image

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Thorpedo
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Re: DC-KIII CO2 Laser Cutter

Postby Thorpedo » Wed Jun 27, 2012 4:02 pm

Okay, I think I got the next class published on Eventbright (link) for Monday July 2nd at 7 PM. We'll see if this works.
Last edited by Thorpedo on Thu Jun 28, 2012 2:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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DanBackslide
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Re: DC-KIII CO2 Laser Cutter

Postby DanBackslide » Wed Jun 27, 2012 10:10 pm

Looks like the end time is off -- it's set for 7/25 @ 8pm.

Also, I'm assuming you've been given access to a calendar. Unfortunately the "laser" calendar doesn't show up on the feed on the TCMaker web page. I'm going to move the 7/11 class into the "[email protected]" calendar so it'll show up there. (I'll hold off until Thurs. night to do the move, just in case there are any objections to doing that.)
73 de KC0DZY

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Thorpedo
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Re: DC-KIII CO2 Laser Cutter

Postby Thorpedo » Wed Jul 04, 2012 8:15 am

Well we had the second class laser cutter last night (7/3/12) and it seemed to go pretty well. Don made an enclosure for his electronics project out of acrylic. The laser cutter also cut shapes out of thick paper pretty slick (don't use thin paper because of fire hazard though). With that done, I need to concentrate on getting ready for my robotics panel at Convergence this weekend. See you there!

People checked out on the laser cutter so far:
Doug
Adam
Jude
Sean
Steffin
Don
Tony
Jen

Also, I had an interesting talk with Jen about doing some kind of special free class for Women's Night on Tuesday, July 31st. She will see about setting that up and help teach that, if it happens.

Saw this interesting use of a laser cutter to cut fabric:
Image

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Thorpedo
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Re: DC-KIII CO2 Laser Cutter

Postby Thorpedo » Thu Jul 19, 2012 3:06 pm

Unfortunately, it looks like the Women's Night thing with the laser cutter isn't going to happen. On the other hand some more laser cutter classes (link) have been set up on Eventbright.

Make sure you wear sensible shoes:
Image

We are still trying new materials. We were able to mark a soap bar with the laser. It didn't really engrave, but instead darkened the soap bar with an image, in this case an image with the words "HACK FACTORY". We can engrave, but not cut glass. Spray painting a surface and then vaporizing portions of the paint off to get a reverse image worked well. We also tried cutting a piece of somewhat thin metal, but nothing happened. Maybe if we can find a sheet of really really thin metal? Still debating on whether we should get a can of that $75 Cermark stuff used to mark metal with the laser.

Don was able to make an acrylic enclosure for his electronics project using the laser cutter:
DonsEnclosure.jpg
DonsEnclosure.jpg (54.39 KiB) Viewed 3042 times


The Weld-On #3 solvent glue used to make acrylic aquariums arrived. I'm hoping to use it to assemble parts made with the laser cutter and maybe construct some sculptures.

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Thorpedo
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Re: DC-KIII CO2 Laser Cutter

Postby Thorpedo » Thu Aug 09, 2012 5:44 am

The laser tube developed a crack which caused one of the electrical connections to cauterize. They are sending a new tube and it should be delivered next week sometime.

It seems to me that this might be an opportune time to hack the laser cutter and expand the work area. Some notes:
1. XY Machine
a. To expand usable lasering area. Components
1) 5 feet so it is 60" x 14" instead of the current 8" x 14". Should exit laser cutter unit at just under 12". This would allow cutting of 4 foot wide sheets of plywood or acrylic.
2) If just get longer shafts along the Y direction, then we could just run it out from the front, and use the same stepper motors.
b. Components
1) Probably longer ribbon wire to the X stepper motor.
2) Longer belt for Y direction.
(A) Sometimes called a timing belt, or Open End Timing Belt Roll or gearbelt
(B) Will probably need about 10 feet of it because we need 4 feet, plus another 1 foot into the machine.
(1) 10 Feet = 3048 mm.
(C) Also need to determine the current belt teeth pitch and width.
(D) Prices I'm seeing is $5 a foot. The thing that irks me is that if the laser cutter was working then we could just take a regular rubber belt or strip and just cut teeth in it using the laser.
3) Longer linear shafts of the same diameter so that we can use the same bearings.
(A) Also called linear rails


- Doug

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smittex
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Re: DC-KIII CO2 Laser Cutter

Postby smittex » Tue Aug 14, 2012 6:07 am

Is the laser class still on for tonight? I've been waiting to register until the new tube came in.

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Thorpedo
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Re: DC-KIII CO2 Laser Cutter

Postby Thorpedo » Tue Aug 14, 2012 9:32 am

The laser class has been rescheduled until next week. I sent an email out to all those that had registered for tonight's class.

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smittex
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Re: DC-KIII CO2 Laser Cutter

Postby smittex » Mon Aug 20, 2012 6:58 am

Are we good to go on the laser tonight?

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