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This version was saved 13 years, 8 months ago View current version     Page history
Saved by todbot
on November 8, 2010 at 9:13:36 pm


Crash Space has a laser cutter! 

(more exactly, it's Tod's personal laser cutter on loan for a while.

Please treat it with care. And please, DO NOT USE IT WITHOUT TRAINING)


More details to come, but here is some starter info. 


What We Will Do With It

Primarily we want to make money for the space with it.

  • Have classes on how to use it for the public
  • Charge per-minute to members for use
  • Maybe some contract jobs   

NYC Resistor has a lot of experience using their laser cutter to benefit their space, we should look at their results.


What It Can Do

Your typical laser cutter can either cut or engrave many different kinds of flat material.


Materials it can cut or etch:

  • Acrylic (aka Lucite, plexiglass)
  • ABS plastic  (usually, depends on formulation)
  • Wood (not pressure treated, plywood okay usually)
  • Paper/Cardboard

Materials it cannot cut:

  • Anything containing chlorine. This includes vinyl and many plastics, as well as Moleskine notebooks. If you’re not sure whether what you’ve got contains chlorine, you can do a burn test to check.
  • Metal of any kind
  • Glass cutting. It etches OK, but we can’t cut it.

If you are unsure about your material, don't stick it in the laser.  Find the MSDS sheet if you can, or ask Tod his opinion.


How To Use It

The laser appears as a printer to Windows. So "just print to it", sorta.

  • Vector art with "hairline" width (<0.001") will be cut, anything else will be rasterized and engraved
  • There is a special print driver dialog used to configure laser settings like power/speed/etc.
  • "Print" your file via a vector art drawing program (normally CorelDraw)
  • That sends the job to the laser, you must then trigger the laser by hand
  • Don't do any of this without training, though.  We'll have regular workshops to get qualified on it.


Some Useful Links



The Laser Cutter

The laser cutter setup consists of the parts:

  • Epilog Mini 24 45 Watt laser cutter
  • Purex Laserex filtration system
  • Air compressor
  • Tripp lite line conditioner for laser cutter power smoothing
  • Dell laptop driving laser cutter through Ethernet crossover cable 


(click image for notes on what parts are what)



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