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tools:lasercutter [2019/07/14 23:46]
sgt.dicks [Non-User-Performable Maintenance]
tools:lasercutter [2019/07/17 05:02] (current)
riumplus
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 ====== Specifications ====== ====== Specifications ======
-  * **Machine:​** [[http://​www.cnccheap.com/​product/​60w-co2-usb-laser-engraving-cutting-machine-engraver-cutter-chiller-700x500mm/​|RedSail X700 Laser Engraver]], Red & Black+  * **Machine:​** [[http://​www.cnccheap.com/​X700.html|RedSail X700 Laser Engraver]], Red & Black
   * **Location:​** [[:​digitalfabrication|Digital Fabrication Room]]   * **Location:​** [[:​digitalfabrication|Digital Fabrication Room]]
-  * **Power:** 60W power supply, 80W rated glass tube, 62mm diameter, 1220mm long (could fit 1250mm maximum) ​+  * **Power:** 60W power supply, 80W rated glass tube, <del>62mm diameter, 1220mm long</​del>​ new tube dimensions not yet recorded ​(could fit 1250mm maximum) ​
   * **Wavelength:​** CO<​sub>​2</​sub>​ infra-red 10.6µm   * **Wavelength:​** CO<​sub>​2</​sub>​ infra-red 10.6µm
   * **Lens:** 18mm diameter, 50.8mm focal length, GaAs lens   * **Lens:** 18mm diameter, 50.8mm focal length, GaAs lens
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   * **Thickest material potentially cuttable in multiple passes:** 10mm acrylic, 8mm MDF   * **Thickest material potentially cuttable in multiple passes:** 10mm acrylic, 8mm MDF
   * **Controller board:** [[http://​smoothieware.org/​smoothieboard|Smoothieboard]]   * **Controller board:** [[http://​smoothieware.org/​smoothieboard|Smoothieboard]]
-  * **Software:​** [[https://​inkscape.org/​en/​|Inkscape]] for modelling, [[http://​hci.rwth-aachen.de/​visicut|Visicut]] to generate the necessary [[http://​smoothieware.org/​supported-g-codes|Gcode]].+  * **Software:​** [[https://​inkscape.org/​en/​|Inkscape]] for modelling, [[https://​hci.rwth-aachen.de/​visicut|Visicut]] to generate the necessary [[http://​smoothieware.org/​supported-g-codes|Gcode]].
   * **Other Features:** Liquid cooled with CW-3000 "​chiller"​ (ambient-air-only heat exchanger), filtered air intake, exterior-located air extraction system, filtered shop air for the air assist   * **Other Features:** Liquid cooled with CW-3000 "​chiller"​ (ambient-air-only heat exchanger), filtered air intake, exterior-located air extraction system, filtered shop air for the air assist
   *  Max Temp of water chiller is 30°C, this cannot be exceeded as not only is cutting power reduced, the tube's lifespan dramatically drops plus the chances of the laser tube catastrophically cracking increases exponentially   *  Max Temp of water chiller is 30°C, this cannot be exceeded as not only is cutting power reduced, the tube's lifespan dramatically drops plus the chances of the laser tube catastrophically cracking increases exponentially
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 **This machine is INCREDIBLY delicate. If you haven'​t been approved by the Laser Supervisors it's recommend you don't move, open or even touch this equipment.** **This machine is INCREDIBLY delicate. If you haven'​t been approved by the Laser Supervisors it's recommend you don't move, open or even touch this equipment.**
  
-Laser cutters can be picky machines - particularly ours, given it was originally a cheap Chinese unit that's had half its guts pulled out & replaced and various hacks or upgrades installed throughout it. Sometimes we compare it to the differences between a plane and a car. Knowing how to drive one car means you can pretty much just hop in and drive most other cars straight away, from a Porsche 911 to a Model T Ford, whereas knowing how to fly one plane gets you the basic theory but there'​s enough differences between models that you need to learn how to fly each type/model of plane separately. In the same way, knowing how to use other laser cutters gives you the basic theory behind them but not the knowledge of how to properly operate //our// one. Ironically, our experiences have been that people who know how to use other laser cutters are actually //more likely// to damage our one due to things like expecting it to work one way when it works another, and there'​s unfortunately many past instances of damage backing up why we're a bit protective of this machine. For these reasons, this machine is interlocked and can only be turned on by certain people.+Laser cutters can be picky machines - particularly ours, given it was originally a cheap Chinese unit that's had half its guts pulled out & replaced and various hacks or upgrades installed throughout it. Sometimes we compare it to the differences between a plane and a car. Knowing how to drive one car means you can pretty much just hop in and drive most other cars straight away, from a Porsche 911 to a Model T Ford, whereas knowing how to fly one plane gets you the basic theory but there'​s enough differences between models that you need to learn how to fly each type/model of plane separately. In the same way, knowing how to use other laser cutters gives you the basic theory behind them but not the knowledge of how to properly operate //our// one. Ironically, our experiences have been that people who know how to use other laser cutters are actually //more likely// to damage our one due to things like expecting it to work one way when it works another, and there'​s unfortunately many past instances of damage backing up why we're a bit protective of this machine. Our machine has had features added to it to ensure it's safe for humans to use it, but it's still lacking the features to ensure safety for the machine itself - that is, there'​s nothing stopping the machine from destroying itself in a fraction of a second if you do something wrong. For these reasons, this machine is interlocked and can only be turned on by certain people.
  
 To use this machine you either need to be supervised by a Laser Supervisor, inducted, or be a Laser Supervisor yourself. For casual use or newcomers the first option is the one you want; the easiest way to organise a time with one of the Laser Supervisors is during Tuesday Open Nights as normally there'​s more than one present anyway. If that's not an option for you the next best choice is to ask in the #​cause-digifab channel or the general channel on [[https://​discord.gg/​avtkH5t|Discord chat]], or the forums in the [[https://​forum.hsbne.org/​c/​cause-effect/​digital-fabrication|Digifab section]]. What's generally involved on the day is a Laser Supervisor will check over your job, run you through setting everything up, then start the job for you. You then watch over the machine to make sure nothing goes wrong (see [[https://​wiki.hsbne.org/​tools/​lasercutter#​how_to_know_when_something_s_wrong|How To Know When Something'​s Wrong]]) while the Laser Supervisor leaves & does whatever they were doing before, then when your job is finished the Supervisor will return to show you how to properly clean the machine & leave it in a good state ready for the next person. Hopefully you'll pick up a thing or two watching the Supervisor, so on future jobs you can do more & more of the required beginning/​ending work so the Supervisor does less of it for you and more just checking you did everything right. There'​s a //lot// to know though, more than most people are honestly willing to learn, and more than can be remembered from a single session. Generally most people care about getting their job cut, not fully learning how to use a laser cutter, which is completely okay and is why we do it this way. To use this machine you either need to be supervised by a Laser Supervisor, inducted, or be a Laser Supervisor yourself. For casual use or newcomers the first option is the one you want; the easiest way to organise a time with one of the Laser Supervisors is during Tuesday Open Nights as normally there'​s more than one present anyway. If that's not an option for you the next best choice is to ask in the #​cause-digifab channel or the general channel on [[https://​discord.gg/​avtkH5t|Discord chat]], or the forums in the [[https://​forum.hsbne.org/​c/​cause-effect/​digital-fabrication|Digifab section]]. What's generally involved on the day is a Laser Supervisor will check over your job, run you through setting everything up, then start the job for you. You then watch over the machine to make sure nothing goes wrong (see [[https://​wiki.hsbne.org/​tools/​lasercutter#​how_to_know_when_something_s_wrong|How To Know When Something'​s Wrong]]) while the Laser Supervisor leaves & does whatever they were doing before, then when your job is finished the Supervisor will return to show you how to properly clean the machine & leave it in a good state ready for the next person. Hopefully you'll pick up a thing or two watching the Supervisor, so on future jobs you can do more & more of the required beginning/​ending work so the Supervisor does less of it for you and more just checking you did everything right. There'​s a //lot// to know though, more than most people are honestly willing to learn, and more than can be remembered from a single session. Generally most people care about getting their job cut, not fully learning how to use a laser cutter, which is completely okay and is why we do it this way.
  
-Note that we ask for a donation to be made to Digifab when using the laser cutter to cover its ongoing operating costs (cleaning supplies, lubricants, mirrors/​lenses,​ laser tubes, replacing parts that break or wear out, upgrades, etc), plus an additional donation if you use some of our on-hand material stock. The suggested donation for using the laser cutter is currently $12/hour, or $1 every 5 minutes, plus extra if you use the honeycomb bed. Note that this is only just covers estimated running costs, so please don't skip the donation & higher amounts are definitely appreciated. We recommend bringing your own materials as our stockpile will always be small, limited & pretty random in what we have on offer, and there'​s a good chance we won't have what you want. A few local suppliers are [[https://​www.acrylicsonline.com.au/​|Global Acrylics]], [[https://​www.australiansheettraders.com.au/​|Australian Sheet Traders]], or even [[https://​www.bunnings.com.au/​|Bunnings]]. Suggested donations for using our materials are on posters in Digifab or, for some more exotic materials, directly on them. Acrylic is $18/kg for good condition or $12/kg for scratched or damaged, sheet plastics are $30/kg for good condition or $24 for scratched or damaged, and cardboard is $10/kg. Note that unless you square up the remaining material, you're buying the whole piece. Scales ​have been ordered and are on their way, but for reference a 600mm*300mm*4.5mm sheet of acrylic is almost exactly 1kg.+Note that we ask for a donation to be made to Digifab when using the laser cutter to cover its ongoing operating costs (cleaning supplies, lubricants, mirrors/​lenses,​ laser tubes, replacing parts that break or wear out, upgrades, etc), plus an additional donation if you use some of our on-hand material stock. The suggested donation for using the laser cutter is currently $12/hour, or $1 every 5 minutes, plus extra if you use the honeycomb bed. Note that this is only just covers estimated running costs, so please don't skip the donation & higher amounts are definitely appreciated. We recommend bringing your own materials as our stockpile will always be small, limited & pretty random in what we have on offer, and there'​s a good chance we won't have what you want. A few local suppliers are [[https://​www.acrylicsonline.com.au/​|Global Acrylics]], [[https://​www.australiansheettraders.com.au/​|Australian Sheet Traders]], or even [[https://​www.bunnings.com.au/​|Bunnings]]. Suggested donations for using our materials are on posters in Digifab or, for some more exotic materials, directly on them. Acrylic is $18/kg for good condition or $12/kg for scratched or damaged, sheet plastics are $30/kg for good condition or $24 for scratched or damaged, and cardboard is $10/kg. Note that unless you square up the remaining material, you're buying the whole piece. Scales are by the laser cutter computer, but for reference a 600mm*300mm*4.5mm sheet of acrylic is almost exactly 1kg.
  
 Because we haven'​t sorted out 100% of everything involved, inductions for the laser cutter are currently a long process taking many one-on-one sessions that end up taking at least a month, and inducted members still have many restrictions placed on them (eg only certain specific materials/​types of cuts that are known good, not the entire library in Visicut as the library currently has many dud profiles). Again because we don't have everything sorted out and because they have to be essentially done one-on-one, inductions take //a lot// of Supervisor time, and the Supervisors are only volunteers that get nothing in return for volunteering all their time too. It's not worth the large amount of volunteer time if you're only needing a handful of future cuts. So unless you plan to regularly cut a //lot// of separate jobs over a long period of time, the Laser Supervisors would rather just supervise you on individual jobs because it's far quicker and easier for everyone. If this is a burning (pun intended) passion of yours though, we suggest you start by reading through both [[https://​www.repairfaq.org/​sam/​lasersam.htm|Sam'​s Laser FAQ]] and IEC 60825.1. As with both the laser cutter itself and the rest of the Hackerspace in general, help improving this system is always welcome. Because we haven'​t sorted out 100% of everything involved, inductions for the laser cutter are currently a long process taking many one-on-one sessions that end up taking at least a month, and inducted members still have many restrictions placed on them (eg only certain specific materials/​types of cuts that are known good, not the entire library in Visicut as the library currently has many dud profiles). Again because we don't have everything sorted out and because they have to be essentially done one-on-one, inductions take //a lot// of Supervisor time, and the Supervisors are only volunteers that get nothing in return for volunteering all their time too. It's not worth the large amount of volunteer time if you're only needing a handful of future cuts. So unless you plan to regularly cut a //lot// of separate jobs over a long period of time, the Laser Supervisors would rather just supervise you on individual jobs because it's far quicker and easier for everyone. If this is a burning (pun intended) passion of yours though, we suggest you start by reading through both [[https://​www.repairfaq.org/​sam/​lasersam.htm|Sam'​s Laser FAQ]] and IEC 60825.1. As with both the laser cutter itself and the rest of the Hackerspace in general, help improving this system is always welcome.
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 ===== Visicut ===== ===== Visicut =====
-[[http://​hci.rwth-aachen.de/​visicut|Visicut]] is a free, open-source laser cutter controller. Each time //Add To Visicut// is run from within Inkscape, it will create a new item on the build area on the left side of the Visicut window. You can move, scale, rotate or delete each item in this area, which corresponds to the cutting area of the laser cutter.+[[https://​hci.rwth-aachen.de/​visicut|Visicut]] is a free, open-source laser cutter controller. Each time //Add To Visicut// is run from within Inkscape, it will create a new item on the build area on the left side of the Visicut window. You can move, scale, rotate or delete each item in this area, which corresponds to the cutting area of the laser cutter.
  
 Note that Visicut is only used once your design is finished. It's not possible to edit an object or split them apart from here; to do that go back to Inkscape, make your edits and resend them back to Visicut. Note that Visicut is only used once your design is finished. It's not possible to edit an object or split them apart from here; to do that go back to Inkscape, make your edits and resend them back to Visicut.
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 ===== Non-User-Performable Maintenance ===== ===== Non-User-Performable Maintenance =====
-This list is primarily here to remind you that **if you haven'​t been specifically shown how to perform the below actions and you don't have the specialised equipment on hand to perform them, you should NOT attempt them**. If you ignore this and attempt to clean the following parts of the laser cutter ​and damage it, you will be charged for replacement partsIf you think one of these things needs doing, post about it [[https://​forum.hsbne.org|on the forums]] or mention it on [[https://​discord.gg/​avtkH5t|Discord chat]].+This list is primarily here to remind you that **if you haven'​t been specifically shown how to perform the below actions and you don't have the specialised equipment on hand to perform them, you should NOT attempt them**. If you ignore this and attempt to perform any of the below tasks and subsequently damage ​the laser cutter, you will be charged for replacement parts and given a temporary ban. If you think one of these things needs doing, post about it [[https://​forum.hsbne.org|on the forums]] or mention it on [[https://​discord.gg/​avtkH5t|Discord chat]].
  
-  * Cleaning the optics (the mirrors and lenses) - this includes wiping, blowing on them, breathing on them, or anything else that either directly or indirectly touches them. A single piece of dust in the wrong place could shatter them. For realsies - don't touch them unless you have been trained //and// you have the black plastic briefcase containing the necessary equipment.+  * Cleaning the optics (the mirrors and lenses) - this includes wiping ​with anything, blowing on them, breathing on them, or anything else that either directly or indirectly touches them. A single piece of dust in the wrong place could shatter them. For realsies - don't touch them unless you have been trained //and// you have the black plastic briefcase containing the necessary equipment.
   * Adjusting any of the adjustment screws to calibrate the laser beam's alignment   * Adjusting any of the adjustment screws to calibrate the laser beam's alignment
   * Replacing the liquid coolant or bleeding the coolant system   * Replacing the liquid coolant or bleeding the coolant system
-  * Changing any of the underlying software settings on the Smoothieboard or in Visicut. This includes ​changing/adding material settings in Visicut - while our library of suitable settings could always do with expanding and we would love some help here, this should be done only in consultation with a Laser Supervisor. Both because we need to track any changes/​improvements and so we can make sure you're actually getting the right numbers.+  ​* Touching anything in the electronics compartment,​ including if a connection is just a little loose - if you don't know what you're doing in there, the risk of you accidentally bumping something and shorting it out is too great 
 +  ​* Changing any of the underlying software settings on the Smoothieboard or in Visicut. This includes adding ​or changing ​material settings in Visicut - while our library of suitable settings could always do with expanding and we would love some help here, this should be done only in consultation with a Laser Supervisor. Both because we need to track any changes/​improvements and so we can make sure you're actually getting the right numbers.
  
 ====== Resources ====== ====== Resources ======