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tools:lasercutter [2019/02/13 07:29]
riumplus Latest status update
tools:lasercutter [2019/02/23 13:51] (current)
riumplus New computer
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 </​WRAP>​ </​WRAP>​
  
-=== State of Operation (2019-02-12): === +=== State of Operation (2019-02-23): === 
-Operational,​ but with a few caveats. ​Something on the right side of the Y-axis is making ​grinding/​clunking noisepotentially a bearing that's going bad, and this needs investigating sooner rather than later. We recommend you break your job up into multiple small parts in case something fails part-way. We also don't have a complete library of cutting/​marking/​engraving settings after the machine'​s recent upgrades, so please understand that there'​s a good chance we'll have to spend some time trying to work out the right settings for your job first (including if it's the same material but a different thickness). Some of the Smoothieboard settings still haven'​t been dialled in perfectly for the new tube either, like the tickle power or even the laser'​s raw output power. Also keep in mind that not only will this be time-consuming for the Supervisors (who are volunteers who get nothing for volunteering their time), but because we're still optimising the internal settings then even if we worked them out for you one week we may need to work them out from scratch again only a week later if something else has changed. You will need one of the Laser Supervisors to help you begin & end your job. Tuesday Open Nights are the best time to catch one as there'​s normally more than one Laser Supervisor present anyway. If that's not suitable try [[https://​discord.gg/​avtkH5t|Discord chat]] or [[https://​forum.hsbne.org/​c/​cause-effect/​digital-fabrication|the forums]]. If you'd like to help improve & maintain this machine, talk to either one of the Laser Supervisors or the Digifab cause leader.+Operational,​ but with a few caveats. ​The laser cutter computer has been recently replaced with much faster machine & everything should be properly migrated overbut just watch for any weirdness. We also don't have a complete library of cutting/​marking/​engraving settings after the machine'​s recent upgrades, so please understand that there'​s a good chance we'll have to spend some time trying to work out the right settings for your job first (including if it's the same material but in a different thickness, or cut vs mark vs engrave). Some of the Smoothieboard settings still haven'​t been dialled in perfectly for the new tube either, like the tickle power or even the laser'​s raw output power. Also keep in mind that not only will this be time-consuming for the Supervisors (who are volunteers who get nothing for volunteering their time), but because we're still optimising the internal settings then even if we worked them out for you one week we may need to work them out from scratch again only a week later if something else has changed. You will need one of the Laser Supervisors to help you begin & end your job. Tuesday Open Nights are the best time to catch one as there'​s normally more than one Laser Supervisor present anyway. If that's not suitable try [[https://​discord.gg/​avtkH5t|Discord chat]] or [[https://​forum.hsbne.org/​c/​cause-effect/​digital-fabrication|the forums]]. If you'd like to help improve & maintain this machine, talk to either one of the Laser Supervisors or the Digifab cause leader.
  
 ====== Specifications ====== ====== Specifications ======
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   * **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, [[http://​hci.rwth-aachen.de/​visicut|Visicut]] to generate the necessary [[http://​smoothieware.org/​supported-g-codes|Gcode]].
-  * **Other Features:** Liquid cooled with ambient ​temperature ​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/class 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. 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]]. Note that we ask for a donation to be made to Digifab when using this machine 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 depending on what materials you use. The suggested donation for using the laser cutter is currently $12/hour, with extra if you use the honeycomb bed. 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 while the Laser Supervisor does whatever they were doing before, then when your job is finished the Supervisor will 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, and as you pick it up 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]]. Note that we ask for a donation to be made to Digifab when using this machine 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 depending on what materials you use. The suggested donation for using the laser cutter is currently $12/hour, with extra if you use the honeycomb bed. 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 while the Laser Supervisor does whatever they were doing before, then when your job is finished the Supervisor will 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, and as you pick it up 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.