Laser Cutter

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Please also see our updated laser cutter page: Epilog Laser Cutter

We have a Epilog Fusion 32 60 watt

Lots of people worked on this (sorry this was before I was here so I don't know all the details).

Our Model

    • 32" x 20" cutting table
    • 60w Co2 Laser
    • Safety Interlocks
    • Air assist
    • and Awesome

Things we can and cannot cut using the laser (NEEDS UPDATE)

Things we can cut: [1]

  • Plastics:
    • ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene)
    • Acrylic (also known as Plexiglas, Lucite, PMMA)
    • Polycarbonate (PC, Lexan) — Beware the fumes on this one, they can get pretty bad.
    • Delrin (POM, acetal) — for a supplier, try www.mcmaster.com.
    • Kapton tape (Polyimide)
    • Mylar (polyester)
    • PETG (polyethylene terephthalate glycol)
    • Polyethylene (PE) — melts badly
    • Polypropylene (PP) — melts somewhat
    • Styrene
    • Two-tone acrylic — top color different than core material, usually for custom instrumentation panels, signs, and plaques.
  • Foam:
    • Depron foam — often used for RC planes.
    • EPM
    • Gator foam — foam core gets burned and eaten away compared to the top and bottom hard shell.
  • Other:
    • Cloths (leather, suede, felt, hemp, cotton)
    • Magnetic sheets
    • Papers
    • Rubbers (neoprene) — for a supplier, try www.mcmaster.com.
    • Teflon (PTFE, Polytetrafluoroethylene) — for a supplier, try www.mcmaster.com.
    • Woods (MDF, balsa, birch, poplar, red oak, cherry, holly, etc.) — for a supplier, try www.midwestproducts.com.

Things we CANNOT/DO NOT cut:

  • Metals
  • Any material containing chlorine
  • PVC (Cintra) — contains chlorine
  • Vinyl — contains chlorine
  • Fiberglass
  • Printed circuit board (FR4 and other material types)
  • Carbon fiber
  • Nylon — melts badly

Learning (NEEDS REWORK)

Laser Cutter Settings

The laser cutter has two settings that are mainly used: Power and Speed. These are determined by the type and thickness of material and the type and thickness of the desired cut. This is a table of suggestions based on what lab members have found by trial and error; so they may or may not work for you. If you have something new, go with what's most like what you're trying to cut and experiment from there.

There are a few things to remember when using the laser cutter:

  • Never cut PVC. If you don't know what it is, do your best to research it or ask someone. Using PVC **WILL** Damage the laser cutter.
  • The "Laser Test" button is ALWAYS live. Do not press it with the lid open.
  • DO NOT go over 15mA on the current adjustment knob. This will kill the laser tube quickly.
  • If anything seems out of place (strange noises, burn marks, laser is not cutting and power meter is moving, water or air is not running properly) STOP. Ask someone what to do.

Laser Settings Chart (NEEDS REWORK)

Material Thickness Power Speed Note
Extruded Acrylic 3mm 10mA 30% This is a test, change this to actual settings.


Handy Links

Uses

  • Custom shelving
  • Acrylic chairs!
  • Benches
  • Random professional looking constructions
  • Wearable computing rig parts
  • eyeglass frames
  • laptop docks
  • engraving ensignia onto phones and laptops
  • super-custom made computer cases
  • display cases
  • any other random design pieces


Links to items cut on the FamiLAB Laser (post your stuff here!)

Acrylic Sensing Platform Hub Case

Acrylic MaceTech RGB LED Satellite brackets

Lens Source

Per psytek of alphaonelabs:

Suzhou Xuhong Optics Technology Co., Ltd vivien@sz-xuhong.com they are about $30 a lens

Maintenance

Date Person Notes
9/8/2015 Xomen Full cleaning, alignment and setup after moving to new lab
10/17/2015 Xomen Cleaned and put graphite powder on the drive shaft
5/10/2016 Xomen Full cleaning (filter, lens, exhaust box, everything...), alignment, silicon lube on the drive shaft and bushings, blow out the filter
6/14/2016 Xomen Minor Cleaning, alignment was pretty bad, realigned
11/09/2016 Xomen Replaced Laser Tube, realigned