Saturday, 29 December 2012

Lizards for Sale

It came to my attention that I sell the Escher Lizards on Etsy as packs of 20 but I don't sell them on my blog. These charming lizards can be tessellated in all sorts of patterns and styles as demonstrated elsewhere on the blog.

Smoke Staining

There appears to be a bit of a dead spot for smoke extraction on the entire left hand side of my unit. Smoke tends to linger in the air and it's really noticeable in terms of laser power drop off and smoke staining on the work piece. As I was buying some parts from Proto-Pic anyway I happened to notice they had a squirrel cage blower, at the low price of £3.30 it was worth getting one to try. It's a great, tiny unit, that moves a lot of air around. 

I placed it loosely in the corner of my machine and bodged a power supply into it and you can see the improvement for yourself. The left hand wheel was cut before the blower, the right hand afterwards. Yes it's another moving part but it's significantly quieter than the other fans and pumps so you barely notice it running. I'm now acquiring another one for the other corner of the laser to blow across the whole work piece and then I'll get them both wired in and turning on/off with the main extraction fan.

Thursday, 27 December 2012

New Laser Cutter

Nottingham Hackspace had a bit of a whip round at the start of December with the intention of building their own laser cutter to replace their HPC3020 laser cutter. The initial plan was to recreate the basic design from the buildlog website. The pledge pot quickly reached £1000 and some stretch goals were created, within 48 hours the total was up to £2K and the intention is now to build an 80W laser with an 800x450mm cutting area (nearly twice as big as my current machine, twice as powerful but for half the price).

The closest design on the buildlog website (or at least the best documented) is this machine by iGull. We intend to copy that design but adding additional features for our specific requirements. Stay tuned as I intend to blog as much of this build as possible and if the control system works out I intend to replace the innards on my own laser to match the design so there is potentially quite a lot invested in this new design. Information about the build can also be found on the nottinghack wiki

Monday, 24 December 2012

Project #8 Christmas Arch

This definitely started as a slightly more involved project but due to time constraints and deadlines (Christmas) it ended up being a 'get it done' project. The arch itself is a Thingiverse item, I started from the SvenS variant which which was already adjusted for 2.6mm laser ply. I had intended to make all the single line cuts into low power etches to speed things up and beef up the tools as well as moving some parts around. As that never really got complete I'll leave you to download the original files, it's a nice little item anyway.
8 projects/ 11 weeks