Laser Cutting and Updates

Recently I’ve joined a local makerspace, and started on broadening my experience on a wider variety of tools. Starting with using a laser cutter. So far I’ve gotten my sign-off to use it, and started a couple small projects. One was straightforward, and just got me familiar with the basics. I made myself an edge-lit acrylic sign, using parts from a kit, and just engraving it and assembling.

Pretty straightforward, gives me some themed lighting, and was good for getting a bit more familiar with some of the process of creating my own engraving.

The other laser project has not been going so well. So far I’ve made two attempts to create a two-layer battleboard for carrying around my laptop at the makerspace. I designed the thing in Autodesk Fusion 360, exported the files, got everything set up, and it seemed to be going well. On the first attempt it turned out that I had some settings a bit too fast and lower power, and the wood was rather thick. I went through several passes with the laser, and it still didn’t cut through. I reserved the machine again later to reattempt (had to use a new section of wood because I couldn’t align it to use the same origin as before).

And then the safety latch on the door started malfunctioning and caused the machine to refuse to fire the laser… but did not indicate that in any way. The machine moved in it’s preprogrammed sequence as if it were fine, but after a bit I noticed I didn’t see any more evidence of cutting. No smoke, no flashes of light from the material burning away… and the power usage needle never spiked from the laser firing. So far I’ve just got a neatly scorched piece of wood, and will probably need to purchase and chop another piece to try again. Uggggh.

I’d have tinkered with the machine, but I’m not one of the responsible parties for that equipment at the makerspace.

On the bright side, one of my other side projects is going pretty well.

I’ve started working on my interpretation of Captain Hook’s hat (from Dustin Hoffman in the movie Hook). My wall of hats for themed gaming has been missing a pirate hat, and to me that is the iconic pirate hat, so I’m making my own (using a simpler hat as a base). I’ll have to break that down more later.

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