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 Post subject: Laser Cutter Questions from MMS
PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2011 3:02 pm 

Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2011 11:46 pm
Posts: 3
From my understanding, you guys have a laser cutter that works rather well. One of our members just brought one in to the Milwaukee Makerspace and we're having some issues with it.

Someone brought in a piece of (apparently) acrylic that I guess was made at Sector 67 that consisted of a red circle with a black snowflake insert that fit flawlessly.

Our acrylic tests have been less impressive and I'm wondering what kind of cutter you have (wattage, make, etc) and also what settings you used to make the piece....

Ours is a mere 25 watt that seems to cut rather haphazardly through acrylic and certainly doesn't like plywood. We also end up with rather a rather large kerf to either side of the the line when cutting acrylic (which I'm sure is due to the slow speeds we've been using).

I've gone so far as to make and print up forms for our members to use to record settings for different materials and the like, with the ultimate goal of making a simple calculator program which will tell you what settings to use for optimal results based on material, cut depth, etc.

Any input, advice, settings, or comments would be much appreciated....

Thanks, all


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 Post subject: Re: Laser Cutter Questions from MMS
PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2012 12:48 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2010 9:29 pm
Posts: 84
Location: Downtown/Campus - Madison, WI
We've got access to a laser cutter, but I think the parts you're looking at are from Pumping Station One or I3Detroit:

http://wiki.pumpingstationone.org/Epilog_30w_Mini_24

http://i3detroit.com/wi/index.php?title=Laser_Cutter

They've got a list of materials/whatnot on there that they're able to destroy with their wattage. The laser I've used is 40W, it had trouble cutting through 1/4" plywood but would do it after two passes at full power. Make sure you aren't trying to cut polycarbonate, you also have to be using cast acrylic rather than extruded acrylic - from what I've been told you need to buy acrylic if you intend to cut it otherwise it's really hard to identify what kind it is.


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 Post subject: Re: Laser Cutter Questions from MMS
PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2012 1:35 pm 

Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2011 11:46 pm
Posts: 3
Thanks for the reply.

Yeah, I found out recently that yes, it is from PS1. Oops!

Anyways, we've etched both cast and extruded acrylic (and apparently there are 2 types of one of those) and I just finally managed to cut some acrylic with it. It did a great job, but I needed something like 15 passes at 100% power and 4.8% speed.

Apparently our lens was rather dirty. Cleaning it solved the cutting problem to a degree, but now we're wondering about overheating...it worked just fine for me, then another member used it to etch a raster image, then I tried again and it could barely cut.

Time for some more experimentation....


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