We now have the laser cutter fully hooked up and working. Below is a picture of the back of the laser cutter where you can see the exhaust hose, the compressor and the water chiller.
We have been testing the laser cutter by cutting some of the thin board that Ross brought in to use for the walls of the Halloween electric chair. This is shown below.
We still have a lot to do to determine the correct parameters to use for cutting or engraving the various materials we have available for use. We also have to continue the exploration of the laser’s software. Once this is done I will setup classes so that anyone who wishes to attend may get certified to use the laser cutter.
We have ordered a Full Spectrum laser cutter/engraver. We should have it within three weeks. This laser cutter has a cut/engrave area of 24″ X 18″. It can cut many materials, however, it cannot cut metal. As an example, it can cut 1/2″ wood or acrylic. It can also engrave on granite, marble, glass and other materials.
Six months ago I started teaching a class on Machining. We held one two hour session each Tuesday. The students where Dave Propst, Kaleb Watson and Ed Cooper. The primary goal of the class was to impart enough knowledge to the students so that they could safely and effectively use the machine shop without supervision. The two primary tools were the metal lathe and the CNC milling machine. I have always learned best by doing a project that forces me to learn the given subject. To that end I asked the students to build a steam engine. Through the course of the class we worked on the easiest part first, the second easiest part next, and so on. This introduced new operations and safety procedures as they were needed.
We had the last class two weeks ago. Dave, Kaleb and Ed are now fully qualified to use the equipment without supervision. In the picture above you can see the engines built by Kaleb and Dave. Unfortunately, Ed was not available for the photography session. Oh, and by the way, all of their engines worked at first try. Congratulations Kaleb, Dave and Ed for your perseverance through all of those weeks.
There will be more of these classes as we get enough students to hold them.