Setting up - Laser Cutter Extreme!

This is a new topic from here: Purchase Proposal Development - Laser Cutter Extreme! - #51 by Harvinder_Atwal to discuss what happens after we purchase the laser cutter. Where will it go? What will the ventilation plans be? Will we keep the old one?

Any conversations about purchasing can be kept on the other topic

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Old Laser Cutter

For the old laser cutter I’d recommend we keep that running at the same time as the new one
at least in the short term.

  • we don’t know enough yet about the state of the new one in terms of it’s tube lifespan, optics, electronics, etc
  • some folks may still want to use visicut and getting everyone who’s ever been trained to suddenly switch lightburn will take time.

If the plan is to get rid of the old laser, then I’d suspect you’d need a transition period at least
and maybe further discussion from everyone as to how it works, also time to ensure the new laser is working as expected.
I don’t mind getting lightburn for myself for example, but for others they’d be forced to use the Mac in the corner.


For Location

  • One idea is where the 3d printers are located
  • Another idea someone mentioned was the other side of the heat press?

We may need to get the new one in some place temporarily (maybe around plant space), measure it up with a tape measure then figure out exactly where it’s going.
If we need to shift the 3d printers then we may need to have a conversation with the 3d printer team to figure out where to put them (such as in front of the bar)


For extraction I think the large in series fan on the end of the drain pipe is wired to activate via the current laser cutter
so we’d probably need to figure out how to make sure it’s active when one or the other or both lasers are working.
I’m guessing it’s triggered via some relay at the moment although I don’t know the specifics

The new laser doesn’t necessarily have to go on the stage area; there’s a lot of equipment up there and disrupting that would be an annoyance to users of it. Somewhere near the stage would make sense to keep the extraction simple. Directly behind the current laser cutter would be good if that space can be cleared, although it will probably require extra lighting.

The old laser cutter should stay for now. I think it’ll take about six months to retrain all the current users based on our current training rate, also, we haven’t determined that the new laser cutter is an improvement over the old one yet (I expect it will be, of course). We can review whether we want to keep it after the new laser has been up and running for a few months.

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Regarding location, I have added the arrival of this laser cutter as an agenda item for the VA meeting (the upcoming Weds, Feb 8th), alongside the wider agenda item about the physical layout of VA overall.

One of my loose thoughts – not ran by anybody as of yet – is to clear out the Laser Cutter side of the stage (cupboards and vacuum former?) and have that entire side dedicated to laser cutting. It already has good lighting. It can probably fit both laser cutters without complicating ventilation (I assume?). If we do get rid of the old laser cutter, another table could be useful given how crowded VA can be sometimes?

Whether that’s a good idea or not, we’ll be discussing potential layout changes anyway so if the new laser does need any changes, we’ll get it done :slight_smile:

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Attendees of the VA meeting were all happy with this (full meeting minutes will be published later) :slight_smile: We’ll get the vacuum former and cabinet moved out the way, hopefully pretty soon.

A few of us got everything moved around on Thursday. That side of the stage is ready for whatever Laser business y’all want to do with it :smiley:

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Just an update here on what has happened so far and what needs to happen:

The laser cutter team have:

  • Bought and installed a chiller
  • Hooked up the air assist pump
  • Worked out the wiring to be able to add other features
  • Bought microswitches for interlocking
  • Looked and started to buy new cams to make it easier to access

We also have reached out the space for building a cabinet for the laser cutter to sit on. Thanks for everyone involved in that.

Things we still need to do:

  • Look at extraction (this is a big milestone)
  • Buy a relay for “wind”
  • Look at emergency cut off with key activiation

Thanks everyone for bearing with but hopefully it will be up and running soon!

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