[57north-discuss] Laser

Peter code.chinchilla at gmail.com
Wed Jan 16 09:38:39 GMT 2019


The other owner of the laser cutter thought we could just download the
software and use the dongle that we have.

On a very quick search I didn't find it, but I did find,
https://www.scorchworks.com/K40whisperer/k40whisperer.html , which might be
an alternative.

Peter

On Wed, 16 Jan 2019 at 01:20, Robert McWilliam <rmcw at allmail.net> wrote:

> We now have a laser cutter on loan to the space from Peter (and its other
> owner(s)).
>
> For getting it running there are a few things we need to look at.
>
> * Have a play at moving the head *
> Could work on getting control of the head without switching on the laser -
> so could be independent of the other "required" tasks before the laser can
> be switched on.
>
> There was a CD with software (Corel laser?) with it originally but I
> don't  think that is still with it. We do have the USB dongle required to
> make it work. Anyone able to find the software? And have a windows machine
> that it will run on?
>
> As for alternative software: I think the existing board speaks g-code of
> some description. Could have a go at getting it working with some open
> source tool chain?
>
> * Ventilation *
> Need to hook up fan to extract fumes and vent them out of the space.
>
> Could probably do with adding some filtration to capture some of the
> noxious/carcinogous fumes rather than just venting them into the street.
>
> * Cooling *
> For short tests just filling the bath and hooking up the pump will be
> enough.
>
> I'd be a lot happier if we added some cooling of the water in the
> reservoir and temp monitoring of the water coming out of the laser tube to
> make sure it doesn't get too high.
>
> * fire extinguishers *
> The space currently has 1 x 2kg CO2 extinguisher and 1 x 1kg powder
> extinguisher (I think...).
>
> I think the CO2 one is fine for putting next to the laser cutter in case
> the fire inside it gets a bit too much, and might be at risk of getting
> outside it. But it has been sitting for a few years now (a quick search
> through my email suggests we're coming up on 5 years) so we might want to
> get a fresh one? Or get it checked?
>
> * E-stop *
> Do we want an e-stop button in the power line to kill the laser in a hurry
> if it get's out of control? I'm inclined towards yes.
>
> * Interlocks *
> Do we want to add interlock to keep the laser off when the case is open?
> I'm mostly of the opinion that people not being idiots should be
> sufficient, but I'm not sure how much we can rely on people not being
> idiots...
>
> * New mirrors *
> Existing mirrors are reportedly a bit dirty.
>
> We probably don't want to change them until after we've done a bit of
> playing to make sure we know what we're doing with it while it is in
> alignment.
>
> * Consumables *
> Some bits of the laser cutter will wear out and need replaced eventually;
> notably the tube, lens and mirrors, honeycomb for the bed, filters (if we
> add any), fire extinguisher, and probably some other stuff I'm forgetting.
> How do we want to cover that cost?
>
> Need to think about both being able to cover the cost of replacement when
> they wear out and what we need to do for if/when the owners want the laser
> back. For the latter case the "easy to account for" way would be to get a
> full set of new consumables now and then the existing ones can go back in
> if/when the laser is going away, but that would need a decent amount of
> money now: tube is about £100 on eBay [1].
>
> For consumables it is probably worth considering Smoke and Mirrors (
> https://smokeandmirrors.store/). They're a bit more expensive than eBay
> options but possibly/probably more reliably decent quality parts.
>
> * Replacement control board *
> There are a few drop in replacement control boards that would give a
> complete open source tool chain for us to mess with.
>
> I've done a bit of looking around for them and am leaning towards a Pro
> pack super gerbil: https://awesome.tech/buy-gerbil/ Anyone else have
> other preferences? Or think we can live with the existing board?
>
> * Other *
>
> What have I forgotten?
>
>     Robert
>
> [1] Though for about the same money (and a little bit of work with a
> hacksaw to make a hole in the case for it to stick out of) we could go up
> to a 60W (or more?) tube :D
>
> ________________________________________________________
> Robert McWilliam     rmcw at allmail.net    argh.technology
>
> Long periods of drought are always followed by rain.
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