Equipment/HPC LS3060 Laser Cutter
|Last updated||23 December 2015 00:43:25|
|Training link||Training Roster|
|Location||Ground floor, main room|
We have a HPC LS3060 laser engraver and cutter, with a cutting area of 300mm x 560mm. Trained members can use it for the very reasonable rate of £5 per hour.
You must not use the laser cutter without being trained. The laser cutter is unlikely to hurt you, but you can easily hurt it without training. Training is given most Wednesdays at around 8pm, is free to attend, and available to members and non-members. Space is strictly limited per session so you need to reserve a spot on the Training Roster when a session is available - watch the Mailing List for announcements. Reserving a spot is on a first come, first serve with priority given to members basis, so you'll need to be quick. Feel free to ask for help on the Mailing List
- Don't touch the cooling system without asking first: overheating or rapid cooling can damage the laser.
- Never leave the laser cutter unattended while cutting: your material may ignite, and an unchecked fire in the laser cutter could be both dangerous and costly. We've also seen mirrors go out of alignment and cut into the cables.
- In case of fire: use the CO2 extinguisher by the laser cutter first. Do not use the powder extinguisher unless you feel that you can't control the fire. Put it in the logbook: tiny flames while cutting are normal; anything more must be reported.
- Never cut PVC or chlorinated plastic: you should always know what material you are cutting, and chlorinated plastics should be avoided because they release chlorine gas when cut. Guidelines for how to test materials.
- You can't cut metal in the laser cutter: if you wish to mark the metal, please use Thermark/Cermark, or use anodised aluminium.
Using the laser cutter
- Make sure you're familiar with the operating instructions.
- Look up the parameters for the material you're using.
- Use the LHS Laser Cutter Checklist to ensure that you don't forget anything important as you cut.
- Log your use to help with the upkeep of the lasercutter. (Records can be viewed here.)
- Pay for your usage - the cost is £5 per hour, which is just enough to cover our maintenance costs.
Trainers and maintainers
If you have questions or problems with the laser cutter, please speak to one of these people:
- Coolbot temperature graph
- We're currently trying to reverse engineer the software.
- Information about additional useful bits of software installed on the machine can be found on the software page.
- Plastic Online
- HPC sheet products - Laser ply, perspex, engraving laminate - where we purchased the cutter.
- The Plastics Shop - mattp purchased the plastic for the first batch of Hackspace key rings from here.
- Acrylic-Online - Elliot has bought some Palglas from here. They cut to size - delivery £8.00. Price guide (incl. VAT):
- 320x600x4mm (laser bed size) clear acrylic (Palglas) = £5.12
- Hobart Laserables - wide range of materials: MDF, Birch, Acrylic (clear and coloured), Rubber, Laminates, Anodised metal. Prices seem competitive. Nigle has ordered from here. Shipping is £12.
- Fred Aldous – online craft supplies, free delivery on orders > £30. Polypropylene sheets amongst other things. Alex P has ordered from here.
- 4D ModelShop is not too far from the space, and is open Saturdays. They offer laser cutting too, and hence seem to have a lot of suitable materials.
-  There's a commercial laser cutter service 5 mins from the space, DIY service is £30/h (as of 2013).
- How the cooling system works
- Some useful laser info from Adafruit - the settings section in particular gave a good idea of what we can expect.
- More information about the controller card used by the cutter
- For making boxes, you can use this script - recommended settings of "--bolt_length 13 --nut_multiplier 1.8" YMMV
- http://rahulbotics.com/personal-projects/boxmaker/?boxmaker/ is also _very_ good for making boxes.
- QCAD - open source .dxf exporting 2D CAD program
- Using Google SketchUp for Laser Cutter designs.
- A support forum with various guides
- Etching my Macbook Air