By Emily Logan
The past month in the DSC makerspace area, I have been experimenting with a few different materials on the laser cutter. The DSC has a 60W Universal Laser Cutter with a print area of 12 x 24. It is hooked up to a ventilation system that removes excess chemicals that are released when materials are being cut with the laser. The machine uses either vector cutting or raster engraving effects on materials. One must be careful when deciding which materials to cut on the machine. For example, when choosing the proper plywood, be sure that the layers were glued together with non-toxic glues. The fumes that result from toxic glues can be harmful for all who work in the DSC. Most plywood from Home Depot or Lowes will not fit these qualifications. A lot of the time, the material label will not list what kind of glue was used to make the plywood, so going to a reliable source for the product is key. Places like Inventables have great non-toxic plywood, as well as a variety of other “laser-cuttable” materials that can be ordered online. Also, Everything Plastic, located near 2nd and Spring Garden is a local source for many types of appropriate plastics that can be used with the laser cutter. See this link for more information on what can and cannot be cut on this versatile machine, and please check with DSC staff before using the equipment. A basic knowledge of Adobe Illustrator is required for creating printable files. The DSC will be having Technology and Safety Trainings that are required to be taken by anyone interested in:
Here are some images of a few mini-projects I did with the laser cutter.
Liz Rodrigues and I have also be in the process of creating a robot dog that will greet guests when they enter the DSC.