laser cutter cutting

Fiddling around with the laser cutter at Techshop. I used inkscape to vectorize some doodles, then cut then out of paper using the Epilog laser cutter at Techshop.

Paper cuts very well, with pretty good detail (see the hatching cut out from the doodle in the front for example). I’ve tried cutting acrylic as well, and it cuts well too, but in some of the detail areas, it unmelts into a bit of a blob that makes detailed parts harder to extract. Need to try it again with more power to see if it will cut a wider kerf.

I also tried engraving/rasterizing an image. I think it turned out pretty well, almost exactly what I was looking for. It did burn through a little bit in one section, but I could fix that in the image. The image itself started off kind of “pointilist”, which I vectorized with some of the settings tweaked a bit so it would blurb some of the points together so it would hold together. Then I “engraved” it instead of cutting it out, but with the power set high enough to burn through the paper.

4 thoughts on “

  1. Great work! I love the hatching effect on the paper.

    For a wider kerf on the acrylic try taking it out of focus a bit. Also try playing with the frequency settings to adjust the amount of melting you get. If you use a frequency of 5000 it’ll keep the laser beam on constantly, but with a setting of around 500 you’ll be pulsing the beam quite a bit more.

    • Excellent, I’ll give adjusting the focus a shot. I was wondering if that would work, but haven’t had a chance to experiment with it yet.

      For now, the Techshop Durham policy on the laser frequency seems to be “Please do not change it from the default of 2500”, so I haven’t tried adjusting it. Not really sure the reason for that request.

  2. Now we need to figure out what we can cut that will hold its shape better than paper but be bendable like metal. I wonder if we could heat-shape a thin acyrlic…

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