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What Are You Building Today


luvdunhill
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I've been screwing around with the laser lately, mostly trying to figure out how to get the damn thing to cut and engrave. I'd had the engraving part sorted for a while and finally had a break though today with cutting. For the inaugural project I decided to do something that popped into my head while listening to RTJ the other day.  It'll end up being a thank-you gift for the friend that introduced them to me back in the spring.

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Each of those is about 2-1/2" long and the source file was custom designed by me in CAD based off of the cover of RTJ4.  It's mirrored 🤦‍♂️ because the album art I used was, so I'll flip it for V2, add a small hole for a hanger, and viola, one of a kind custom RTJ Christmas ornaments.  

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Cutting has definitely been an uphill battle with a diode laser in my experience. I have not been paying attention to what rig you are running so I may be in a totally different court. Also Lightburn was worth every penny for laser work. $40 is nothing compared to some of the other CAD/CAM programs out there.

Those cutouts look heckin dope! ....if you wouldn't mind sharing the vectors.....

I've been doing Arrow of Light plaques for the local cub scout troop. I won't share the finished project because I feel weird sending out names of children but the arrow was cut out with the router then the words cut in with the laser. Arrow was then filled in with yellow paint and the whole thing was stained and varnished.

20201227_124821.jpg

Edited by Emooze
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I'll certainly share the files as soon as I get the hands cut the right way.  I modified the source file this morning and will regenerate the associated vector files when I get home to the machine with Inkscape.

The laser that I'm running is a Dremel Digilab LC40. The uphill battle was mostly getting the right type of file generated.  Converting AutoCAD to PDF (which is alleged to work) was not working and I both think that I figured out why it wasn't working and also figured out definitively how to use Inkscape to generate a vector that will cut.  More experimentation for sure and the next project is already in the works to help out someone here with a project. 

The arrow plaque looks really cool and understand the lack of desire in sharing personal data of minors. 

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11 hours ago, swt61 said:

I wish that I understood 1/10th of what you gents know. It seems like a lot of useful fun can be had, but I'll have to watch by the sidelines.

Really cool stuff guys!

it wouldn't take you long to figure it out, Steve, There's a ton of info on the web about most machines.  I think the routers are actually easier to approach than the lasers and printers that I've been able to use.  Speaking of, I've been working on a printing project too but we'll wait to see if what I printed actually works before celebrating. :) 

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You wouldn't want that. The Tinesort Consortium will be after you for that one. I think it's a violation of the 1972 Stifle Act to Prevent Distribution of Unauthorised Inset.  You know, there's something satisfying about breaking those nibloid moulds but for some reason the fixture waneshafts are always void. I find it's best to apply some regular T.Consortium Verified Vaseline Product to the shafts regularly to prevent them from oxidising into void.  

 

You lost me, I thought voiding was a result of dadaist retrodeconstructionism (Or is it autodeconstructionism?  I always forget.  I'm such a plebe), not oxidizing.  How does Vaseline help? 

according to General Electric, the purpose of the Encabulator is to measure inverse reactive current in unilateral phase detractors with display of percent realization.

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On 1/3/2021 at 9:48 PM, Emooze said:

Cutting has definitely been an uphill battle with a diode laser in my experience. I have not been paying attention to what rig you are running so I may be in a totally different court. Also Lightburn was worth every penny for laser work. $40 is nothing compared to some of the other CAD/CAM programs out there.

Those cutouts look heckin dope! ....if you wouldn't mind sharing the vectors.....

I've been doing Arrow of Light plaques for the local cub scout troop. I won't share the finished project because I feel weird sending out names of children but the arrow was cut out with the router then the words cut in with the laser. Arrow was then filled in with yellow paint and the whole thing was stained and varnished.

20201227_124821.jpg

Looking good, I'm dying over here waiting for mine to show up. Any day now, any day. What CAD/CAM are you using?

I've been peeking at Chinese CO2 lasers on Ebay that work with Lightburn, way easier on the pocket book than comparable Epilog/Trotec machines. 

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2 minutes ago, naamanf said:

Looking good, I'm dying over here waiting for mine to show up. Any day now, any day. What CAD/CAM are you using?

I've been peeking at Chinese CO2 lasers on Ebay that work with Lightburn, way easier on the pocket book than comparable Epilog/Trotec machines. 

Me too! I have a giant list of projects for you to complete!

😊

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Naaman, I've been using predominantly VCarve Desktop since all my work so far has been 2.5D designs. Kinda steep at $350 but it does make simple cutouts real easy. The Cub Scout plaques took me maybe 15 minutes to set up since I was able to easily import a vector file. There's a lot of community support so a G-code post-processor I bet has already been written for your specific machine/controller.

The bad: the Desktop version only allows a 24x24" work area. Unlimited costs $700, which it looks like you'll need on your machine.

I will say, having used my little diode laser add-on, it's good for space efficiency. But if you have the space for a whole other machine, I would say a standalone CO2 laser would be way nicer to use, and about the same price.

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24 minutes ago, Emooze said:

Naaman, I've been using predominantly VCarve Desktop since all my work so far has been 2.5D designs. Kinda steep at $350 but it does make simple cutouts real easy. The Cub Scout plaques took me maybe 15 minutes to set up since I was able to easily import a vector file. There's a lot of community support so a G-code post-processor I bet has already been written for your specific machine/controller.

The bad: the Desktop version only allows a 24x24" work area. Unlimited costs $700, which it looks like you'll need on your machine.

I will say, having used my little diode laser add-on, it's good for space efficiency. But if you have the space for a whole other machine, I would say a standalone CO2 laser would be way nicer to use, and about the same price.

I’ve already purchase VCarve Pro and have been learning to use it, seems pretty easy for most tasks. There is a post processor for my machine so it all should (hopefully) work well.

I’m also working through Fusion and putting my head into the parametric modeling mindset since I know it’s probably the best thing for long term 3D design. 

So much to learn, so little time.  

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1 minute ago, n_maher said:

If either of you ever need something drawn up in CAD and converted to a DXF or even (maybe, haven't tested completely) an SVG I can make pretty quick work of it.  I'm shite at 3D stuff, but flat vectors should be no issue.

Thank you, I’m kind of also coming to the conclusion I need to learn Illistrator or Inkscape for vector creation. 
 

Like guitar, wish I would have picked some of these things up years ago. 

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I goofed around enough in Gimp and Inkscape designing patches in the past to at least be mediocre at making vectors. And like both of you, just cautiously dipping my toes into 3D so far. The motivation problem I have is that if I do not have a project that requires it, I'm not going to really put effort into learning.

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37 minutes ago, Emooze said:

I goofed around enough in Gimp and Inkscape designing patches in the past to at least be mediocre at making vectors. And like both of you, just cautiously dipping my toes into 3D so far. The motivation problem I have is that if I do not have a project that requires it, I'm not going to really put effort into learning.

I get that. There are 1001 projects in my mind, how many actually will come out...no idea. 

Have you checked out the cnccookbook? Going to give it a whirl to see if it helps out or is worth while, 30 day free trial. 

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I have not, though I probably will now. Feed and speeds are still a bit arcane to me. Easy enough for wood now. But I know the Shapeoko can do softer metals and I intend to do that soon. Even picked up a surplus fridge compressor to kit out as an air assist/mist cooler

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My current "problem" is that I'm tempted to see if I can get someone to buy my Shapeoko so that I can upgrade to the Pro. I've almost bought the Z axis upgrade a few times which is likely more than half the price difference that the upgrade would cost with a much smaller fraction of the improvements.

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