So for this week’s assignment we were asked to play around with the laser cutter. For me, it was the perfect opportunity to create a prototype for my PComp final – Artificial Unintelligence.
Having absolutely zero knowledge of illustrator, I decided to play it safe by working with open source files to cut the parts for a mechanical arm. However, Ben had advised to become a little familiar with the software so I decided to play around with the original files to add a spot for the Arduino Uno which would be controlling the arm.
So as always, I decided to test out this machine with some MDF to understand how it likes to work.
Acrylic is beautiful and delicate (melts easily), and expensive. MDF seemed like a sturdier choice to begin with.
While my first experience with the laser cutter (50W) was nothing less than a fascinating dream (I’ll try and not fall in love with it Ben. I’ll try my hardest), I seem to have picked the wrong material. I spent all of Friday and Sunday trying to get this piece of 3mm MDF to cut.
Since my MDF had a white cover-coat of some kind on one side, it seemed to not go through. Even after bringing the speed to a considerably low value and increasing the power to maximum. Either way, learning lesson and good experience.
The Real Deal
After the horrors with MDF, I got in a piece of 3mm Acrylic to cut on the 75W machine.
I kid you not, it was like butter.
The above pieces were out in 30 minutes or less.
In the excitement and hurry of it all, I didn’t take any pictures of myself assembling it but since this isn’t the last – there will DEFINITELY be more.
Just for informational purposes – I used about 10 M3 Nuts along with varying screws – M3 X 6,8,10,12, and 20.
Now I’ll spend the day calibrating the Motors and Coding the movements 🙂
LETS MAKE A BIGGER ARM! Going to mess around with these files so I can create a bigger prototype of the same.
LETS ALSO WORK WITH STRONGER ACRYLIC! So this was 3mm. I’d like to now move to 5.5mm to make the arm a little sturdy.