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04/12/2019 PROJECT DATE

1. LASER BASICS

NAMES
LASER ESSENTIALS

LOCATION
LASER LAB

DATE
TBC

DURATION ONLINE
20 min

DURATION PRACTICAL
10 min

MANDATORY REQUIREMENTS
KNOW THE LASER LAB
KNOW THE LASER CUTTER
RHINO BASICS

SOFTWARE REQUIREMENTS
RHINOCEROS 7

LEARNING OUTCOMES
TBC

CHALLENGE
7's CHALLENGE

HAZARDS
FIRE
TOXIC FUMES

REMEMBER
ALWAYS WATCH THE MACHINE
WAIT BEFORE OPENING THE COVER
IN DOUBT, ASK FOR HELP

Laser Cutters use a set of carefully aligned and rapidly moving mirrors to direct the beam of a high-powered industrial laser onto the surface of a 2D sheet material. The focused laser beam is extremely hot! You can program the speed at which the mirrors move and the power of the laser so that just enough heat is applied to either mark the material, or to cut straight through. We have done this for you in advance through extensive testing, so now all you have to do is to select the material you are cutting from those we supply for use in the Laser Lab.

The lasers cut very quickly and accurately, to within 0.1mm. They are easy to use, and we’ll teach you everything you need to know in this Essentials course. You’ll first need to learn some more about the machines, and especially the main hazards associated with using a laser-based machine (FIRE!!!!), and then learn how to prepare your files so that the machine can understand them correctly.

For any questions or queries please email lasers@fabricationlab.london

USE:

The laser is capable of three basic operations: cutting, scoring and etching. You’ll see these illustrated in the banners on this page, and summarised in the table below:

CUTTING

SCORING

ETCHING

MATERIALS:

The laser needs to be precisely focused on a surface and so you can only use flat, sheet material. You also need to be very careful as some materials are not compatible with lasers (they might give off poisonous fumes when you subject them to the intense heat of the laser; or they might simply melt or catch fire!). Likewise every material needs to be tested to get exactly the right settings to cut through or mark.) For these reasons, you can only use the materials we supply in the Lab for use on the Lasers. We know these are safe, you’ll find the presets for them already in the machine, and you’ll find they are all stocked in the Laser Lab itself, cut to the right sizes for the machine and available at wholesale prices. You will find the complete stock of materials for use in the Laser Lab in the Materials section of our website, here.

HAZARDS + CONTROLS:

There are three main hazards you need to beware of as a user of the laser cutters in the Lab:

• LASER RADIATION

CONTROL: Do not tamper with the machine's lid. Do not use any metal! (All metal should be kept outside the Laser Lab)

• FIRE - As the laser cutters use heat to cut the material, the possibility of fire is always present. This hazard is minimised by constant vigilance of the laser when cutting. At no point should you be unable to observe the machine.

CONTROL: Never leave the machine unattended! You must always keep a line of sight with the machine as it cuts. This means no phones, no laptops and no books. You must simply observe the machine as it cuts. 

• INHALATION OF TOXIC FUMES - A by-product of laser cutting is the fumes from the burning material. We have extraction systems fitted that insure all the fumes are extracted and filtered safely. However, if you lift the lid too quickly you may be exposed to a small level. 

CONTROL: Only use materials purchased in the Lab! Due to the risk of toxic fumes you can only use our material, NOT your own. Always count to 10 then lift the lid.

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