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04/12/2019 PROJECT DATE

LASER ESSENTIALS

NAMES
ZAHA, LIZ, ALVAR, MIES, JORN

LOCATION
LASER LAB

DATE
TBC

DURATION ONLINE
20 min

DURATION PRACTICAL
20 min

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

LEARNING OUTCOMES
TBC

CHALLENGE
TBC

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.

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.

RHINO BASICS:

If you have not already done so, you will need to learn the basics of Rhino. To use Rhino to run the laser cutter is relatively easy. You only need to work in 2D and do not require any sophisticated 3D modelling skills. But you do need to be able to draft curves accurately in 2D, and to be able to manipulate them in the ways you’ll find necessary for cutting your points (joining, trimming, changing layers etc). We have a separate and simple online Rhino Essentials course. Please take this now, before you proceed with this section.

USING THE MACHINE:

Below you will see six videos that teach you how to use the machine. Make sure you watch them all before going to the Lab! If you forget a step, you can always rewatch them here.

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