Laser Committee

From Dallas Makerspace
(Redirected from Laser)
Jump to: navigation, search

Committees are voluntary groups, formed by members in order to achieve certain goals.
To join this committee, contact the committee chairperson. See Rules and Policies#Committees for more information.


The Laser Committee covers:

  • Training members in the safe, effective use of the Lasers
  • Care and maintenance of the lasers (The Epilog Zing and Thunder Novas)
  • Consumables of the lasers (Lenses, Mirrors, Laser Tubes, Supplies, etc)
  • Maintenance of the laser computers
  • The list of acceptable materials for use with the laser cutter. Ask if questionable.
  • Promotion of interest in laser technology

It is asked that members either contact the Chairperson via Talk/Discord/Google Hangouts before attempting work on the lasers. This is in case the work should be performed by the laser maintenance team or other plans are in place. This Committee is run as a benevolent dictatorship with the understanding that if something needs to get done, outside of maintenance, anyone can do the work.

Laser Area Rules


  1. MUST have completed Laser Basics course to operate the lasers
  2. MUST watch laser for the duration of your job - within arms reach at all times
  3. PAY FOR USAGE! Payment MUST be made at the time your laser job is performed. Failure to pay is theft of service and will result in expulsion and prosecution as a misdemeanor offense. Use the Square kiosk or use an envelope to submit cash or paypal payment to the black cashbox.
  4. NO cutting of prohibited materials: Vinyl, PVC, Kydex, Sintra, Styrofoam, Polycarbonate (Lexan), or other materials when combustion creates dangerous gases
  5. Be excellent and clean up after yourself
  6. Honor the queue
  7. No hogging the computers -- they're for importing your prints, not creating your designs
  8. Use the red E-STOP button in case of emergency
  9. DO NOT try to perform maintenance on the lasers or change the lenses without contacting a member of the laser maintenance team. Join the team and get the skills to do it yourself.

Usage Fee

$1 per 5 minutes of laser firing, rounded up
Example: 4 min = $1, 6 min = $2


Go/No-Go List of Materials


Approved Laser users

Users who have completed Laser Basics are authorized to use the lasers. (This list is only visible inside Dallas Makerspace.)

Laser Basics Class Materials (Google Doc format)

Material Suppliers

The Laser Basics class (listed above) also contains a listing of potential material suppliers.

Here is a link to some plastics suppliers.

As a reminder:
(1) DMS accounts are not to be used for personal material purchases.
(2) DMS accounts are not to be used to get tax-free sales for personal purchases. Some vendors may offer this but you must insist on paying the tax.
(3) This means you. Reimbursing DMS for a personal material purchase is not even an option.

Other Classes

  • Check the DMS Calendar for the latest classes:
  • Regularly offered classes include Inkscape training, "Laser Fun: Etching Tumblers & Glass on Rotary", "Lasers: Making Boxes!", and Holiday ornament classes.


The following are authorized to train/certify users on the laser. Often they will provide one-on-one training between official classes. If you wish to become a trainer, please contact the Committee Chair.

  1. Luke Olson
  2. Mitch Cerroni
  3. john a. gorman
  4. Nick Sainz
  5. Tom Thomas
  6. Pearce Dunlap
  7. Ryan Caldwell

Tool Status & Maintenance


  • Report problems with equipment ASAP via the Talk forum "Issues and Requests" category. Tag @Team_Laser in post. More information about reporting issues can be found by clicking here.
  • Tool Status Board. Is equipment operational, needing maintenance, or out of service?
  • Laser Area Camera. View a still image of the area to see if the equipment is currently in use.

Authorized Maintainers

The following people are authorized to maintain and service the laser.

  1. Luke Olson
  2. Pearce Dunlap
  3. john a. gorman
  4. Brandon Green
  5. David Summers

Maintenance History

Thunder Nova 63 "Thunder"

  1. 02 December 2017. Tube Power: 125 out of 130. Full alignment: tube, mirrors, lens. Cleaned mirrors & lens. Cleaned and vacuumed housing.
  2. 05 December 2017. Wavey vector line issue (open). Per Pearce, "We have new belts and they will get replaced after the other new machines are installed."
  3. 11 December 2017. Relay installed so that blower operates automatically when a job starts. Switch removed.
  4. 07 January 2018. Tube Power: 125 out of 130. Cleaned mirrors & lens. Vacuumed.
  5. TBD. (Next Maintenance Day) Belts due to be replaced.

Thunder Nova 35 "Donner"

  1. 11 December 2017 - Received and installed. Ready for use!
  2. 07 January 2018. Tube Power: 130 out of 130. Cleaned mirrors & lens. Vacuumed.
  3. TBD. (Next Maintenance Day)

Thunder Nova 35 "Blitzen"

  1. 11 December 2017 - Received and installed. Ready for use!
  2. 07 January 2018. Tube Power: 130 out of 130. Cleaned mirrors & lens. Vacuumed.
  3. TBD. (Next Maintenance Day)

Epilog Zing

  1. 02 December 2017. Tube Power. 30 out of 30. Cleaned housing, mirrors, and lens. Improved exhaust switch, installed blast gate.
  2. 07 January 2018. Cleaned mirrors & lens. Vacuumed.
  3. TBD. (Next Maintenance Day)

Thunder Rotary Attachment

  1. 05 December 2017. The motor was rubbing against a pulley. John Gorman, Mike Churchill and Tim B fixed it. Also added a cable tie strain relief so the cord doesn't get pulled out.

Fire Extinguishers

  1. 08 January 2018. Ethan repaired bad welds on 3 CO2 extinguishers. Amazon sent two replacements, which were donated to Automotive Committee. See Laser discord channel beginning at 01/07/18, 1:02pm.


A CNC laser cutter is a computer controlled tool for engraving and cutting. It uses a high-powered laser to burn through material, leaving a very crisp cut.

Thunder Nova Lasers

Notes Regarding Head Crashes:

  • Don't put anything in the way of the head so that it crashes.
  • The Thunder Laser Nova 35 & 63 have servos (steppers with optical encoders). If it senses a lot of skipped steps it just gives up and assumes something has gone terribly wrong. This can crash the head. Resetting the machine clears things and it should go back to normal operation.
  • The "reset" button also helps when the machine loses track of its place. It forces a re-Home and then rights itself. This can happen with the rotary attachment too.

(Note: this link to be deleted when page retired) Wiki page for Thunder Laser -

Epilog Zing Laser

Thunder Laser Rotary Tool Attachment

The Thunder Laser has a rotary tool attachment to work on round items, such as tumblers, mugs, glasses, bottles, etc. You may use the rotary tool if you have completed the laser basics class and are comfortable on the Thunder Laser. The rotary tool attachment is normally stored on the upper shelves of the scrap area. The following link has instructions on use of the rotary tool.

Link to Rotary Tool Instructions

If the wires become loose on the rotary attachment, the correct wiring is:
DIR- Red Wire
DIR+ Yellow Wire
PUL- Green Wire
PUL+ Black Wire

DIP SWitch settings ON-OFF-ON-OFF-ON-OFF

Additional Documentation

(Note: this link to be deleted when page retired)



All online Laser Committee discussions are held via the Dallas Makerspace Talk forum: (or, does it happen on discourse now?)

Committee Members

  1. Merissa Green - Chairperson
  2. john a. gorman
  3. Beau Williamson
  4. Mike Glass
  5. Tommy Thomas
  6. Lisa Y Selk
  7. Luke Olson
  8. Brandon Green
  9. Stephenie Webb
  10. David Summers
  11. Josh W

How To Join

  • Add your name to the "Committee Members" above.
  • Come to a committee meeting and help keep things running.

Tips and Tricks