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.
- 1 Purpose
- 2 Laser Area Rules
- 3 Training
- 4 Tool Status & Maintenance
- 5 Equipment
- 6 Committee
- 7 Additional Documentation
- 8 Tips and Tricks
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
Members must contact the Chairperson via Talk or Discord 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
- MUST have completed Laser Basics course to operate the lasers
- MUST watch laser for the duration of your job - within arms reach at all times
- 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.
- NO cutting of prohibited materials: Vinyl, PVC, Kydex, Sintra, Styrofoam, Polycarbonate (Lexan), or other materials when combustion creates dangerous gases
- Be excellent and clean up after yourself
- Honor the queue
- No hogging the computers -- they're for importing your prints, not creating your designs
- Use the red E-STOP button in case of emergency
- 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.
$1 per 5 minutes of laser firing, rounded up
Example: 4 min = $1, 6 min = $2
Approved Laser users
Users who have completed Laser Basics are authorized to use the lasers. http://bit.ly/2qPciRi (This list is only visible inside Dallas Makerspace.)
Laser Basics Class Materials (Google Doc format)
- Laser Basics class content: https://goo.gl/H0RsNM
- Epilog Zing In Depth: https://goo.gl/q9YB4x
- Thunder Nova Lasers In Depth: https://goo.gl/XR7zk2
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.
- Check the DMS Calendar for the latest classes: https://calendar.dallasmakerspace.org/?category=45
- 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.
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.
- Maintenance History Log.
The following people are authorized to maintain and service the laser.
The following have admin rights, in addition to network admins:
- Chair: Stephenie Webb @heyheymama
- David Summers @pinewoodnut
- Clay Romeiser @motopilot
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
- Nova 63. 1600mm x 1000m (63” x 39.4”x 9.8”); 130 Watts of Power
- "Donner" Nova 35 (next to Metal Shop). 900mm x 730m (35.4” x 23.6”x 9.0”); 130 Watts of Power
- "Blitzen" Nova 35 (next to rear exit). 900mm x 730m (35.4” x 23.6”x 9.0”); 130 Watts of Power
- Class Curriculum: https://goo.gl/urBEV4
- Manufacturer's website
- Manufacturer's Manual Nova 63
- Manufacturer's Manual Nova 35
- Manufacturer's Suggested Material Settings
- Manufacturer's RDWorks Manual
- Manufacturer's YouTube Channel
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 - https://dallasmakerspace.org/wiki/Thunder_Laser
Epilog Zing Laser
- 12" x 16" x 4"; 30 watts.
- Epilog Zing In Depth: https://goo.gl/q9YB4x
- Manufacturer's Manual
- Manufacturer's Suggested Material Settings
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.
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
Discussion & Documentation
All online Laser Committee discussions are held via:
- DMS Discord forum (https://discord.gg/BXvzcF9)
- DMS Talk forum (https://talk.dallasmakerspace.org/c/laser)
- Action Items. Members can make suggestions directly on Google Doc. (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1RpKt46AY-UbctIcSm9UzNQ2gSadPdOZRI6O8VVqJ-gA)
- Meeting Minutes.
- Stephenie Webb - Chairperson - @heyheymama
- john a. gorman - @talkers
- Beau Williamson - @gbeauw
- Tommy Thomas - @tomthm
- Clay Romeiser - @motopilot
- David Summers - @pinewoodnut
- Merissa Green - @merissa
- Brandon Green
- Josh W - @JoshW
- Ryan Caldwell - @somecallmery
- Brady Pamplin - @bpamplin
- Todd Bloom - @Bloom
- Kati Peters - @Kati
How To Join
- Come to a monthly Maintenance Day/Committee Meeting and help keep things running.
- Replacement drag chain
- Laser Showcase for Chromecast - Google Photo album
- Laser font - Nulshock
- Wall-mounted Desk - Allwood 6/4" (1.5") x 18" x 84" Birch (Routed edges both faces)
- Aluminum Chairs - Chair Depots Atlantic Aluminum Chair with Brushed Aluminum Finish, 2 pack
- Aluminum Stools - Chair Depots Atlantic Aluminum Swivel Backless Stool, Brushed Aluminum Finish
- Whiteboard - Quartet Porcelain Magnetic Whiteboard, 4 x 3 Feet, Black Aluminum Frame (2544B)
- Toolbox - Gladiator 3/4 Door Wall Gearbox
- Wall paint - BEHR PREMIUM PLUS Interior/Exterior Hi-Gloss Enamel Paint - Ultra Pure White, Deep Base, 3.43 L in Candy Apple 04YR 11/537 R40
- Work Table Cutting Mat - 
- Computer Desks - 
(Note: this link to be deleted when page retired) https://dallasmakerspace.org/wiki/MakerSpace_Lasers
Tips and Tricks
- Picengrave - http://www.picengrave.com/index.htm
- Raster2Gcode - http://fablabo.net/wiki/Raster2Gcode
- Laser wire stripping - http://imajeenyus.com/electronics/20131024_laser_wire_stripping/index.shtml
- Laser Origami - http://www.hpi.uni-potsdam.de/baudisch/projects/laserorigami.html
- 10 Tips and Tricks for laser - http://www.instructables.com/id/10-Tips-and-Tricks-for-Laser-Engraving-and-Cutting/
- Sam's Laser FAQ: A Practical Guide to Lasers for Experimenters and Hobbyists - http://www.repairfaq.org/sam/lasersam.htm
- Cermark Alternative - http://frankieflood.blogspot.ca/2014/12/cermark-alternative.html
- laser engraving stainless steel w/ plaster - http://frankieflood.blogspot.ca/2014/12/laser-engraving-stainless-steel-w.html
- Decapping ICs w/ a laser - http://www.jamiecraig.com/de-encapsulating-ics-with-a-laser-cutter/
- Synrad Processing Plastics with CO2 Lasers - http://www.synrad.com/synradinside/pdfs/LaserProcessingGuide_Plastics.pdf
- The Ultimate Guide to Laser-cut Box Generators - http://www.instructables.com/id/The-Ultimate-Guide-to-Laser-cut-Box-Generators/
- DXF4Laser. Export a Fusion360 face to .dxf file. From Fusion 360, select “Fusion 360 App Store” from the Add-ins menu. (or go https://apps.autodesk.com/en2) Type “DXF4Laser” in the search box. Download and install the add-in. (be sure to start it)
- How to Fail at Laser Cutting - https://hackaday.com/2016/05/31/how-to-fail-at-laser-cutting/