Category:Laser

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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.

Contents

Purpose

The Laser Committee covers:

  • Training members in the safe, effective use of the Lasers
  • Care and maintenance of the lasers (The Epilog Fusion, Zing and Thunder Novas)
  • Consumables of the lasers (Lenses, Mirrors, Laser Tubes, Supplies, etc)
  • Maintenance of the laser computers in cooperation with Infrastructure
  • The list of acceptable materials for use with the laser cutter. Ask if questionable.
  • Promotion of interest in laser technology.
Welcome to the World of DMS Lasering!
Congratulations on finding our wiki, the official record of the committee and chock full of useful information for members.
Makers are always learning, so the wiki changes as the Laser Committee becomes more knowledgeable about operation and maintenance.
Frequent changes makes it difficult for you, our members, to stay up to date.
Fortunately, wiki technology makes it easy.
Simply add this page to your wiki watchlist to receive change notices by email.  

Help govern the area by joining the Laser Committee, there's always room for more people. Check the calendar for meeting times or find us online. Most meetings are followed up by a brief maintenance day and are a great opportunity to learn more about the lasers.

Happy Lasering!

Committee Leadership

Chair: Jonathan Smith - talk handle: trapezium

Laser Area Rules... or how not to start fires

Must have completed training and meet Age Restriction.

  • Laser 101 Thunder Basics course to operate the Thunder Nova lasers.
  • Laser 102 Zing Basics course to operate the Epilog Zing.
  • Laser 103 Fusion Basics course to operate the Epilog Fusion.
  • Age Restriction: You must be at least 16 years of age to take the training.

Must monitor laser for the duration of your job. Stay within arms reach at all times.

If you use a proxy to watch the laser, they also must be trained for the particular laser, and be within arms reach.

Desperately need to use the restroom but no Laser-trained proxy? We understand. Hit the pause button. Add a "Be right back" note to the laser sign-in board. Return promptly. Your session time limit does not get extended. DO NOT abuse our understanding by using this loophole for getting a snack from the galley, visiting with friends, leaving the premises, etc.

You shall not run multiple lasers at once as you cannot monitor them both or stay within arms reach of both.

Why? Because Lasers cause fires. We have a 4-part fire suppression system: you, the CO2 line, the fire extinguisher, and the fire alarm. None of these work without you. A fire risks not only a $15,000 laser, but also the facility and everyone in it.

Pay for usage.

$1 per 5 minutes of laser run-time, rounded up. Example: 4 min = $1, 6 min = $2.

Run-time: laser operating time as measured by the counter in the laser’s control panel.

  • Credit cards (preferred) and cash accepted at Laser.
  • Swipe credit cards at Square kiosk.
  • Record cash payment in Square kiosk and take receipt. This is the only proof of payment. If you do not record cash payment in Square, it may look like you didn't pay. You are responsible for keeping this proof of payment. Put cash in envelope (see side pocket on cash box); write name, date, and "Laser" on envelope for bookkeeper; submit in tall black cash box under Square kiosk. If you cannot find an envelope, re-stock them from the supply kept in the Common Room on top of the white shelving.
  • Multiple jobs during one visit? Add all the run-times together, then round up.
  • Must be made at the time of your visit.

Accidentally walk out without paying and can't turn around to come back? Don't panic. Notify us on Talk. We'll respect your prompt honesty and you'll set a good example. We'll work something out.

You can pay online at this link: https://dallasmakerspace.org/laser

No cutting of prohibited materials. Link to list below.

See the Go/No-Go List of Materials.

It's often difficult to tell the difference between allowed and not allowed materials (i.e. acrylic and polycarbonate). Please ensure that you know the material you're cutting, don't simply assume by look or feel alone. If anything seems wrong during the cut, stop and seek help. Cutting no-go materials can cause serious damage to lasers, ventilation systems, and even your health.

Be excellent and clean up after yourself.

Tidy up tools and trash. Remove bits of material from laser beds. Do not leave scrap in Laser area. Be honest with yourself; is it really usable scrap? If yes, place on shelf in Workshop. No room on shelves? Take usable scrap home...or throw it away...or throw away existing scrap to make room. Otherwise, throw bad scrap in the trash can or dumpster. Empty the trash can in the dumpster. Join us on the monthly Maintenance Day for a deep cleaning.

All scrap must have a useable area greater than 8"x8" or fit inside the bin dedicated to test material. Please, please, please walk all questionable or unusable material to the dumpster. This is a recurring problem.

Obey the queue and session limit (3 hours total if someone else is waiting)

Definitions

  • Workstation: area including laser and PC.
  • Session: when member occupies a workstation, whether laser is operating or not and whether user is logged into computer or not.
  • Run-time: laser operating time as measured by the counter in the laser’s control panel. A subset of session time.
  • Work piece: single lasered item that can be lifted out of the laser without ruining it. Note: your job may consist of multiple work pieces.
  • Off-peak hours: 10p-10a CST
  • Peak hours: 10a-10p CST

Queue Procedure

1. Queue Sign-In: Write your name, phone number and arrival time on it. Indicate if you are waiting for any laser in particular. Write clearly or you may lose your turn.

2. Tell laser operators that you are waiting in the queue. They may not realize that a queue has formed.

3. Answer your phone or text message promptly, or else you may lose your turn.

4. Erase your name and information from the queue sign-in board when your turn begins.

Session Procedure

1. Session Limit:

Operator vacates the workstation under these conditions:

  • After 3-hours
  • AND when a work piece can be removed from the laser bed without ruining it
  • AND if people are waiting in the queue for the laser (even if the queue only formed 10 minutes ago)

If no one is waiting for the laser, operator may continue to use the workstation until a queue for the laser forms. At that point, the operator will finish the work piece in progress, then vacate the workstation.

2. Get another turn: Go to the end of the queue.

Plan Your Work FAQs

  • How do I estimate my run-time?

Software for the Thunders and Fusion have a simulator feature. It underestimates the runtime significantly, so beware. The laser has a simulator feature that is more accurate.

  • What if my single work piece takes longer than the 3-hour session time limit?

You get to keep using the laser until your work piece is done because moving it from the bed would ruin it. That said, be considerate by performing the job during off-peak hours. See the famous Middle Earth Map that took 7 hours at https://talk.dallasmakerspace.org/t/dallas-makerspace-show-and-tell-november-2016/13883/62

  • May I start lasering a new work piece near the end of my session time knowing that it will run over the remaining time?

No.

  • What if I have several work pieces that will take longer than 3 hours total? For example, multiple coasters from a sheet of cork.

Do not send a laser job of multiple work pieces that is longer than the remaining session time. Plan the order of cuts & rasters so you can finish at least one work piece before the session is up. You may go to the end of the queue or return another day. Consider using the lasers during off-peak hours to avoid being interrupted by a queue.

  • Am I obligated to let people “play though” if they say they have a shorter job?

No. That rule has been removed. You have use of the workstation until your session time is up. All members should plan for a wait. Using the lasers during off-peak hours is a way to avoid waits.

No designing. Tweaking OK.

Sessions are for importing your prints, not creating your designs. Tweaking a design is expected. Makespace has other computers available for designing.

In case of EMERGENCY, use the red E-STOP button.

Use the fire suppression equipment: the CO2 blue line or the fire extinguishers. There is a fire extinguisher on the floor next to each laser. Notify us of issues on Talk.

Attempting to perform your own maintenance may damage the lasers.

Unless you have been previously trained (i.e. on our maintenance team), please do not try to repair the lasers. The optics are extremely delicate and even small adjustments to the laser can take several hours to correct if done improperly.

Consequences

If you are observed violating committee rules, we may take the following actions:

  • we may not allow you to complete your job.
  • we may suspend your access to the Laser Area up to the maximum time permitted by the Dallas Makerspace Rules.
  • we may invalidate your laser training. Why? Because you have forgotten your training.
  • we may petition the Board for stricter consequences.

Unless the situation warrants us petitioning the Board, you have a path forward. You may get re-certified by participating in a Monthly Committee Meeting/Maintenance Day. Our committee does not want members who have lost their authorization to re-take generally offered laser classes. Those limited slots are kept available to members-in-good-standing. We have a Committee Meeting/Maintenance Day once a month.

Instruction

Approved Laser users

  • Users who have completed (retired) Laser Basics are authorized to use the Thunder Nova lasers and the Zing. http://bit.ly/2qPciRi (This list is only visible inside Dallas Makerspace.)
  • Users who have completed Laser 101 Thunder Basics or the (retired) Laser Basics class are authorized to use the Thunder Nova lasers, Big Thunder, Donner, and Blizen. https://bit.ly/2k0ymDo (This list is only visible inside Dallas Makerspace.)
  • Users who have completed Laser 102 Zing Basics or the (retired) Laser Basics class are authorized to use the Epilog Zing. https://bit.ly/2GlWIAf (This list is only visible inside Dallas Makerspace.)

Instructors

The following are authorized Laser Instructors. One-on-one training between official classes may be arranged privately with an instructor. If you wish to become an instructor, please contact the Committee Chair.

  1. Priscilla "Kris" Wong talk handle:squaredroots
  2. john a. gorman talk handle:talkers better to text: 214.799.0299 or email [email protected]
  3. Tommy Thomas talk handle:[1] - inactive member
  4. David Summers talk handle:pinewoodnut
  5. Mark Salas talk handle:mrksls2
  6. Michael Bayern handle:michaelb
  7. Tom talk handle:TSki
  8. Matthew Maduzia talk handle:wid

Knowledgeable laser users have, from time to time, been allowed to teach 1 on 1 training sessions. If you wish to teach a 1 on 1 to grant the ability to use a laser, please ask the chair for permission.

Classes

Laser Basics Class Materials

What follows is a record of most laser classes taught. Not all classes are taught regularly. If you'd like to take a class, ask some of the instructors or float the idea with other members (in person, talk, discord, etc). You will probably find someone willing to teach you.

100-Level Classes. Required to use Lasers or Optional Fundamentals.

  • Laser 101: Thunder Basics. Required class to use Thunder Lasers. Covers the principles of lasers, safety, use of RDWorks, and Thunder Lasers.
  • Laser 102: Zing Basics. Required class to use the Epilog Zing laser. Covers Inkscape, creating compatible PDF file, laser safety, and using the Epilog Zing.
  • Laser 103: Fusion Basis. Requires class to use the Epilog Fusion laser. Covers safety, compatible files, use of the software, the laser interface, and the rotary attachment.
  • Laser 103 (retired): RDWorks.
  • Laser 104: Lightburn.
  • Laser 105: Office Hours.
  • Laser 106: Thunder Basics for Crossover Classes. Special offering to support crossover classes. If another committee has enough interest in learning laser, this class allows those members to learn together and not wait for enough openings in Laser 101.
  • Laser 107: Thunder Optics Cleaning. Hands-on class certifying users to safely and effectively clean & evaluate the lenses and mirrors.
  • Laser 108: Thunder Advanced Maintenance. Hands-on class certifying Laser Committee members to replace lenses and mirrors, level beds, measure power output, and perform full system cleaning.

Related classes for other Digital Fabrication tools, so it receives its own 100-Level numbering.

  • Inkscape 101: Beginners.
  • Inkscape 102: Image Prep. Vectorizing images, working with vectors.
  • Adobe Illustrator 101
  • Fusion 360 101 - ?

200-Level Classes. Techniques.

  • Laser 201: Etching Tumblers and Glass on the Thunder Rotary. Intro to Rotary attachment, prep and mounting items, Lightburn settings.
  • Laser 202: Making Boxes.
  • Laser 203: Making Living Hinges.
  • Laser 204: Holiday ornaments - Design and cut with Thunder
  • Laser 205: Laser cut jewelry on the Thunders
  • Laser 206: Laser cut jewelry on the Zing
  • Laser 207: Laser cut Tangram Puzzle

300-Level Classes. Advanced Skills, Multiple Skills, Advanced Projects.

  • Laser 301: Purse/Clutch with Living Hinge.

Crossover Classes. Sponsored by other educational committees.

  1. Printmaking SIG offers Laser Block Engraving.
  2. Leatherworking SIG offers Leather-and-Lasers classes.
  3. Etching. Using the Laser to cut thru a resist then etch with chemicals/electrolysis.

DMS Laser Calendar.

https://calendar.dallasmakerspace.org/?category=45


Additional Laser Learning (video)

Tool Status & Maintenance

Status

  • 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.

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
  6. Beau Williamson
  7. Clay Romeiser
  8. Joshua Wims
  9. Andrew K.
  10. Ali Maskus

The following have admin rights, in addition to Infrastructure admins:

  1. Michael Bayern @michaelb
  2. Andrew K. @sixvolts
  3. Josh W. @JoshW
  4. David Summers @pinewoodnut
  5. Clay Romeiser @motopilot

Tools

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 thin metal slats have been specifically chosen to help avoid head 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

Epilog Fusion Pro 32

Square Receipt Printer

How to refill (with diagram) and where to find refills: https://talk.dallasmakerspace.org/t/reaolved-laser-receipt-printer-out-of-paper/36458/3

Committee

Discussion & Documentation

Committee Meetings

Online Laser Committee discussions

Open House 2018 History

Remembering what happened, so we don't have to reinvent the wheel each year.

Reserve lasers on calendar for cleaning shift and Open House. LASER DOWN Notifications on Talk and whiteboard.

Cleaning Shift: night before, 7-9pm. Clean the polycarbonate. "Motel" clean.

Projects:

  1. Gift for Printmaking Committee: (Donner) A set of 26 business-card sized print blocks to support the crossover class "Laser Block Engraving".
  2. Gift for PR: (Zing) Chair and Vice-Chair name tags. White-on-black dual-layer acrylic. Raster: 75s 60p; Cut: 60s 70p 5000f 1000dpi
  3. Give-away: (Blitzen) engraved yellow pencils.
  4. Demo & Hands-On Activity: (Big Thunder) Leather-and-Lasers keychain fob.

Food: Brisket, white bread, potato salad, cooler + ice + canned soda, cupcakes.

Volunteers:

Committee Members

Contact the Committee on the DMS Discussion Board using either (a) the Laser Category, (b) the @Team_Laser tag, or (c) individual tags given below.

  1. Andrew K. @sixvolts
  2. Josh W. @JoshW
  3. john a. gorman - @talkers
  4. Beau Williamson - @gbeauw
  5. Tommy Thomas - @tomthm
  6. Clay Romeiser - @motopilot
  7. David Summers - @pinewoodnut
  8. Merissa Green - @merissa
  9. Brandon Green
  10. Scott Blevins
  11. Ryan Caldwell - @somecallmery
  12. Brady Pamplin - @bpamplin
  13. Bill Gee - @Bill
  14. Daniel Hawn - @tombakerftw
  15. Stan Simmons - @StanSimmons
  16. Stephenie Webb - @heyheymama
  17. Ali Maskus - @skwurl
  18. Shaun Dixon - @Shaun_Dixon

How To Join

  • Add your name to the above list by editing the wiki.
  • Come to the meetings

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.


Additional Documentation

Laser Maintenance

Note: Members are not allowed to perform maintenance on the machines unless Committee members are present or a Maintenance Workday is in progress. Any member is welcome to show up for the Monthly Maintenance Days and help maintain the lasers and learn more about them. Check the DMS Calendar for upcoming events.

Consumables

Furniture / Facility

Misc

Area Laser Systems


(Note: this link to be deleted when page retired) https://dallasmakerspace.org/wiki/MakerSpace_Lasers

Tips and Tricks

DMS-generated:


Other:

All pages related to the Laser Committee