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...or act like a Member, not a Customer.
- 2.1 MUST have completed training and meet Age Restriction.
- 2.2 MUST monitor laser for the duration of your job. Stay within arms reach at all times.
- 2.3 PAY for usage.
- 2.4 NO cutting of prohibited materials. Link to list below.
- 2.5 BE excellent and clean up after yourself.
- 2.6 HONOR the queue.
- 2.7 SHARE the computers.
- 2.8 In case of EMERGENCY, use the red E-STOP button.
- 2.9 DO NOT perform maintenance on the lasers.
- 2.10 CONSEQUENCES
- 3 Instruction
- 3.1 Approved Laser users
- 3.2 Instructors
- 3.3 Classes
- 3.3.1 100-Level Classes. Required to use Lasers or Optional Fundamentals.
- 3.3.2 200-Level Classes. Techniques.
- 3.3.3 300-Level Classes. Advanced Skills, Multiple Skills, Advanced Projects.
- 3.3.4 Crossover Classes. Sponsored by other educational committees.
- 3.3.5 DMS Laser Calendar.
- 3.3.6 Laser Basics Class Materials
- 3.3.7 Additional Laser Learning (video)
- 4 Tool Status & Maintenance
- 5 Tools
- 6 Committee
- 7 Material Suppliers
- 8 Additional Documentation
- 9 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 in cooperation with Infrastructure
- The list of acceptable materials for use with the laser cutter. Ask if questionable.
- Promotion of interest in laser technology.
THE WIKI IS THE OFFICIAL RECORD OF THE COMMITTEE. MEMBERS ARE SOLELY RESPONSIBLE FOR KNOWING THE CONTENTS OF THE WIKI. THE WIKI CHANGES AS THE LASER COMMITTEE BECOMES MORE KNOWLEDGEABLE ABOUT THE OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE OF THE LASERS. TO STAY UP TO DATE: ADD THIS PAGE TO YOUR WIKI WATCHLIST TO RECEIVE CHANGE NOTICES. ADDITIONALLY, SUBSCRIBE TO THE LASER CATEGORY ON TALK. JOIN THE LASER DISCORD CHANNEL. READ THE WHITEBOARD. CHECK OVERHEAD MONITOR FOR PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENTS. RE-TAKE LASER 101 THUNDER BASICS or LASER 102 ZING BASICS FOR A REFRESHER. JOIN TEAM LASER; WE MEET MONTHLY. HAPPY LASERING!
Laser Area Rules...or act like a Member, not a Customer.
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.
- 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 Laser 101 or Laser 102 trained, depending on laser, and be within arms reach.
Desperately need to use the restroom but no Laser-trained proxy? We understand. Hit the pause button. Put a sign on the laser lid with name, cell number, and time. Return promptly. Next time plan better because Rule #6 "Honor the queue". 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 runtime, rounded up. Example: 4 min = $1, 6 min = $2.
- 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.
- Multiple jobs during one visit? Add all the runtimes together, then round up.
- MUST be made at the time of your visit.
Failure to pay is theft of service and will result in expulsion and prosecution. We have done so. Be aware that under Texas Penal Code Section 31.03(f) "an offense described for purposes of punishment by Subsections (e)(1)-(6) is increased to the next higher category of offense if it is shown on the trial of the offense that the owner of the property appropriated was at the time of the offense is a non-profit organization." A misdemeanor elsewhere may be a felony against Dallas Makerspace. It's not worth it. Pay.
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.
NO cutting of prohibited materials. Link to list below.
See the Go/No-Go List of Materials.
It is the member's responsibility to know the content of their materials. No exceptions. If it is not on the list, if you are uncertain, if you can't locate an MSDS, don't use the material. Post a question on the Talk forum using the Laser category and we will do our best to help.
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 or under the Laser worktable. 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.
HONOR the queue.
Don't waste time at the laser. If you have a long job and there is a queue, let shorter jobs play through. Call or text the next person in the queue after your turn. Don't jump the queue.
SHARE the computers.
They're for importing your prints, not creating your designs. Tweaking a design is expected. Leave the computers avail for the users of the Lasers.
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.
DO NOT perform maintenance on the lasers.
We have a maintenance team for that. Join the team and get the skills to do it yourself. Notify us of issues on Talk.
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 101 and Laser 102 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 Laser 101 Thunder Basics or Laser 102 Zing Basics. Those limited slots are kept available to members-in-good-standing. We have a Committee Meeting/Maintenance Day once a month.
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.)
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.
- john a. gorman
- Tom Thomas
- David Summers
- Stephenie Webb
- Mark Salas
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: 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.
- Adobe Illustrator 101
- Fusion 360 101 - ?
200-Level Classes. Techniques.
- Laser 201: Etching Tumblers and Glass on the Rotary. Intro to Rotary attachment, prep and mounting items, RDWorks settings.
- Laser 202: Making Boxes.
- Laser 203: Making Living Hinges.
300-Level Classes. Advanced Skills, Multiple Skills, Advanced Projects.
- Laser 301: Purse/Clutch with Living Hinge.
Crossover Classes. Sponsored by other educational committees.
- Printmaking SIG offers Laser Block Engraving every other month.
- Leatherworking SIG offers Leather-and-Lasers classes.
- Etching. Using the Laser to cut thru a resist then etch with chemicals/electrolysis.
DMS Laser Calendar.
Laser Basics Class Materials
- 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
Additional Laser Learning (video)
- Thunder Laser video tutorials: http://www.thunderlaser.com/video
- Advanced Techniques (ie comparing changing one variable, like Interval or Focus link): http://www.thunderlaser.com/video/advanced-tutorial.html
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.
- Luke Olson
- Pearce Dunlap
- john a. gorman
- Brandon Green
- David Summers
- Beau Williamson
- Clay Romeiser
- Joshua Wims
The following have admin rights, in addition to Infrastructure 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
- "Big Thunder" 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
- RDWorks Software Manual from RDWorks Lab (non-OEM)
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
- HEPA filter possibilities:
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
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
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.
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.
- Stephenie Webb (Chair) - @heyheymama
- Scott Blevins (Vice Chair) - @ScottBlevins
- 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
- Bill Gee - @Bill
- Daniel Hawn - @tombakerftw
- Stan Simmons - @StanSimmons
How To Join
- Come to a monthly Maintenance Day/Committee Meeting and help keep things running.
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.
- 3D print replacement drag chain links
- Replacement Drag chain
- Vector Grid cleaning brushes
- How to Level a Thunder Nova bed.
- Laser Longevity - Do You Have A Plan?
- Replacement lenses for Thunder Novas' Standard and High Def tubes
- Long handled Cotton Swabs
- Laser Masking Paper
- Novus Acrylic Polish
- Electronics Grade Isopropyl Alcohol
- Safety Glasses
- Goo Gone
Furniture / Facility
- Computer Desks - Maple Top with Rounded Edge
- 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)
- Rolling cabinet - Gladiator 3/4 Door Wall Gearbox
- Rolling cabinets - Seville Classics UltraHD 2-Door Rolling Cabinet
- 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 - 
- Masking Paper Stand - 
Area Laser Systems
(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/
- Tips for Cutting Leather on Lasers - https://talk.dallasmakerspace.org/t/tips-for-cutting-leather-on-lasers/35307/18