Introduction: Laser Cut for Middle Schoolers

mYour going to be laser cutting something out of wood by designing an object out of your own interest.

Step 1: Type in Your Browser: Thingiverse.com

Once you are launched onto the website, you should start to enter a search term. This is where you can really start to dig deeper into what YOU want to build.

For Example:

In the search bar I chose "Tea Bag" which led me to all these amazing things!
The coolest part about Thingiverse is there a bunch of different ideas that you can pick from, so no need to stress. The "Tea Bag" is that it had 29 different ideas.

Step 2: Choose What You Want to Make. Type in the Search Bar When You Find Your Passion!

For example: I choose this tea bag holder. There is plenty ideas to pick from!

Once you have found what you want to make, click on it and click " Download This Thing!" (it will be located in the bottom right corner)

Step 3: Downloaded!

Once you download this item it will be located in your bottom left corner of your page.

Step 4: Go to Your Main Screen

Once you go to your main screen go to the magnifying glass in the top right of your computer screen.

Step 5: When You Click the Magnifying Glass You Will Proceed to Type in "123D Make"

Step 6: Open "123D Make" and Click on the "Import" Button on the Left Side

Step 7: Once You Have Clicked on the Import Button, Download Your Item!

After downloading your item you should see your model in this form.

Step 8: After Seeing the Model You Need to Change a Few Things

In the left hand column there is a part labelled Construction Technique, click on it and a tab will drop down. You can pick different slices, for different effects.

Step 9: For Example

You should see both of these items in a different layout. The first one is stacked slices and the second is interlocked slices.

Step 10: Re-measure Your Item

By re-measuring your item you it will allow it to fit the exact measurements of the Laser Cutting machine.

The measurements should be exactly 4.70MM (thickness) in millimeters

Step 11: Saving Time!

Save ALL of it. (SAVE file to .DXF)

It is time to print! You have to get the A OK from the teachers.

Step 12: Copy Your File

Now that you have everything saved as a .DXF you are ready to copy it to a thumb drive. First open your Finder and search for your file. Once you find it simply drag it into the thumb drive disk and you're good to go.

Step 13: Upload

Now that you have your .DXF file on a thumb drive you are finally ready to cut. Insert your thumb drive into the USB drive of the computer that is hooked up to the laser cutter you are using. Then go on the laser cutting software and click "file" then click "import." Once you select that button a screen will pop up with all the files in the computer on it. Find your thumb drive and click on it. Once your thumb drive is opened up find your .DXF file and double click it to import it into the software.

Step 14: Test and Cut

Now that your file is imported you are almost ready to cut. First step toward cutting is ensuring that the file imported in the right scale.

If it didn't: highlight all pieces in the file, hold down CTRL on your keyboard and drag the corner to make the pieces larger.

If it did: put a sheet of wood into the laser cutter, click "download","del all", and "download current." to test and make sure the wood is positioned in a safe way hit "esc" on the machine and then hit "test"

If the tests go well and your wood is positioned correctly you can close the laser cutter hatch and click "start."

You are now laser cutting.

Step 15: Assemble

Now that you have patiently waited for all of the pieces to be cut out you are ready to assemble them.

Simply apply wood glue or hot glue as needed to the pieces and fit them together like they are cut to be put together.

If you make an item with interlocking teeth on it you may not need glue, but instead just press the teeth into its matching pair and it should stick together great.

Good job, you did your first laser cut!

Comments

author
tomatoskins (author)2015-10-16

Great info! Welcome to the community!

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