Stop Motion Animation for Kids
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I'm not the best person to ask about machines. I've only used 2. I currently use a GlowForge and I'm very happy with it. But it did have a long wait time to get.My best advice is make sure what you buy has good support. You can get cheap Chinese versions but will they have good support?
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Very cool. I love tops and dice. Great job.
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The door stop is a great spring and cheap and easy to get. For the joystick the screw worked great for both mounting and using as a group. A Makey-Makey glove controller is a great idea. You should give a go. I think they've had video game contests in the past. So it doesn't just have to be Makey-Makey. As Adam Savage says "follow your weird ideas".
Thanks. Congrats on your win. The Makey Makey is interesting and the best part is reinventing things like joysticks and musical instruments with it.
Thanks. I love going to hardware stores and finding different uses for items.
Thanks. I started with just a spring and when I was at the hardware store looking for a bigger one it occurred to me to to use the door stop spring.Please vote for me in the Makey Makey contest.
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I've never worked with a machine that allows you to vary the laser height. I would contact the manufacture.
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Not sure. Sounds like a software problem. Not my strong suite
I'm not super familiar with how the auto focus works, but I think its mostly to focus on the surface of the material not its thickness. The cut power is determined by the power and speed of the cut. The best thing I've found is to run several test cuts (on scrap if you have it) until you find the best settings.
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Thanks. I hope people add their own twists to it. Like mixing different colored acrylics.
I did not know that. Thanks for the info.
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The laser cutters I've worked with, which are the hobby to basic business models, have a fixed focal length. You can't adjust the focus like you can on a telescope or microscope. Maybe there are more expensive/professional machines that can change the focus but I don't know about them. As a result beyond a certain depth the laser loses focus and starts to spread out and weaken. The 2 things you can adjust are usually power 0% to 100% and speed that the laser travels. By adjusting those you determine the cut. Your most powerful (for thick material) is a high power and slow speed so the laser stays on the material longer and the weakest (light engraving) is low power and high speed.
I use 1/8" thick plywood. It cuts nicely and is pretty sturdy.
I started out renting time on a laser cutter at a Maker Space. If you have one near you, you should check it out.
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I'm not sure about the laser tube. The lasers I've dealt with didn't have that option. Usually you just have a choice of how many Watts it has which indicates its power. For most lasers its 30 to 50 Watts. If your doing a lot of cutting more power is good.
Glad you liked them.
The laser is not the best tool for that. It is designed to either cut or engrave not raise anything. Unlike a router its not good at removing large areas of material.Also PVC is a material to avoid using on the laser. PVC has Chlorine in it and when it burns it produces very toxic gases. I would suggest acrylic.Best of luck with your project.
Given that natural materials vary in quality, thickness and toughness you are never going to have a perfect setting. There are 2 tricks for checking cuts. One, look for smoke coming from the under side of the material. This means that the beam has gone through and the smoke with it. Two, when the cut is done use one hand to hold the base material (sheet of wood) down (near the origin) so it doesn't move. Use the other hand to either lift a corner or poke at a few of the cut pieces it they move the cut is good and if they don't you can run the cut again.Good luck.
Haven't tried it. I would probably work. Be careful about things slipping and your blades will probably need to be cleaned well afterwards to prevent rusting or corroding.Do a few test cuts first.
Starting a Handmade Business
I've only worked with an Epliog laser so I can't compare brands to well. I have a Glowforge on order but its been back ordered for a while.The first bit of advice I have is make sure what ever you buy, make sure it has good support. You might get a Chinese knock off cheap but if it brakes do you really want to call China for tech support?Make sure the bed will fit not only the side to side dimensions you need but also the depth. Some of the hobby level ones only work on thin flat material.Best of luck.
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Good idea.As always I would suggest running a test on some scape material to see how it behaves under the laser.
Good advice. Thanks
Another thing to know about lasers and engraving is that they are designed to burn the wood not remove it like a router. The engraving is deeper than the surface but you really can't control the depth. Most lasers are in the 30 to 50 watt range. The higher wattage will burn things faster.Before you buy a laser you might want to rent time on one or have someone run some samples for you so you can see what a laser will do.Have fun.
The important thing to realize about most lasers is they can't vary the thickness of the beam. You can fill in areas but this is done in the engraving settings. Basically the laser goes back and forth over an area, moving down the width of the beam until it has covered the whole area. Vector art work is great for this. Any area with a fill will be engraved and any line that is thicker than the cutting line will also be engraved.Engraving does take longer than cutting so if your paying based on time it is more expensive. But I would stress worth the money. The look is great.
Thanks for the great information. The laser I have access to only has one lens so I've never experimented with changing the focal depth. Good to know. I will also have to check out the 3D feature. Always more to learn.
I only have experience with an Epilog laser cutter. A laser cutter cuts with heat so the burnt edge can't be avoided. Also for most laser cutters 1/4" is the maximum depth (until you get to more industrial lasers). Since you want to cut 1/2" material a CNC sounds line the better option. The biggest difference is going to be the cutting line. On the laser it will be hair thin but on the CNC the size of the cutting bit will be the smallest detail you can cut. Be aware that long thin bits have a tendency to snap if you cut to quickly with them.Hope this helps.
Glad you liked it and if you have any tips you've learned you should create your own instructable.
Not off hand. Since you know the company that made the laser I would see if they have a tech support or at least a recommend software for using with the laser.Corel Draw works well with the Epilog laser I use. I prefer Adobe Illustrator for creating drawings. Good luck
I don't have any tips on cutting thick acrylic.I've never compared lens cleaners. So again can't help out.Good luck.
I've only used an Epilog laser so I can't personally review different models. I wrote this Instructable with so advice on what to look for when buying:https://www.instructables.com/id/Tips-for-buying-a-laser-cutterengraver/
Sorry not that I know of.
Sorry no help with the smell. Good venting.As for burns around the edges try putting some masking tape over the leather.Good luck
With the laser you control 2 things, speed and power. If you slow down the cut you also want to use less power. I always do some test cuts to find the best ratio of speed to power.
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Interesting problem. I've never had trouble with plastic re-welding but I can see how it would happen. You could try slowing the cut down. That might give it more time to cool and for the air assist to blow air into the cut. The damp paper might work or you could try masking tape. Last idea, do the cut in 2 passes. The second pass would hopefully recut anything that had re-welded from the first.Good luck and if you find any good ideas post your own instructable.Geordie
I don't have anyway to fix that. The change in direction obviously slows the laser's movement down and it burns longer at that spot. Sorry
Well the Instructable is has all my tips and tricks in it. What I would do is go through it and figure out which ones you can use. Try and setup a template or workflow for you project that will minimize your tasks and then stick to that. Properly setting up the job will make it go faster.Good Luck
Not familiar with that laser. I would try contacting the manufacturer or seeing if there is an online blog for people using it.Good luck
Hypothetically yes. It would take a lot of testing to find the right setting. I'm also not sure what would happen with the adhesive on the tape. It would either burn or be left behind when the paper burned off.It is pain to peal of small bits of tape. Another idea (I haven't tried this) would be to use some sandpaper or maybe steel wool to remove the small pieces.If you find a good solution, post an Instructable about it.
i have engraved on leather before but I don't have any specific tricks for improving it. I would keep good notes on what settings you have used so keep track of what works and what doesn't.Good luck
glasses can be tricky when they are oddly shaped or weighted. See how much you and adjust the location of the rotary wheels and if there are different ways to position the glass on it. I did one glass "upside down" to get it to stay on the rotary wheels. Also plan on 2 or 3 getting messed up. If you need 10 buy at least 12 glasses.
Well that's not an easy question to answer. The basic answer is you need to learn how to use the pen tool to draw custom shapes. While I've taught people how to use programs like Inkscape and Illustrator, I don't think I can teach it over email like this.I would go to Google or Youtube and search for tutorials In Corel Draw.Best of luck
I'm not familiar with that laser. If Corel can access the print driver for the laser than that is all you need. To be honest all the lasers I've worked with were already set up, so I don't have a lot experience with setting them up.If Corel can't find the laser I would look into how to connect to it. Either ask the previous owner or see if you can contact the manufacturer.Good luck and have fun.
Tough problem. What I would suggest is putting some masking tape or paper on the board and running the laser at very low power to burn a test into the paper or tape. Once you have it aligned you can either remove the tape/paper.Good luck
Odd. You should be able to engrave and cut from the same drawing. Create your engraving and then draw the cut line around it. Make sure the cut line is set to hairline. If that doesn't work. Try moving the cut or engraving to a separate layer. Make sure it is still aligned the way you want it and then run the laser.good luck.
Lasers can engrave the surface of glass but not inside it. I don't know how the photo was made, but probably not with a laser.I don't know of any lasers that are in the $500 range. Most start in the thousand dollar range.Good luck
Not off hand. I go to my local woodstore, Woodcrafters. You could try online craft stores. Good Luck.
I don't have much experience with using Illustrator on the Epilog. The issue is probably the line thickness for the cuts. I do my design in Illustrator and then use Corel Draw to run the job on the laser. In Corel you can set the thickness of the cut lines to "Hairline" and that is what it uses to cut the lines. I did a quick Google search and the solution is to set the cut lines to .01 thickness so they are treated as Hairline.Give that a try.
I would get in touch with the manufacturer. I only have experience with Epilog lasers. If its one of them their website and customer service are great. If not contact the manufacturer or do a web search.Good luck
It should be fine. The only issue is what happens to the paint when it burns. Off hand I have not run into any paint that produces toxic or corrosive fumes. Make sure you have good venting on your machine to remove any fumes. That should protect you and the machine.