Tear-down of a 100W Nd:YAG surgical laser

A few weeks ago we posted about the dispatch of one of our lasers into the hands of YouTube-video creator PhotonicInduction. Andy has been pretty busy in the meantime, zapping bugs, setting fire to his sofa, burning holes in his mobile-phone, and has also produced this great video where he tears down the Sharplan 3000 laser and explains how it works. Highly recommended viewing.

Still from PhotonicInduction's video

Still from PhotonicInduction’s video

Ryan explains the Jacob’s Ladder

We were clearing out the cupboard last week to make some storage space, and one of the things to emerge was the ‘Jacob’s Ladder’. More technically known as a high voltage travelling arc it is made from little more than a transformer from a neon light, some welding rods and some perspex. In this short video Ryan explains what is going on as the arc buzzes its way up between the rods.


The night we put the sign up

A great night down rLab last night – lots of new faces, another 3 new members, some clearing up, and …. WE FINALLY PUT THE SIGN UP!

It has been a while since Sylvain made the sign for us and in the meantime we have struggled to find the time to get out the ladders, remove the sodium lamp from the front of the building (we still couldn’t find the switch for it) so that we could hang it in its rightful position – in pride of place on the front of our unit.

The sign makes a huge difference to the appearance of the building, it makes us much easier to find, and lifting it into place felt – well – momentous. So, here, captured for posterity, is the moment we put it up.

Thanks Sylvain – it’s awesome – and thanks too to everyone who lent a hand / big stick last night.

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Bright Ideas: Bike-themed lights for low-key gig

When our friends at Reading Bike Kitchen decided to hold a low-key Sofar Sounds gig at their place, we were only too happy to help hack together some bike-themed lighting for the event. Using a mixture of bike lights, LED strip that we had lying around, and bits of bike we made a mixture of set-ups including this chandelier.

Chandelier made from bike wheel and LED strip

Chandelier made from bike wheel and LED strip

More pics after the break.

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DON’T FORGET – Visit from Igus this Wednesday

The lovely folk from IGUS are dropping in to rLab this Wednesday evening to show us a variety of Igus linear systems, bearings and products, including;

– dry running linear motion;
– Lead screw driven linear systems;
– drylin E fully motorised linear systems;
– iglidur 3D print Filament;
– iglidur Tribo Tape.

They’ll be with us from 7pm, so don’t be late if you want to see what they have to offer.

Igus gantry

A 500x500mm dry bearing Igus gantry system

Uh Oh – look who took the laser

We were a little short of space at rLab and decided to let one of our lasers go to make room for more projects. Some of you might recognise the person that took it off our hands. We’re big fans of PhotonicInduction’s ‘educational’ videos on YouTube, and will be following his channel with interest to see what he does with it. I’m sure he’ll take good care of it!

Wave goodbye to the Sharplan

Wave goodbye to the Sharplan

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