Category Archives: Laser Cutter

Testing Our Boards From China Hack Camp

So as you know we went to China and on a Hack Camp course and as part of that we made a train controller, we’re getting close to these working now so we need to test them, how best to test them to have a nice little test jig and that’s what Allen is building here as well as some prototype laser etched and cut mimic boards.

Next Laser workshop

Simon Green has spent an eternity getting to the nitty gritty of the capabilities of our laser cutter at the hackspace and has made some amazing toys, so don’t miss your chance to run through his next session and you’ll get the chance to walk away with something cool and personalised. Places are limited so book early!


RLab – Interactive!

Simon Green has put together some amazing interactive shots of our facilities (although they are still a work in process!). Simon backed the Galileo Kickstarter and was after quite a while delivered one of these amazing devices that took the views you can see embedded below.


Community Room

Here we have our community room, this is where we hang out on Wednesdays and work on projects from software and hardware development. As you can see there is a whole host of electronic scopes, soldering stations, wires, cables, components and desktop PC’s.

Machine room

In our machine room members have access to laser cutters, CNC machine, vinyl cutter and multiple 3D printers.

Downstairs Workshop

Our downstairs workshop with tons of room has equipment for woodwork and metal work with chop saws, a Harrison Lathe, pillar drills, band saws, bench grinders… you name it and it’s probably here – if it’s not post on our mailing list and a member can usually find you it!

Monitoring laser usage

We have had a good few spendy problems with our laser cutter over the past few months and it’s one of our most heavily used tools. We need to build up a bit of a kitty to make sure we can replace laser tubes (like this) and power supplies (like we had to recently) as well as mirrors and other consumables.

Step up Andrew Jacobs who built a PIC based monitoring solution, it monitors a pull up on the laser cutter PCB which pulls 8ve when the laser is firing. Andrews design monitors this and keeps a log in the eprom whilst displaying the session usage and overall usage so that members know how much to put in the pot after using the machine.

Simon Green designed and made the case which looks particularly good :)

The next stage will be to tie the system up to our member RFID cards so we can manage the tabs!

Simon Green has written up a great article about how to create Bump Maps for laser engraving on his blog which you can find here.

Fixing the Laser Cutter

One of our most used bits of equipment at the HackSpace is the laser cutter and it just wasn’t cutting it so we fixed it… Ryan Style.

Very useful video as to how to replace the laser tube after the break…


About it breaking..

Fixing the “LASOR”

A full walkthrough of changing the laser tube in an HPC LS3020 laser cutter/engraver. This model is incredibly common, and often rebadged.

Start the new year by learning a new skill

50mm_laser_cut_cube_2Your local community workshop is starting 2014 as we mean to go on. Opening our doors to introduce you to fun new hobbies and crafts. Starting with a hands on introduction to laser cutting. Use this amazing machine to cut and engrave plastic, card, and plywood letting your creativity reign free.

The are no prerequisites for this workshop. Simply come along and you will be introduced to the free design software needed to realise your ideas. Whether you are looking to create beautiful wood engravings, delicate cut card silhouettes, or slot together boxes and 3d designs. Learn the techniques involved and have the satisfaction of holding your own work in your hands.

HackSpace Laser Cutter and 8mm Clear Acrylic

Last night Scott and I hooked up the Chiller to the Laser cutter and was cutting some beautiful pieces and most importantly consistently!

The basics are that you use 2mm per second cut speed and a power output of 18-20ma.

Remove the plastic covering if you don’t want the edge to ride up.

The bed height is imperative it must be 60mm from the surface of the material and it MUST be flat!

Temperature is also a critical factor too, colder isn’t better it seems to be optimal and consistent at a temperature of 19.5 degrees c.

Every bit we cut once we cracked it – a good 8 or so pieces were perfect, nice lines and the extractions just fell out with no effort.

Here’s a quick run through…

rLab Laser Settings

We also had some success with 3mm acrylic at 5mm per second and 15-20ma, but this could probably do with some more testing.


Cheers Scott!! You rock!!

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