TASK: Create something using the laser cutter.
A. I wanted to make a stand for the laptop which is a popular intro-project for the laser cutter.
B. I have been to the Canal Plastic Center before with Rubin so I was aware of the price of the acrylic panel (which is expensive).
C. After I decided what to make, the nice metal pieces got my vision. I found these metal pieces at the end of the electronics.
D. [Hand Drill] I unscrewed the bolts to detach the metal pieces and saved the bolts for the future use.
A. [Caliper, Ruler] I measured my laptop and the metal pieces. With the dimensions measured, I could design the look of the stand.
A. [AutoCAD, Illustrator] Since the design was numbered, I drew the lines at the AutoCAD. I had some experience with AutoCAD but not with Illustrator. So I used the AutoCAD and saved as R12 format which could be opened at the Illustrator. At the Illustrator, I changed the line pts to 0.1 pts and saved as the ai file.
B. [Filters] I turned on the filter at the shop and the one at the floor under the laser cutter.
C. [Illustrator] I used a thumbdrive to upload .ai file. I opened the file with the Illustrator and placed the acrylic panel at the left upper corner. I opened up the print setup, preferences and started with slow speed.
D. [Laser Cutter] I used the tape to pick up the pieces and the result of cutting was great.
E. [Screw Driver] I used a screw driver to hold the acrylic pieces and the metal pieces together. However, the some of the holes were too big and the length between the holes were not accurate enough.
F. [Caliper] I tried to find the right size and dimensions with the caliper.
G. [Caliper, Laser Cutter] I tried 4 times and finally got the right size and dimension. #1 had too big holes and close length. #2 was an error that I mistakenly shrunk the size of the wrong hole. #3 had the right hole sizes but still close distance between the small holes.
H. [Laser Cutter, Caliper] Since the laser cutter takes away material and leave the kerf I wanted accurate pieces. So I cut a test piece to see the distance well. I used the area left from the previous cut. The test piece was 4.00 inch long and had an incremental distances by 0.5 inch.
I. [Laser Cutter] I found the right size before cutting. Now I could use the raster function to etch my name. I used the font that is not available in the laser cutter-computer. So I picked the universal font and etched it. And After etching, when I started cutting, the outside of the words were cut. I noticed the red lines at the outside of the words of the illustrator.
L. [Acrylic Glue] I bought the acrylic glue from the Canal Plastic Center and used it to glue the two rectangular panels on the top. Also I used the steal rods to assemble the pieces.