Computer-Controlled Cutting

This week’s group’s assignment was to characterize our lasercutter, making test part(s) that vary cutting settings and dimensions.
We started off by designing the test specimens. After discussion, our group decided to cut 10 blocks each supposed to be 10 mm long, and also to make a part that has different dimensions ranging from 4 to 10 mm, and then measure the resulting actual size in order to calculate the kerf. We used 4 materials: cardboard (4mm), Acrylic (3mm and 5mm), Plywood (3mm) and MDF (4.5mm).
First, we designed the parts on Solidworks.

You can download the design file from here .

We then moved the parts to the lasercutter and set up the process.

After finishing the cutting process, we moved on to measuring the actual sizes of the specimens using an electronic vernier caliper.

We recorded the result we got for each material, calculated the difference between the design size and actual size, added the differences and divided it by the number of specimens, and the result was the average kerf.

You can download the results file from here.