Week 3: Computer-Controlled Cutting

Checklist for this week:

Group Assignment

Individual Assignments

Characterization of Laser Cutter on Epilog Fusion PRO (80W)

Pic of laser cutter

This is the biggest and most powerful laser cutter available in the Fablab. The maximum cutting size is 1219mm x 914mm (48" x 36"). The other laser cutter available is Epilog M2 with maximum cutting size 1016mm x 711mm (40" x 28"). For Epilog pro, it comes with an in-build camera for alignment of material so we don't have to manually gauge the material boundaries before cutting. This is a nice feature for beginner when dealing with off-cut (irregular sized) materials.

Accounting for Kerf

Pic of accounting for Kerf

Vinyl stickers

Pic of Vinyl sticker cutting

Testing cut depth

Testing the limitation of sticker

Free version of Silhouette Studio- Tracing png files

Press-fit Construction Kit

Parametric design

Using Fusion 360 Parameters to design the "Blokies" system. The key idea is the height of the material, with a ratio of 1:2:4 (height: width: length). I measure the single wall cardboard of 5.6mm using a digital caliper. With that, I draw the sketch in Fusion 360 with assigned parameters. Then extrude the sketch with the material thickness. The next step is supposed to convert the "body" into components to do assembly.

Going back to the sketch, I export the H-shape as dxf to layout multiple templates in Adobe Illustrator. I use the calculated kerf (0.13mm) to off-set the cutting path before sending to laser-cutting.

Some of the criteria for the press-fit kit is to use laser cutting and no adhesive (self-locking) and pass the shaking test (tight fit).

laser cut press-fit kit

The laser-cut single wall cardboard is too small to my liking. The recommended thickness for laser cutting is not more than 5mm (Although there are techniques for cutting thicker materials, e.g. double pass). Moving on to use the Jwei machine, I cut a bigger version of the press-fit kit (Blokies) using double wall AA-flute with thickness of 10.5mm. The final size of the "Blokies" is 42mm x 21mm x 10.5mm per piece. Below is a time-lapse video of past project using the Jwei machine.

Jwei maching cutting

Here are the actual setup for the Cardboard Blokies and variations and the shaking test. Link to more Blokies (Google Photos) in action.

Cardboard Blokies

Roland VersaCamm (Print & Cut: VS-540i) at Building T1442

We use two softwares to operate the print and cut machine: CorelDraw and VersaWorks (printer driver).

Pic of Roland Printer and Cutter

Links to working files