That new laser tube smell

June 23rd, 2017 by danbackslide

That bright crisp smell you’ll notice in the laser room is the smell of new laser tube. It’s accompanied by undertones of fresh mirrors and beam combiner, with a smooth realignment finish.

Please test your settings the next time you run a job! The replaced optics and tube basically give us a nearly-new laser cutter, so you may be able to lower your power settings and/or speed up your cuts.

Huge thanks to Rory Johnson and Mark Tondra for helping out tonight. Also an extra huge thanks to Rory for doing the laser maintenance over the past months.

Now, anyone want to try taking an old laser tube apart?

Laser update: no upgrade tonight…

June 1st, 2017 by danbackslide

Last week when I got the laser back in operation, I said I was planning on putting the new tube in tonight (Thurs 6/1). Unfortunately, between Mini Maker Faire this weekend and other Real Life duties, that’s not gonna happen. I don’t want to be doing all that work when I’m feeling pressed for time, as that’s when mistakes are made. I’ll post here and in the TCMaker Google group when I’ve got another date set. Don’t worry, it’ll be soon — my wife wants the death ray crate out of the house…

The laser is up! (mostly)

May 24th, 2017 by danbackslide

I am quite pleased to report that the laser cutter is back in action mostly! Turns out it was the power supply, and the new unit has been bodged into place. I’ll put some decent connectors on the wiring next Thursday, but what’s there is good for now (just not long-term durable).

So about that ‘mostly’ part: The magnetic safety switch is acting up. It looks like the magnet on the lid has either moved a bit (unlikely), or has lost some magnetism (still unlikely), or the switch itself is losing sensitivity (more likely). It’s been temporarily fixed by taping a chunk of fridge magnet on top of it, which adds enough oomph to get the switch to activate. Another thing to get fixed next Thursday.

The plan is to put in the new laser tube, mirrors, and beam combiner on Thursday 6/1. If you’d like to help out, or just hang out and kibbitz, come on by. I’ll probably be starting around 7pm.

Minnesota Mini Maker Faire 2017

May 21st, 2017 by getlofi

Coming up fast! More information here. http://msp.makerfaire.com/overview/

The laser cutter is down, oh noes! (Updated x2)

May 9th, 2017 by danbackslide

Update 5/24/2017: The new laser tube will be delivered on Tuesday 5/30. It’s likely I’ll be installing it on Thursday evening (6/1), as I have Friday off so I can take the time to get things adjusted nice. The new power supply will be put in this afternoon/evening; if that gets the old tube back to life we’ll at least have something to get us through the next week or so.

Want to help get the new tube and optics set up? Send an email to laser@tcmaker.org and I’ll let you know what the schedule is!

Update 5/20/2017: Most of the parts have arrived — a new power supply, mirrors and a beam combiner. The laser tube is unfortunately out of stock in LightObject’s US warehouse, so it’s coming from Hong Kong. The estimate is two weeks; I’ll update when I have more specific info.

Just like the weather, the laser issues are pouring down. The power feed into the laser room died on Wednesday, but thanks to Steven’s heroic efforts power has been restored. So when I can I’ll try putting in the new power supply, just in case that’s where the problem lies…

Original post:

It saddens me to report that our beloved laser cutter is down. Currently we’re still in the diagnosis phase — might be the power supply, might be the water flow sensor, might be the tube. We were going to replace the tube anyway, and I’ll be ordering a new one, plus new mirrors and a beam combiner, on Wednesday 5/10. I’m also going to check with our supplier as to testing the power supply. (Anyone got a voltmeter that can handle 35kV?)

I’ll update this post as soon as I have any further information. Rest assured we’ll get it fixed ASAP!

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