Changes to the Machine Shop

October 24th, 2017 by georgegelly

If you’ve been to the Hack Factory over the last couple of weeks, and specifically today, you may have noticed big changes!

 

The Twin Cities Maker Board of Directors decided in the last meeting to sponsor a change in direction for the Metal Shop… with a more focused set of machines, lower barrier to learning, and a formal train-up process (much like the Wood Shop pioneered over the last year).

 

As a result, Steven Anderson has stepped down as Manager of that Area with a new community has formed to execute the above vision.  You will see that Steven has been assisting this process heavily by clearing out all the equipment that does not fit the vision.  Hence, what you will see is a much clearer space ready to be re-imagined.

 

Please contact me, as I’ve been coordinating this effort, if you have any interest in helping with the Metal Shop community.  I hope you are as excited about the new direction as the Board is!

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?

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!

There is joy in Laser-ville!

April 25th, 2016 by danbackslide

kablooiePictured at the right is our test run with the new laser power supply. On top of the coaster is the cause of the power supply failure. That’s a Fairchild Power Switch module, or rather it used to be. That little bit on the right is supposed to be the front face of the piece on the left — it’s been blown clean off. I’m figuring there was some sort of power surge on the supply line; we’ll be getting a power conditioner to protect the new (and significantly beefier) power supply.

After the power supply was swapped in, we took a bit of time to really clean out the laser cutter. In particular there was some schmutz on the focus lens which took some patience to get cleaned off.The laser is now running much better than before. In fact you might have to adjust your settings a little bit, the laser seems to be cutting and engraving with a bit more gusto!

I ordered the new water chiller this evening, after getting some funds shuffled around to cover the larger-than-expected shipping cost. So we should have a fresh water chiller soon-esque.

Thanks to everyone who helped get the power supply in and the laser cleaned up and ready for use! I have of course forgotten all of your names, because I am bad that way, so remind me who you are and I’ll update this post. Egoboo all round!

Oh, and I’ll get the Laser Cutter Basics class rescheduled ASAP. If you were registered for the canceled class, I’ll send you an email to confirm the new date.

There is no joy in Laser-ville

April 20th, 2016 by danbackslide

mighty-casey-has-struck-out

TL;DR: The laser cutter is down, parts are expected to arrive Monday 4/25.

Sadly, the mighty laser cutter has struck out. The high-voltage power supply that drives the laser has blown out. A new power supply will be ordered tomorrow morning, along with a new water chiller — one that actually chills water, rather than one that slightly cools water.

This of course means that Friday night’s laser classes are cancelled. I’ll get them rescheduled as soon as we have the laser cutter back in operation.

I’ll post here on the blog as soon as I have any updates on delivery and installation. Keep an eye on this space!

Update 1: 4/21/2016@1811

The power supply has been ordered, just waiting on the shipping notice for the delivery date. The chiller’s shipping costs put the total a little higher than expected, so I’ll be ordering that in the next couple of days, once we get some funds shuffled around. (The chiller would have shipped separately from the power supply in any case.)

Update 2: 4/22/2016@1816

The power supply has shipped. I have a tracking number, but no estimated delivery date yet. It’s coming by USPS 3-day Priority Mail, so I’m figuring it’ll arrive on Wednesday — good timing!

Update 3: 4/23/2016@1453

All hail the efficiency of the US Postal Service! The expected delivery date is Monday 4/25! I’ll be at the shop by about 7pm, so if anyone wants to help get the power supply installed, feel free to come on by.

 

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