Update on the plasma cutter: no free lunch

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nickbauman
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Update on the plasma cutter: no free lunch

Postby nickbauman » Sat Jun 11, 2011 1:11 pm

As many of you know, I own the Hypertherm Powermatic 30 plasma cutter located in the hack factory. I was willing to let anyone who took the time to learn how to use it correctly use it. Because of damage to the retaining cap, dirt accumulating under the cap, overused nozzles and partially melting the handle on the cutter (and incidentally someone damaged the regulator on the Lincoln MIG I store on the same cart as the Hypertherm), I have decided to change this policy.

I have removed the retaining cap, swirl ring, nozzle and electrode.

So, if you want to use the plasma cutter, you will not only show that you know how to use it. You will also need to buy these four parts on your own, put them on and take them off when you're done.

My sense is that if members have to go this extra step, maybe people won't abuse the plasma cutter as much. I'm sorry I had to do this, but I just can't watch my investment being abused carelessly.

On a side note, the people (or person: I have a sense that most or all of the damage was caused by one person, can't prove it, but I believe this to be true) who did the damage are not the only ones to blame. I assert every member in the vicinity of where the damage happened is also to blame for this situation. This implies that when someone's equipment is damaged at the hack factory, it hurts all of us because it reflects a general failure of the system we have in place. This also implies that when you see someone abusing the shop equipment, you should consider it your duty to stop them.

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Orkraider
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Re: Update on the plasma cutter: no free lunch

Postby Orkraider » Sat Jun 11, 2011 2:24 pm

This answers my other question on the laser cutter post.

Any idea how much these parts go for?

And is anyone into chipping in to reimburse Nick, I know there was other stuff that got messed before, you had to buy a hose or hose cover, didn't ya?

Riley
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nickbauman
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Re: Update on the plasma cutter: no free lunch

Postby nickbauman » Sun Jun 12, 2011 10:08 am

Total cost for all 4 parts is around $30. 27 if you use your MO2 discount.

People have PM'ed me that their equipment has also taken quite a toll while under the Hack Factory's roof.

I think what should happen now for the long term is we need a resource librarian onsite that lets people "check out" equipment and they have to "check in" the equipment back in where it gets inspected. If there was damage, the member should be asked to compensate the damage and the money will be used to put the equipment back in order.

Otherwise what we're going to end up with is a metal shop with no tools.

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Orkraider
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Re: Update on the plasma cutter: no free lunch

Postby Orkraider » Sun Jun 12, 2011 11:06 am

I think for sure it would be a good idea to have a log by each machine, and have people have to sign in and out on it, and note the condition.

Maybe the shop manager could fulfill the librarian role when there.

Also, perhaps tool owners could deputize specific people they've checked out to fulfill that function as well?

I really don't want to see nice toys go away.

Riley
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nickbauman
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Re: Update on the plasma cutter: no free lunch

Postby nickbauman » Sun Jun 12, 2011 5:03 pm

I admire your spirit, but there's a serious flaw in your proposal. It relies on the virtue of diligence, which is how we got this problem in the first place.

By having some kind of actual check against resource consumption, not just a clipboard, we can solve this problem. If we don't do it, we're just painting the front fence while the house burns down.

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Orkraider
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Re: Update on the plasma cutter: no free lunch

Postby Orkraider » Sun Jun 12, 2011 6:04 pm

Makes sense to me, Nick.

Would you be willing to elaborate on the resource librarian concept more?

i.e., would this be an actual person, who'd have to physically be there in order for tools to be checked out?

These are strictly questions looking for info, not debatey type questions.

Riley
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Happyk
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Re: Update on the plasma cutter: no free lunch

Postby Happyk » Sun Jun 12, 2011 9:28 pm

well...my question is are the keyfobs uniquely tagged to the user. If they are we could set up some kinda keyfob log in system. I.E. the power supply would have a relay that is activated by the fob. IDK just an idea.
"insert something witty here"

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paulsobczak
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Re: Update on the plasma cutter: no free lunch

Postby paulsobczak » Mon Jun 13, 2011 9:43 am

The key fobs are unique, but too unique because the system is not open and we don't have access. But there is a really cool relay for power supply's at Ada Fruit

There has been some talk about access control and people have brought up both sides of the coin on that. Currently we have the sticker system, and it's intentions are good and it works for most of the equipment.

In Nick's case he has been very generous and got burned on it, this is something that nobody likes to see. I think the move that Nick made for people that want to use his equipment to buy the consumable parts will do a great amount to mitigate poor use.

The problem is that the tool will no be open to less people, but I don't think this will necessarily be a bad thing.

Another step in the process could be to have a plasma cutter kit available for purchase at the space. There are some easy ways to do this too, but it will involve some sort of management, and may in this case be more hassle than needed, I can't make that call, but if there are interested parties I have some ideas that I think would work.

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metis
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Re: Update on the plasma cutter: no free lunch

Postby metis » Mon Jun 13, 2011 9:59 am

key fobs are tagged to user, and i *believe* that the current system can manage many access points, the trick is cost of readers.

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Re: Update on the plasma cutter: no free lunch

Postby Booka » Mon Jun 13, 2011 10:45 am

Beyond that cost is the setting up each machine to be read individually, system administration of the users, and with all that in place, who is going to be the Tool Cop to see who last used the tool, get the story. (Really, I just walked up and ran my FOB through, but it was broken before I got there and did not see it)

If we had a full time staff, we may be able to watch every tool, but IMO this is not the answer. (not that I have a better solution than every body act like it was your tool and you would like to use it again tomorrow).

Booka


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