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Author Topic: The Laser Project.  (Read 835070 times)

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Offline Dan13

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Re: The Laser Project.
« Reply #520 on: September 16, 2011, 10:29:31 AM »
Very interesting Tweakie. Thanks for showing.

Was it at the laser's max power or were you limited by the top feedrate of the machine? And how is it that the laser doesn't leave burnt edges?

Dan

Offline Tweakie.CNC

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Re: The Laser Project.
« Reply #521 on: September 16, 2011, 11:21:57 AM »
Hi Dan,

The laser power was set at 5mA (20mA is the maximum I ever use) and a feed of 700 is what I  normally set for cutting thin stuff (in practice I doubt that either axis ever got anywhere near to this speed because of the small movements involved and my acceleration settings.
Regarding the edges, some paper / card cuts with less burn than others (perhaps due to the chalk content) and this stuff just happens to be good. The co-axial air assist combined with an air extraction system also reduces any surface smoke stains.

Tweakie.
Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.  Winston Churchill.

Offline Tweakie.CNC

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Re: The Laser Project.
« Reply #522 on: September 18, 2011, 04:02:43 AM »
Another  ‘Papel Picado’.  http://www.internationalfolkart.org/eventsedu/education/muertos/papelpicado.html

Presumably relating to the different festivals, these paper cuts usually incorporate Skeletons, Birds and Flowers and although the Mexican tradition is century’s older it is in a strange way similar to the UK folk art of ‘canal boat decorative painting’ which almost always incorporates Roses and Castles.

Tweakie.

Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.  Winston Churchill.

Offline Tweakie.CNC

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Braille Signage and a Pitfall for the Unwary ??.
« Reply #523 on: October 04, 2011, 06:53:11 AM »
It all started out as a laser project but…….

This is one of the first (proof of concept) of a number of different signs which are to be placed adjacent to the related plants at a special garden event in 2012. The intention is that partially sighted / blind people who can read Grade 2 Braille can, at their own pace, associate a smell / aroma with the relevant type of plant / flower.

The material I have finally used is a PVC based engraving laminate, I have not yet been told the actual colours that are be used but this piece of white / red was handy.
The Braille characters have been formed using the well established process of drilling a series of holes, just over half the depth of the diameter, then pressing in (interference fit) spherical balls, in this case they are 440c stainless.
Try as I may with the laserable (acrylic) laminate I have just not been able to get the hole depth consistent between the different colour samples – it seems that the pigment of the colour affects the laser penetration so each colour sample has a different setting and obviously the depth has to be maintained quite accurately - also, with the laser, it is a raster process and not a vector one as I would prefer.
The advantage of spindle drilling the holes (vector process) is that the same GCode toolpath can be used, with offset, when automatically inserting the balls. The disadvantage is that the engraving process is a lot slower with a spindle than it is with a laser. Anyway I decided it was “swings and roundabouts”, I would use the PVC laminate and it would be an all spindle process with two tool changes. Engraving point first, endmill second and ball insertion device third.
 
As you can probably guess by now, the process of placing balls in holes to form Braille characters has been patented (there are many related patents in fact) and I have just had a teeny little bit of disagreement with the main patent holders, who would have me (and others wishing to produce ADA compliant signage) believe that the extent of their patents are far greater than they really are. Also they are asking $2000 USD for a license (which I have severe doubts has any validity) to use their process, tools and consumables.
However, thanks to some international co-operation and an opinion by the UK Intellectual Property Office, I am now confident that this ‘$2000 licence’ is totally unnecessary and is little more than just a ‘pitfall for the unwary’. If I am wrong – well, we will just have to wait and see.

Tweakie.
Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.  Winston Churchill.
Re: The Laser Project.
« Reply #524 on: October 04, 2011, 09:26:31 AM »
Good for you, I too heard about the restrictions on ADA signage and found it hard to believe they had exclusive rights they seem to bloat about. It seemed like such a simple process, I remember having that conversation with him about it and told him, they was out of line. Hope you can get this matter resolved and make this monopoly an open market.

Offline Tweakie.CNC

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Re: The Laser Project.
« Reply #525 on: October 05, 2011, 08:06:16 AM »
Thanks Ya-Nvr-No.

I have to admit to a slight Faux Pas here because I obviously checked the wrong box in the online interpreter I used and this sign turned out to be Grade 1 Braille.
Grade 2 (as I had been asked to do) would have had the ‘ing’ replaced by a single ‘contracted’ character.

I just learn as I go.  ;D

Tweakie.
Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.  Winston Churchill.
Re: The Laser Project.
« Reply #526 on: October 05, 2011, 08:50:49 AM »
So you will remake it? I watched their process and was amazed as to how fast and simple it was.

Offline Tweakie.CNC

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Re: The Laser Project.
« Reply #527 on: October 09, 2011, 06:04:01 AM »
So you will remake it? I watched their process and was amazed as to how fast and simple it was.

That one did the trick. They like the border shape but the signs will be stuck in place (so no screw holes). Looks like I have got the job, which will be free of charge.  :)
(I have learnt quite a few Braille characters now but there is considerably more skill to reading the dots with a finger than I had ever imagined).

Tweakie.
Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.  Winston Churchill.
Re: The Laser Project.
« Reply #528 on: October 09, 2011, 06:45:37 AM »
Remember Winston Churchill

Offline Tweakie.CNC

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Re: The Laser Project.
« Reply #529 on: October 09, 2011, 07:00:52 AM »
 ;D ;D ;D
Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.  Winston Churchill.