Week 3 - Laser Cutter; 2D Digifab


Intro to Laser Cutter

Hands-on with our FSL Muse 3D (Full Spectrum Laser):

1. Laser basics

2. Material choice

3. Laser Settings

4. Cut Types

5. Cut demos


Full Spectrum Laser has their own engraving software called RetinaEngrave. We will use it from the workstation on the laser table.

  1. Create Design
  2. Open RetinaEngrave on the workstation. (Desktop Shortcut, or Safari -> fslca88.local)
  3. Import the design (SVG file). We will use HW1.
  4. Place your material in the laser cutter
  5. Secure your material (blue tape)
  6. Capture workspace (camera)
  7. Change your line colors/layer colors, if you need to.
  8. Change your scale/placement, if necessary.
  9. Set the engraving properties - Vector Engraving (note, it is all called “engraving” in Muse)
  10. Turn on Water Cooler; Exhaust; Air Assist.
  11. Run job.

Design for Laser Cutter

Simple Laser Cutter Design

  1. Create new file from template. Small objects inches.
  2. Drawing in 2d; using layers
  3. Optional: Extrude your layers to the thickness of your material, to see what this would look like as cut.
    • (f.ex. for 1/8” birch plywood you would extrude it to something like 0.125” thick. you can use your calipers to check these measurements)
  4. Exporting to SVG.

Tab and Slot Construction

  1. How can we build 3d structure with 2d materials?
  2. Tab and slot construction? (also called finger joints)
  3. You need to design 2d parts that have holes (slots), and other parts that have tabs, so that when cut from flat materials you can assemble them into 3d forms.
  4. Optional: Extrude your designs to the thickness of the material, to make solides. Assemble these solides in Rhino to mock up your 3d form.
  5. Reference (Video Tutorials):
    • Finger joint laser cut box: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FBSQGHBpBWg
    • Finger joint tutorial in Rhino with boolean operations: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AYxUUSWIRW4

Advanced 3D Forms


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