This training got me a “sign off” on using the laser cutter, which I can put to use during my 2 days a month at Chimera Arts makerspace.
Chimera currently has a small scale laser cutter. It has many idiosyncrasies. Over the years of working with it, they have applied their maker initiative by modding the bed with blocks of wood and a new extruded aluminum honeycomb to allow smoke to dissipate and using a block of wood as the distance finder for the laser. There is a very experimental nature to getting the settings correct and a collaborative nature of printing test blocks and then writing with sharpie the settings used so that others can benefit from your findings by examining old test blocks.
The software has mystery chinese messages that “you usually answer yes to”. (My daughter wondered if maybe one of the messages was Chinese for “continue to display these messages in Chinese?”)
There is an experimental technique for what to do if it stalls: deselect previously-made cuts, turn down “Current Regulation” knob (essentially the max power knob) to zero and then just when it gets to the point where you want it to start cutting again, you crank the knob up.
I made a sign for my classroom – carve through re-used hanging file folder to make translucent block letters.
Current machine will take 6” x 12” material…new machine will take ½” thick ply in 3’ x 4’ sizes! Expected in December.