Saturday, August 10, 2013

Less smoke, no fire...

Having burned up a bunch of balsa yesterday I decided to actually make something today.  This is a prototype of an Me109 balsa flyer I've been working on.  I've been playing with making balsa plywood (see the non-engraved horizontal stabilizer), harder to cut but much stronger.

(laser cutter in action)

(the fuselage is going to be 3 layers of 3/32" balsa)

Alas I've run out of 3/32" balsa, I'll need to take a trip to the hobby shop to get more.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Balsa wood and concentrated light

Toyed with the laser and balsa wood today.  I think the pictures speak for themselves, the higher power settings blow right through wood, the balsa also has a tendency to catch fire which is exacerbated by the high flow rate exhaust fan.  I finally got the settings figured out for a variety of thicknesses (cutting with little or no burning).

(I had finally gotten the engraving settings right and figured full power for a quick cut and it'll be done. Alas, this was a flawed assumption)

(Surely, power 80 out of 100 would be the right setting for this engraving job, NOT!)

(The best of the lot, the cockpit was too finely detailed and burned)

(Another almost there piece)

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Laser up and running...

So, at long last, my dream of in-home rapid prototyping is realized.  After much work on the laser shed, electrical, ventilation and data have been run.  Defective water cooling pump replaced with superior pump of greater reliability.  Here are some pix of the laser and an engraving job that I ran on it to get a feel for its capabilities.

(yes, a box with a laser tube in it)

(behold it will cut circles...)

(the obligatory Dark Sol logo)