It’s well documented what kerfs are achievable with commercial 1KW+ laser cutters cutting steel, aluminium and plastics. I wanted to know what kerfs were achievable on our 40W Chinese built laser cutter so that I could work out what to add to allow for kerf when designing finger joints to be cut in 3mm ply or when cutting holes to be tapped. The kerf is the width of material removed during the cutting process.
Kerf is determined by material properties and thickness, the focal length of the lens and the gas used while cutting. Our laser cutter uses a lens with a 50mm focal length and uses compressed air to push out the vapourised/molten swarf.
(Kerf measurement description, photos and results after the break)
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We use a couple of glass 3 piece Whatman filter funnels in the lab at work to filter used oil samples before testing. A glass fibre filter paper is supported by an acrylic plate and samples are drawn through it into a vacuum flask below. When someone decided it was a good idea to clean the acrylic plate in acetone, it was wrecked and our labware supplier wanted £40 for a new 47mm Whatman filter plate.
Being just a piece of acrylic with a few dozen small holes in it Lizzy suggested I laser cut a new one rather than us paying for and waiting for it. The resulting plate was usable the same day and at a tenth of the cost. It works just as well! If you want one, leave a comment.
Photos and files after the break.
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The sheets of 10mm pink and black acrylic that I ordered arrived today. I thought I’d take the chance to post some pictures of the finished pink and black meeple as well as upload the outlines for the sets as .SVG and .DXF files. I also cut a few sets of each and threw them on ebay here.
The black, named as “Jet” on ebay to differentiate them from the normal wooden black ones, since they’re nice and shiny:
And a picture of the pink ones:
And as promised, the DXF and SVG files. The DXF for importing neatly into most laser cutter software and the SVG in case you want to play with them in Inkscape or use them with Ponoko (though they don’t offer any 10mm acrylic).
This is a project I did in July with my friend Jake.
Cut from 5mm frosted acrylic the squares were defined by surrounding slots with radiused ends. The white squares were highlighted by etching away a layer from the acrylic.
The results I think look pretty slick, especially when you add in the slotted acrylic pieces Jake designed and brought along to the meet to be cut. (More pictures and details below)
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