Saturday, April 1, 2023
Home3D PrintingWeekend Builds: Laser Reducing and Engraving

Weekend Builds: Laser Reducing and Engraving

With regards to digital fabrication, MatterHackers is your one-stop-shop for all of your tools and materials wants, like laser cutters and engravers. Whereas we supply a number of totally different machines, this text goes to deal with the FSL Muse and the companion software program, Retina Engrave 3, just because I’m most accustomed to that laser cutter and its workflow.

There’s loads of various things you may really do together with your laser cutter after you have it, greater than I may even consider. To present you an thought of what you are able to do, I’m going to work on three totally different initiatives round three totally different ideas: reconstructing a 3D mannequin, engraving a sample, and creating customized packaging. Let’s get to it!

The three projects I will be working on today.

The three initiatives I might be engaged on immediately.

Laser Reducing a 3D Mannequin

Autodesk has a very useful program that may take an imported 3D mannequin and slice it into layers that may then be despatched to your laser cutter or minimize out by hand: Autodesk Slicer for Fusion360. Whereas this slicer works very equally to a slicer for a 3D printer, it’s options and performance are tailor made for laser chopping.

You begin off by importing your 3D mannequin, which is able to pop in a bunch of latest settings like how huge would you like your completed object with a preview of it on the correct aspect. The very first thing it would be best to do is choose your “Manufacturing Settings” which is the scale of your materials in X, Y, and Z. You may both choose from a drop down of fabric choices, or you may create your personal materials. It is advisable to be very particular on the thickness of your materials, in any other case a sphere could look extra like an egg by the point you’re completed.

When you’ve received your object and materials settings proper, you may select your building approach.

  • Stacked slices works virtually precisely like 3D printing; it cuts your object into layers that may then be glued collectively to recreate your form. The “decision” of your end object is restricted by your materials thickness in the identical means. This would be the methodology I deal with immediately.
  • Interlocked slices cuts your 3D mannequin in two perpendicular planes, then provides slots to the silhouettes. All of the items will slot collectively to kind your object, nonetheless some fashions could not work on this methodology, because of both overlapping slots with oddly formed fashions and even components that find yourself too small the slot into something.
  • Curve is like interlocked slices, besides the second set of items are at an angle as an alternative of parallel with an axis.
  • Radial has interlocking slices begin from a central level on the 3D mannequin.
  • Folded Panels takes the polygons of your 3D mannequin and flattens it out so you may print it out and fold it again collectively to create your object. This actually solely works for fashions with a decrease poly rely fairly than something with excessive element.
  • 3D Slices appears to be a option to slice you mannequin into layers with out altering or estimating its geometry, however you may’t really use or export this.
All the settings at my disposal within Autodesk Slicer

All of the settings at my disposal inside Autodesk Slicer

Stacked slices will carry essentially the most element out of your 3D mannequin, at the price of extra materials and time, however the finish consequence will look that significantly better! You may select so as to add dowels by your mannequin for rigidity, however in my case this deer head doesn’t have sufficient house for a dowel to do a lot good. I may also change the slice route to get extra element, similar to rotating a mannequin for 3D printing to prioritize element. As soon as I’m comfortable, I’ll click on “Get Plans” to be prompted to export the cutouts in sheets as DXF, EPS, or PDF. DXF goes to be the only option for laser chopping in my case, however your laser cutter’s software program could desire a distinct file format. In that case you should use a web-based converter to get to the correct file sort. Be certain that to avoid wasting this mission so you know the way to assemble it later; there might be loads of items!

Now that I’ve the plans for it, I can import these into RE3. As soon as it’s been processed I can take away the complete picture layer (which could possibly be used to raster/engrave this onto my materials) and ensure my sizing is right, as a result of generally that may get misplaced transferring from one software program to a different. You’ll want to do some take a look at cuts first on some scrap materials to see the mixture of energy, velocity, and present you’ll want to chop by your materials. For the FSL Muse, I used 25% energy, 100% velocity, and 100% present for 3/16” cardboard and that labored rather well.

As increasingly items have been minimize out, the immense puzzle started to come back collectively. Checking backwards and forwards between the meeting steps and what I had minimize out, I used to be in a position to put collectively subassemblies because it progressed, till lastly the final sheet was performed and I may sizzling glue and tremendous glue the previous few items collectively.

Stacked and glued all 173 pieces together.

Stacked and glued all 173 items collectively.

Engraving an Picture

This is without doubt one of the easiest mission you are able to do on a laser engraver. The one prep work that’s wanted is to measure out the fabric you’re going to make use of and give you a plan of what you wish to engrave onto it.

From there, you may both bounce into your favourite picture enhancing software program, make the most of the instruments throughout the laser cutter software program (fundamental instruments like textual content and shapes) or import a photograph to transform and engrave throughout the software program. Dylan threw collectively a fast design to commemorate our Group Hex Wall which I may then import into Retina Engrave 3 and tune my engrave settings. I’m going to be engraving on a bit of Cherry MatterHackers Mission Wooden and with a pleasant piece of wooden like this, I don’t wish to be too aggressive it, for concern that it’ll burn too strongly. As a substitute, with one thing like this the place you don’t have an opportunity to do some exams, it’s higher to start out with a decrease energy setting and do a number of passes.

For this plaque, we ended up doing two passes at 50% energy and 100% velocity, and that gave it a pleasant contrasting shade with some good depth to it. Engraving took solely a half hour, together with the time to design it, prep the laser cutter, and prep the settings wanted for the design. If this have been one thing you needed to do batches of, it could be even faster to perform after you have the approach all the way down to a science.

Laser engraving adds a really unique texture and depth to wood.

Laser engraving provides a very distinctive texture and depth to wooden.

Customized Foam Packaging

I’ve had just a little instrument case for over a 12 months now that I needed the proper use for, and with the Nintendo Change being such a enjoyable and well-liked merchandise proper now with Tremendous Smash battles at the very least as soon as per week within the workplace, it made sense to make it a case for a Change controller.

Venegade on Thingiverse designed a very cool grip for the Joycons that I’ve printed and would make designing a case very easy. All I needed to do was import some Change controller stand-ins and line them up within the controller case, shade the fashions black to make it simpler to hint, then take a screenshot from a entrance dealing with view. From there I may go it off to Dylan to create an SVG, or vector, file utilizing Adobe Illustrator.

Simply the identical as all the remainder, I may import this SVG file into RE3 and set the laser energy for the packing foam in it, and similar to the Mission Wooden, I solely had one piece to make use of for testing and last model. To play it secure, I set the laser energy to fifteen%, velocity to 100%, and present to 100%, and surprisingly it minimize by the froth like butter after the primary go. A pair dabs of tremendous glue and now I’ve a customized case the securely protects my Change Joycons for gaming on the go.

Snug and ready for taking your Switch Joycons safely and securely.

Comfortable and prepared for taking your Change Joycons on the go safely and securely.

Whether or not you’re seeking to create your subsequent hit product or simply one thing enjoyable to place collectively, every of those initiatives ought to hopefully get some gears turning and encourage you to strive it out. Share with me on Twitter what you have created, I might like to see it!

Completely satisfied lasering!



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