@Juno and I have just joined up here, and we’re very much interested in the laser cutter. Chatting to James last night, he said that it is working, but it requires a lot of maintainance and for people to know what they’re doing. Would it be possible for someone to teach us how to use the laser cutter one afternoon? We would bribe you with doughnuts\beer!
Hey there! The laser cutter is currently still undergoing repairs to make everything work, and its current workflow is really, really clunky (as in, the easiest way to do some stuff is by doing a find-and-replace in Notepad directly to the raw G-code). Currently it’s only able to be operated by either myself, @nogthree or @crofty for safety/legal reasons. We’re totally working on this though, as well as creating the induction course to show others how to use the machine (we basically have to create the equivalent of a Cert 1 course for the induction process, again for those pesky safety/legal reasons). Until we have everything finished we can’t induct anyone else, since it’s hard to do an induction when we haven’t even sorted out the induction process, let alone all the other items we’re still doing like swipe security access & billing for cutting time etc.
The current list of items we’re tackling is up on the HSBNE Trello (there’s more to do than what’s on this list but it’s good to only focus on a dozen things at once lest we be overwhelmed by it all). We’d totally welcome more help to make this machine fully armed & operational! For now if you have something specific that you’d like cut we can do it for you if you present us with the material, a completed SVG all ready to go, and you make a small donation to the digifab cause to offset your laser use time. But keep in mind that every hour we spend cutting stuff for one person is another hour we’re not spending making the machine good enough so everyone can cut things for themselves, and we’d really rather spend our time doing that.
Actually, @crofty is the current head of the Digital Fabrication Cause, and I think he’s planning to hold a meeting this Tuesday 15 to give a rundown of the current state of the digifab’s equipment, including the laser cutter. If you can make it, come say hi to us on Tuesday night! If you can’t make it, I’ll be posting another long-overdue progress report in the laser cutter thread once the meeting is over.
Thanks for getting back to us! Fantastic to hear that you guys are working on the machine, and an induction course is a really cool idea. We’re not at a stage where we’re able to give over projects for fabrication, but cheers for letting us know that’s a possibility. Unfortunately neither of us have skills that would be useful for improving the laser cutter, but if there’s anything we could contribute to the testing\writing of the course itself then please hit me up! We might be around on Tuesday and if so we’ll absolutely pop our heads in.