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Rocklin: Intro to Laser Cutting

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Overview

What is a Laser Cutter? A laser cutter is a rapid prototyping machine that uses a CO2 laser beam for cutting and etching precise shapes out of wood, plastic and other rigid materials. Think of it as a printer, but with more firepower!

Pre-requisite: Intro to Design for Laser Cutting (or similar basic experience drawing shapes and designs in Corel Draw, Illustrator or other Vector graphics/design software).  Intro to Design for Laser Cutting is offered twice a month and generally held on Tuesday evenings.

Class Description

Introduction and outline of class – What we will learn and what will do in the course of the class

Laser cutting in practice – What can be made with slideshow and physical examples

Design – Software to use and intro to the software

Vector versus Raster files

Laser cutter design considerations – What can work and what will not (i.e Hairline vector rule)

Student Design Process – Students will use their laptops or the Hacker Lab laptops and create their designs.

Review errors and ways to prevent them

Laser Safety, Rules, and Guidelines – Stressed so the users and machine can stay in tact.

Introduction to components of the laser cutter

Overview of materials

Preparing the machine for operation

Safety, Rules, and Guidelines review

Positioning the laser and workpiece

Navigating the laser UI software

Begin cutting

Post-cut cleaning

Finishing techniques for wood pieces

How to Prepare / What to Bring?

Students should bring a USB flash drive to class with at least 500mb or more of free storage.

It is highly recommended to bring a laptop as well, with Inkscape (free design software) downloaded onto your laptop.

Bring your graphics file(s) if you took Intro to Laser Cutting 101.

About the Instructor

Randall Thompson

Over the years I have done many projects and gained helpful knowledge along the way. I have worked with CNC routers, lathes, robotic arms, table routers, lasers and most working tools. I have been using Corel Draw for over a decade. I hope to share this knowledge with you and assist you if I can.  As a Hacker Lab teacher, I will teach you the tools you need accomplish the goals for your project.