Getting the pieces together:
First I retrieved the dxf file from Nadya's site [modular] Machines that make: cardboard stages. But you might want to visit this site first. Then I imported the file into Coreldraw 5.0, prepared the stages for printing by: selecting, grouping, hairlining and arranging objects on the canvas to be recognized by the laser cutter (a 75watt Epilog Legend):
Laser Cutting Challenges:
I had to print the half stage you see on the Coreldraw canvas twice because my previous print settings were in err. One needs to turn off autofocus and use the manual-focus settings to ensure that the cardboard objects will be cut clean through, if not using the recommended settings in the laser cutter manual.
Manual Focus Steps:Files weren't being printed out accurately or thoroughly in cardboard and using an X-acto knife wasn't optimal. Our boards were bowed (warped) but we chose not to waste material. Solutions: We learned how to manually focus the lens so that our stages would be thoroughly and accurately cut on the first print-out:
Team Python Code
Powering Up the Machine in Sequence: