The goal of this assignment is learn how use the vinylcutter and the laser cutting machine, for the last one, we have to do a parametric desing with a 2D or 3D software.

Students should have:

Make lasercutter test part(s), varying cutting settings and slot dimensions
Explained how you parametrically designed your files
Shown how you made your press-fit kit
Included your design files and photos of your finished project
Explained how you drew yout files
Shown how you made your vinyl project
Included your design files and photos of your finished project

GROUP ASSIGMENT: Lasercutter test part(s)

Our first task was to create a test piece to see the tolerance we need in the holes to join different pieces. For it, with inskape create a rectangle (left toolbar), and I put the dimensions of H: 45mm and W:100mm. Later I create another rectangle, and I copied it 7 times with the text indicationing the width of the rectangle. I aligned all of them and I change the sizes and text of them and finally I did the difference between them (Chemin in the topbar). These measurement has increments of 0.05 mm. With these two pieces of cardboard we could check the best option to joined them.

Lasercutter test
Test (SVG)

LASER CUTTING: Parametric design

I used SolidWorks to do my jar for pens. I did three different pieces: the 'Axis', the 'Base' and the 'Circle'. For do them, I went to the 'sketch' window in the menu of Solidworks and I choose a plane and I did the different shapes.

Pices of jar for pens

After that I went to 'Tools' → 'Equations' and in this table I put all the measurement in the 'Global variables' that I need for each piece and when I put the dimensions at the piece I put the name of the 'Global variables'. In this case, if you want to change a parameter, you have to go to this table and change the value, and automatically the piece change the dimensions. In my case, I measured the thickness of my material (cupboard) and it has 4.5mm.

When the 'Sketch' was finished, I went to the 'Features' window and I 'Extruded Boss/Base', in this case, I also put the 'Global variable' used for the thickness of the material.

Parametric table

I did also the assembly of the different pieces, it is a good way to see the aspect of the jar for pens and also, it is very useful because you can see if there is any interference between the different pieces. For do it, when you open SolidWorks select the 'Assembly' option and open all the pieces that you need. After that, add the different relations of positions with the pieces, for example two side of different pieces are coinciding or parallel (you can put a distance between the side), in that way you can see that the object is being built. When your object is finished, select all of it, and got to the 'Calculate' window and chose 'Interference detection' to see if there is any interference with the different pieces of the object.

I prepared the necessary document to cut the different pieces with the Laser Cutting I save them in format 'dxf'. With the Inkscape, I import all the documents and I put all the pieces that I need (some of them are duplicated) in the same document and I save as a 'dxf'.

Before send the doument to the Laser Cutting, you have to be sure that the extractor of this machine is working. Put the carboard (or your material) inside the machine and do an 'Auto focus'. To do it, you have to assembly a part (like a punch) to the laser and press the button 'Auto focus'. This will calculate the distance between your material and the laser. After that take off the puch. Now the machine is ready to works. I opened the document with 'Rhinoceros', I had to join the different lines of the pieces and I send to the Laser Cutting, before that I selected the power and the speed of the laser, and you almost have to choose the origin or extend (it is for the laser, to know where it have to begin). After that, you have to go to the Laser Cutting, and before press the button 'Start/Stop' you have to be sure that it is your document (to know it, you can see the power and the speed). If there is any problem when the machine is working press the buttons 'Start/Stop'. In my case, when I did the test I can watch some fire, I stopped the machine, and I reduced the power. When I did the definitive pieces I had any problem. The values of the power and speed were 73 and 15 respectively.

Jar for pens Jar for pens
Axis (SLDPRT) Base (SLDPRT) Circle (SLDPRT) Jar for pens (SLDASM) Pieces (DXF)


Cardinal star

I drew a cardinal star to cut with the vinyl cutter. I did with SolidWorks, but in this case, when I opened it I selected the draw option, to do it in 2D.

In this case, to prepare the machine you have to be sure that the puch is cutting only the vinyl (the adhesive part), not the bottom part. When you had adjust the puch, you have to put the vynil inside the machine for the bottom part, and hold it with the bearing, these will to be in position marks that has the machine. To continue, open the machine and press the 'Menu' button, here you have three options: roll, edge and piece.

Roll: It is a vynil with a limited width and unlimited lenght. The machine will measure the width of it.
Piece: It is rectangular vynil, with a limited width and lenght. The machine will measure the width and the lenght of it.
Edge: It is a irregular vynil. The machine will measure the width of it.

After your choice, you have to do the 'Test' mode. It will cut a circle with a rectangle inside. If everything works correctly, you can take off the circle and the rectangle has to rest there.

Vinyl test

Now the machine it is ok to work. In my case, I save the cardinal star in 'dxf' and I opend with Rhino, I also joined all the lines and I save in 'ia', because the vinyl cutter machine has his own program and it accepted 'ia' documents. I send the cardinal star and the machine cut it.

Cardinal star vinyl
Cardinal star (SLDDRW) Cardinal star (DXF)

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