Friday, April 04, 2008 lasercut kit, strike 2

The folks at Ponoko are being very patient with me and have run off a second attempt at getting the RepRap printed out on their laser cutting service. I'm not as good at this as Toby Borland who did the original lasercut conversion. Ponoko did their job fine; I goofed again, hence a few nibbled edges in the photo where parts almost fit together.

But this run also produced parts that DO fit together. We also managed to include 2 x 9mm MDF baseplates with cutouts for the wiping mechanism (no mechanism bits yet though) instead of just one in acrylic. I used the cutout space to print some test parts in that normally would require laminating. If they work, that'll save money and effort as you pay per cut and we can get the kit cost down further. I think we shaved US$40-50 off the previous run, and I hope to do the same again.

Most of the parts now have helpful little labels etched onto them, letting you know which tab fits in what slot. One of the more interesting set of goofs is that I accidentally told the laser to cut some lettering right through (and vice versa where some cut lines are only etched). So if you see lettering on the reverse of the cut sheets, you know it's a bad sign (marked in red on this photo, dropped sweet wrapper marked in blue). Maybe they parts will work if the 'D' and 'O' gaps are loaded with epoxy...

The ball-chain gears look like they'll work for 90 degrees of drive - just. I'll tweak them a bit more, and thicken the base of the gear teeth where the laser cut more than I thought it would. All being well, I'll be talking to the awfully nice Ponoko people in a week or so to run my third - and hopefully final - prototyping run. Meanwhile, I have what feels like a 1,000 piece 3D jigsaw to assemble and I have to correct the bits that don't fit!

Vik :v)

PS Missed the Y carriage out altogether Garrr!

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Very nice. What materials can they do this in?
They've got a range of acrylics, styrene, plywood, MDF, clear PETG, hardboard, pegboard, whiteboard and veneers. The thickest stuff is 10mm veneered MDF, the thinnest is I think a 0.5mm styrene or PETG. Mind you, take thickness with a pinch of salt as sheet material suppliers only want to give a 10% tolerance product and Ponoko are at their mercy:

Vik :v)
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