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Critical Technical Practice Laboratory

Critical Technical Practice is the creation of new technologies inspired by thought and analysis from the arts, social sciences, and humanities.
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Laser workshop

Here you can learn on how to use the laser cutter.  You will get an introduction about its components, maintenance needed and the way it works.

Along the history, for some villages sun was a god, it was him who gave all life on earth. When philosophy and science became methods of study our surrounding, light was describes by Empedocles in the fifth century BC, like one of four elements on earth and light was a fire lit inside the eyes. Later Descartes described as a luminous body that travels differently in different mediums. Michel Faraday discovered that light could be described as electromagnetic waves with Maxwell equations. All this work and much more, lead to what we now know about light as an electromagnetic wave, composed with different wavelengths traveling at exactly 299 792 458 m/s in vacuum.

With what we found about light, and changing the way we manipulate, we managed to create lasers that are devices which are diffraction-limited to focus in very tiny spots achieving a very high irradiance, this translate into burning stuff with high power lasers in really small dots.

It’s required small designs in illustrator based on standard colours, black, red, green, yellow, blue, magenta or a grey scale for your designs. The colours must be define as in RGB scale (eg. Red. 255, 0, 0).

Black and red are the most used from experience, defining engraving depth and cut, same order. Also in your design you should consider is you want a rast or vector operation, this means rast is all the black areas you want to engrave (infill) and vector is the line of contour also to engrave. Red is always a vector to cut. The thickness of the vector should be 0.025pts, so that the software can detect and do the vector.

The depth is defined later on the type of material. A template of illustrator page can be supplied with dimensions of machine and colours to use.

Attention: No metal can be engraved or cut into the laser!!

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Presentation topics:

  • Machine characteristics;
  • Cleaning process of the machine;
  • Setting up compressed air and extraction;
  • Load design;
  • Define engrave and cut preferences for material;
  • Prepare material and cutting table;
  • Run the job.

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Fusion 360

This is a very powerful Autodesk software, which enables you to create 2D, 3D designs, make assemblies, simulate and prepare CAM setups for CNC’s. Since this is a free software, we can easily reach more people.

We already developed some workshops to teach all the basics to students and researchers, speeding up the prototyping of projects and getting more compatibility to our machines and methods.

If you want to learn more, download it here!

If you are interested, you can get a group and we can schedule a Fusion 360 workshop, here!

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