Beta day - one (Acrylic Dividers)
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Joined Sep 29, '15 

So today was a mix of frustration and triumph. Like any new tool I have a learning curve to climb, so I headed uphill. It should surprise no one that my first (real) project was a set of dividers.

I grabbed a copy of the OnShape file that @Hirudin created and then realized I needed some good way to get it turned into an svg for the Glowforge. In hunting around I discovered an amazing add in for OnShape called Kiri:Moto ( ). The app is designed to do slicing for FDM printing, basic CAM tool paths, and slicing for LASERS! While I think it is more designed to slice 3D solids into slabs (more on this another time) it did what I needed. After messing around a little with settings I ended up with an SVG that I could bring into Illustrator for tweaking.
Then it was off to the Glowforge.

My first attempt (you can see the negative space on the left) was way too small, and much too pointy. The tips were so flexible that they gave me some ideas for making springs and ratchet pawls.:relaxed: I scaled it up and tried again.

I added some “washers” (the little rings) to maintain the distance between parts. Since I could not imagine making something without using my shop for something I used my lathe to turn the small pin that rides in the curved slots.

The project was successful in producing a set of dividers whose tips stay in line, as long as you wiggle it enough. I think perhaps a spring that exerts some downward pressure on the center piece would help. In the end it is not a particularly useful tool since the tips are not in one plane, and the plastic is pretty floppy.

I learned quite a bit here. Pointy is bad. Plastic is, well, plastic. I will need to do a bunch of experimenting to understand the properties of the laser kerf, especially if the goal is to make mechanical assemblies (and that is one of my goals). Finally, this laser cutter stuff rocks.

I also made a way to keep the cat from climbing out the window when the hose is in place.


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