Sunday, May 08, 2011

2011 Central Florida Scout Show - Laser-cut Gear Souvenirs

I've been wanting to learn to use the laser cutter at FAMiLab, and the Gears theme for our 2011 Scout Show booth was a PERFECT excuse to cut some acrylic.

I was shopping for acrylic rod for the FAMiLab GGHC project, and when I asked, the nice people at Laird Plastics gave me some scrap acrylic to use for the Scout Show.

I downloaded a gear design from thingiverse, then added "PACK 6" and "2011" to the gear. Each gear is approx two inches across. The pics here show them with the blue protective backing still on the gear. If I'd had more time & knowledge, I would have engraved the text, but my first try took >30 minutes to do 6 gears and I didn't have the  or 3 days it would have taken to cut the 100+ gears that I wanted.

In the end, we cut just over 100 gears in the 4 hours we were at the lab. We gave them to the Pack 6 Cub Scouts that participated, their parents, and people that were very interested in gears. You should have seen their faces when we said - "we cut them with a LASER" :)

I think my helper for the day liked them too - he kept 10 or 12 of them for his efforts...and I couldn't talk him out of them.

This is the Full Spectrum Engineering 40w "hobby" laser cutter we used at FAMiLab..

You can see the design file on the screen. Since I had thin strips of scrap and a 12" bed length, I could only cut 12 at a time.

Cutting acrylic STINKS and so we both wore respirators, and were ventilating the space...

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