I have searched in the scrap wood bin, under the laser, in the roterary box, by laser 1, everywhere I can think of. Can’t really use it without the focus tool.
Did you check the laser in the Flex Space? I used that laser yesterday and couldn’t find the focus tool for that one so I borrowed the one from laser 2. I promise I put it back at laser 2 when I was done, but I wonder if someone did the same thing and left it there.
Yup. Checked in there and the laser 3 didn’t turn on when I flipped the switch.
Still no sign of either focusing tool this morning. Been looking high and low. In the meantime, I’ve jumped over the big laser.
I tried to use laser 3 last week and the focus tool was missing then. I also couldn’t figure out how to send my work from computer to laser 3 as it isn’t officially set up. So wasn’t a huge concern at that time.
But it is a GREAT concern that both lasers are missing the focus tool. They are great for beginners and can do the rotary tool.
In true makerspace style, our laser lead Sam Damphouse has made us a temporary focusing tool (pictured) I’ll see about ordering some official replacements tomorrow.
This is awesome! Of course, I have no idea how to do that… perhaps we should see if there are any open source designs to 3D print focus tools?
If we know the measurements, we should make a tool that can be laser cut out of scrap and just keep a box of like 5 of them around.
As Joanne suggested, I think we could 3-D print one. Bet it would be pretty simple, though maybe not for a novice like me, but if someone wants to work with me on that I’d be glad to help.
Tracomg the attached pic from the documentation would be a start.
The lasers have auto focus. You don’t need a tool. You just enter in the thickness of the material. This is in the manual and should be part of training. It’s more precise than the tools as well.
Also nothing about the focus tool requires it to be 3d printed. Just laser cut one. But…
The focus tools are calibrated per machine at the factory. Which means the ones you get will not be calibrated. You will have to do that. That’s why there are adjustment screws. Again in the manual, online, and should be part of routine maintenance. I think you need ready to etch aluminum, you manually drop focus until etching is brightest then you adjust tool to that height. Check out the range you can get by adjusting. Pretty wide.
I suggest calibrating sets of 2, one kept locked up for backup.
That’s if you don’t want to learn the more precise method of auto focus. It also lets you color map and adjust z height per color, allowing for multiple level etching on one job.
I’m happy to teach and pass this all down if anyone is interested in learning.
Sounds like this might be an opportunity to revisit auto focus?!
Hmmm… when I took the laser training we were instructed not to use autofocus on the regular sized ones. I believe there is even a note on Laser 2 that says “Do not use autofocus”.
One of the focus tools has been found and another brought out from the spare parts bin, so both lasers 2 and 3 have focus tools again.
My apologies, I tried replying to the auto-email but just got a bounce back. So I am reposing from my desktop this time.
Last year I made a couple CAD files and 3d printed replacements for the 60 watt machines. They are labeled with the old naming convention. I printed a few of each out of red PETG. They should still be floating about somewhere. The CAD files for these are in the ERIC folder in our Fusion 360 cloud. These have the exact measurements for each machine. I also believe I emailed them to Elliott about a year ago (when Josie started in her role as Laser Shop Lead).
The Fusion and Fusion M2 each have slightly different sized gauges and should probably not be used interchangeably. Probably wont start a fire on most materials, but cut /engrave quality might suffer.
In regards to Jake’s suggestion about Auto Focus, if memory serves; the 60 watt machines use an optical sensor. If it doesn’t get a read on your material (ie you material its transparent or reflective, or the sensor is covered in resin/soot) it may crash the Z… so tread with care.
The auto focus setting isn’t named so well. I believe it’s set with the other settings like power and frequency. Maybe in the upper middle of that options screen. You have to measure the thickness of your material and enter it in. I suggest digital calipers. When you send the job to the laser it will then auto adjust the z height to focus level. No sensors. You can even save it as part of material settings saves, making it one less thing/point of failure for production jobs.
What can cause an issue and potential crash here is making sure the laser grid box is checked. If you are using it. It just treats it like an offset and the laser needs to know it’s there or not.
I’d love to hear how calibrating the new focus tools go, getting to perform factory level tweaks is always fun.