by Number One | 20161130
OK, I'm sure you're curious about why I keep mentioning two-and-a-half dimensions. This is when that becomes clear.
We're fully into the Creating the Solution quadrant of the Design Cycle now. You've selected your solution and you know the dimensions at you want to build your case. You should also have picked out which acrylic you want to use (perhaps more than one type).
What you need to do next is to build a digital diagram of your design.
You'll use this digital file to send instructions to the Laser Cutter so you can cut your pieces out of acrylic. This is where that half-a-dimension comes in. Your initial design, the digital file, must be in 2 dimensions. We can't send 3d information to the laser cutter, it only understands length and width. BUT! The thickness of the material also matters. The thicker it is, the more it affects your design, both in how carefully you must account for it and in how slowly the Laser Cutter will work. Measure it with a digital caliper so you have an accurate number (but it really only matters to the nearest tenth, the hundredths measurement isn't really important).
The program we use for 2d design is Draftsight. You can download it onto your own laptop, or you can use the school PCs (the black computers).
- If you prefer video tutorials, here's a thorough introduction to the basics of drawing in Draftsight.
- If you prefer a written, step-by-step walkthrough type tutorial in which you build your own designs as part of the process, here's a thorough introduction to Draftsight of that type.
Work through the tutorial. When you feel ready to build your own file of the pieces you'll need for constructing your design, move on.
OK, Visitor, this part is simple. Build a digital file of all the parts you'll need.
Be sure to take the thickness of your acrylic into consideration. Also, please work to minimize the amount of plastic you use - it's an expensive resource we need to conserve. "Minimize waste!" is one of our mottos.
Some key points for setting up to use the Laser Cutter:
- All lines to be cut must be 0.0 thickness.
- Lines to be cut must be red.
- Lines, diagrams, images, text, etc. that is to be etched into the surface must be in black.
When your digital file is completed, have Number One or Mr. Marzouk look it over with you (they may have suggestions for improvement). Then Bob's Your Uncle!
Mabrook, Visitor. Now, on to Laser Battles! Mwhaaahaaahaa....uh, I mean, Laser Cutting, carefully.