Laser Cutting at NYP’s Makerspace

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The laser cutter at school’s Makerspace has been a godsend since I discovered how easy it was to drop by and cut my materials. Perhaps because I wanted to compensate for previous times where I’ve gotten others to fabricate work for me – whenever I asked someone else to fabricate things for me I often felt I had lost the chance to handle the material directly as a result, to completely understand how to work with that material or how to make these things by hand. Although much of it could be ‘subbed’ out to other contractors, I feel there is value in understanding the process. So for this PYT project I decided I had to build all my acrylic things by myself this time around! And this meant many hours spent encamped in the Makerspace’s controlled access room…

Manual Focus for Laser Cutters

There’s this little tool for focusing the laser cutter properly.

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You drop it into the head of the laser cutter like this.

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And then adjust the level using the up and down buttons.

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The world of laser cutting awaits! All you need to use is Adobe Illustrator to make your cut/etching file.

Where to find Materials for Laser Cutting in Singapore

The most cost efficient place to buy acrylic is probably Dama, with their FREE GIFT and SNACKS WHILST YOU WAIT COUNTER. Dama covers all the bases, from Acrylic to Polycarbonate and other interesting sheet materials. The default size of most of the 3mm cast acrylic sheet is 1220mm x 1830mm (about $48 + $1 cutting fee) which you can ask to have cut down into 4 sheets of 610mm x 915mm sheets which will perfectly fit larger laser cutters such as the GLS Spirit at NYP’s Makerspace!

However, for everyday purposes, acrylic and MDF is also available at Artfriend at a premium. Out of all the available units, I found that 18x24in is a size that I can easily transport around when quickly buying sheet material. For random everyday projects I find this sheet material from Artfriend works well enough.

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Don’t skimp when buying the acrylic glue. Buy the green bottle of liquid quartz for $5.35. The one with the red cap dries with clouding which you do not want. But the more expensive liquid quartz acrylic glue bonds crystal clear.

Easy Laser-cut Builds

Use Makercase to instantly generate simple boxes like these.

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