Laser Maintenance Party - Sun, Sep 2nd, 1pm—5pm


#1

The laser has had intermittent problems lately, and is in general need of maintenance.

What

I will be hosting a laser maintenance party where we’ll assess, fix, clean, research, order parts, fix, document, laze, measure, … and just you know … fix it up real nice.

When: Sunday, September 2nd, 1pm—5pm

Who

I think 4 people would be a good number. Ideally one other LCC member, plus two other regular laser users who are interested in getting more involved.

  1. @lukecyca
  2. @DerrickA4mag
  3. @AaronB
  4. @xquared
  5. @RolandClarke
  6. @baptiste

Where

The laser area. The laser will be unavailable for use during this time. It would be great if we had the entire area around the lathe and cnc mills as well, since we’ll probably be opening the filter box.


#2

Great idea @lukecyca.

Unfortunately, I’m out of town this weekend.

Here is the list of items with a few notes:

  1. Possible to engage laser through software, with lid open: Warning: possible to engage laser with lid open
  • In the past, someone was able to hack the LaserCAD software so these buttons didn’t appear. A physical wiring change that prevents this would be better.
  1. Chiller system flow switch is not reliable
  • The flow switch doesn’t seem to be working reliably, which causes the laser to move without lasing. The chiller water is due for replacement, which may be gunking up the switch. Ideally the switch would be mounted in a box with a powered circuit that indicates the status, and a relay for actually driving the interlock attached to the laser. The interlock should also disengage if the water isn’t being chilled adequately (i.e. water temperature is too high). The original chilling unit may be able to be hacked and incorporated with the updated chiller to provide the interlock with both adequate temperature and flow.
  1. Gas springs in lid need to be replaced
  • Replacement parts are on order.
  • The LED light strip that was mounted to the front of the lid should be replaced.
  1. Lid switch is unreliable
  • The microswitch that detects when the lid is closed needs some TLC.
  1. Missing filter pressure measurement sensor
  • The pressure sensor at the bottom of the filter case is missing. I think it was a BMP180, which is no longer available. A BMP280 (e.g. https://www.adafruit.com/product/2651) will probably work. Would be great if it was attached more securely so doesn’t go missing (get vacuumed?) again
  1. Spare laser cutter PC should be replaced
  • When the laser computer failed in the early spring, the spare laser cutter computer that @toma had put together came in super handy as a drop-in replacement. It would be great to fix up the original or create another spare.
  1. Need long-term solution for long workpieces (replace tape and properly route cables)
  • The enclosure has an opening at the back that allows longer workpieces to be cut, but this is typically covered with tape to improve fume extraction. There are also cables for the laser tube and the tubing for the chiller water run along the back of the laser cutter that can longer workpieces can get snagged on.
  • A flexible curtain with some magnets or something would allow this to be opened when necessary, and remain closed/sealed otherwise.
  • Routing and securing the cables so they don’t get snagged.
  1. New Control Panel Cover
  • An acrylic cover currently prevents users from interacting with the touch controls on the laser. This is important, since changing the settings can inadvertently damage the machine. However, it also covers the display which sometimes shows useful information (e.g. your design extends past the bounds of the laser)
  • Need to design and cut and new panel cover that secures the buttons against unauthorized use while keeping the display visible. The buttons should be accessible when the LCC needs to use them for machine maintenance.
  1. Exhaust System and- Filter needs upgrade
  • This is a longer term project, and likely dependent on the specifics of a new space. We need a more efficient /effective and easier to maintain fume extraction system.
  1. Pump cut-out for chiller cooler top
  • @polishdude20 replaced the broken pump in the chiller. It would be nice to make a sealable port in the top of the cooler so the lid can be close completely

#3

Will be there. Been planning to create a door interlock circuit that disables the laser properly. Looks like Sunday would be good day for doing this.


#4

I’ll be there


#5

not LCC, but willing to haul my ass in


#6

Thanks to volunteers so far!

However, I would really like to see at least one new name that I don’t already recognize from their previous contributions. If you’re new to VHS and looking for a good way to pitch in and earn some sweet social cred, this is it!


#7

I can be there!
I would love to learn about the laser cutter. If I won’t be in the way I definitely want to check it out.


#8

Oh, yeah… and Sunday is September 2nd. :slight_smile:


#9

I can be there if that’s not 1 too many…


#10

Is this saturday the 1st or sunday the 2nd? I’ll try to be around, especially if it’s saturday.


#11

Thanks everyone! This is lots of people for this particular date.


#12

Huge thanks to @xquared @AaronB @baptiste @DerrickA4mag @RolandClarke for coming out to pitch in with laser maintenance. Here’s what we accomplished today:

  • Fixed the e-stop button which had come loose and fallen out

  • Fixed LED strips, one of which had fallen and someone removed completely

  • Made a new cover for the controller screen, so you can read it without removing it.

  • Cleaned the chiller reservoir and purged the lines

  • Notched out the cooler for the pump cord, so the lid closes fully

  • Organized the tubing and cables a bit better

  • Opened the filter box but found there had been no filters in there (!) Found a few and added them.

  • Organized the flat storage and threw out lots of tiny scraps

  • Added a second door switch which is wired as a hard cutout switch, which prevents the laser from firing when the door is open no matter what. We left the existing door switch to function as a soft (advisory) cutout for the controller so it will pause the running program, stop the stepper motors, etc. See below for a wiring diagram of how this was accomplished.

Future work required:

  • The water flow switch is finicky. After today’s troubleshooting we are certain that it is responsible for the intermittent issues where the laser cutter is moving but the laser isn’t firing. We adjusted it and positioned it to be less prone to trapped air bubbles and it seems to be working fairly reliably now. I would like to get it replaced with a flow switch rather than this one which works based on pressure.
  • Two pairs of laser glasses are broken, and one is missing a lens. Two pairs are in good shape.
  • Not sure what to make of the empty filter box. It needs some attention, and one of the sensors is still missing.
  • Still waiting on replacement gas springs to arrive











#13

Actually the filters I found seem to belong to a spray booth, so I put them back on the shelves.
The laser filter has no filter :confused:


#14

They can be harvested if you want, but i wouldn’t bother, they’re full of paint.

  • The water flow switch is finicky. After today’s troubleshooting we are certain that it is responsible for the intermittent issues where the laser cutter is moving but the laser isn’t firing. We adjusted it and positioned it to be less prone to trapped air bubbles and it seems to be working fairly reliably now. I would like to get it replaced with a flow switch rather than this one which works based on pressure.

What can i do to expidite this fix? Every time i come in it stops me from being able to cut.