Brick Press Digital Fabrication Ergonomics
Model Frame Test
For sample cutting with 35W Epilog Mini laser cutter at New York City Resistor:
- File conversion from downloaded DXFs - Just few seconds once I found a way to do it. 30 minutes to find a solution, but it could easily have been hours.
- Upload to laser cutter computer - 2 seconds :)
- Nesting on sheet - 10 minutes, including grouping individual shapes, making sure they were all set to hairline and converting lines to black.
- Correction of multiple lines - 30 minutes
- Preparing laser cutter - 30 seconds under normal circumstances. Someone had removed the honeycomb plate so I had to look for it.
- Loading material on laser cutter - 10 seconds if material is the right size. Since it was too big I had to use the guillotine to cut it. Quite a bit of the time was spent looking for the guillotine :)
- Actual cutting - 40 minutes. I grabbed a piece of material from the scrap bin that was very dense. If I had 1/8 inch corrugated cardboard it would have taken 1/3 of the time, maybe less. Lots of people kept walking in a talking to me, that's why I couldn't do it faster. Quite a bit of time was spent looking for tools and materials. With everything ready and available it shouldn't have taken more than 1:30 to cut and assemble.
- What would allow you to omit all steps but 2 and 7? - If everything is ready, steps 2, 3 and 5 are a matter of a few minutes, not a big deal. Step 3 could be shortened if the shapes are drawn in black lines. Step 1: I was actually able to open the original dxf in the laser computer, but that's not always the case. When distributing files for laser cutting, pdf is less problematic. Step 4: At first I thought the duplicate lines were created during the conversion from dxf to pdf, but then realized that they were in the original file. So the fix is to make sure the drawing is ready to cut. Inkscape -> pdf may help with this.
- What model laser cutter do you have, and what software does it use for cutting? We have a 35W Epilog Mini (24 x 12). We use Corel or Illustrator the prepare and send the files to the laser. It's all rather simple if you know what speed, power and frequency to use for a given stock material. When using a new stock material it's advisable to run one of more tests first to find the right settings.