I love this Arduino project enclosure by Oomlout, who created bendable plywood by emulating a technique they saw Snijlab employ, where small slits are lasered into the plywood making it bendable. Oomlout’s site has the DXFs or you can grab them on Thingiverse.

John Baichtal

John Baichtal

My interests include writing, electronics, RPGs, scifi, hackers & hackerspaces, 3D printing, building sets & toys. @johnbaichtal nerdage.net

  • http://anomdebus.myopenid.com/ anomdebus

    As someone who is interested in laser cutting, I wish laser specs were published along with the projects. I have been trying to figure out what power lasers are sufficient to cut which materials and more data would be useful. Cut rates would also be useful as a complementary stat, but some information is better than none.

    • Stephe Kamykowski

      I worked with a universal machine for three years in college (x660).  You just need to test everything out, start at a speed and power that you know will be too fast and or too weak and work up to where it will be nice.  Also write everything down.  I had a nice spec sheet of a few hundred materials and thickness’ that I could call back to and work from. 

      • http://anomdebus.myopenid.com/ anomdebus

        IIUC, I was hoping to get information before buying in, so I have a rough idea of what to expect. I don’t want to blow a bunch of money only to find out it can only cut materials/thicknesses I don’t find useful. If I have to wait longer until I can afford the equipment that will do what I am interested in, then so be it.
        I don’t believe I am the only one who would like to know this information.

        • http://twitter.com/aUselessMachine FrivolousEngineering

          Power and speed settings vary from laser to laser, and the power output of the laser decreases as the tube gets older.  So mentioning the actual settings used isn’t all that useful.
          Like Stephe mentions, you do a test cut of the material and tweak the settings.  Once you get to know your laser, you’ll keep note what settings work, for what materials.

          I bought a Full Spectrum desktop laser a couple of months back and for the money, it’s great.  At 40 watts, it cuts through 1/4 acrylic at 100% power, 15% speed.  These numbers really don’t mean anything unless you have the same model, with the same wear on the tube, both with optimal  alignment.

          Anyways, I think the bendable plywood is uber-cool and can’t wait to try it.  It may also work with plastic…

          • http://anomdebus.myopenid.com/ anomdebus

            I have a hard time believing the numbers would be of no use. Unless you are buying used, then chances are a new laser is going to be as good as your “used for a while” laser or you have a bum product which you should return. If you have to tweak the speed to get through your material as it ages, that is fine, but I want to get an idea of the ceiling to expect.
            I am not trying to get it to the point where it just cuts through exactly X inches of Y material, so some overhead is fine.
            Regarding the feed rate, I am used to the numbers being given in distance per minute.

            Thank you for adding some data.