One degree out: update

As it turns out, there was more at hand than a single degree error, now rectified. Thankfully, the method I mentioned in my last post was a success! However, I am now a couple of segments short. The laser power was now fluctuating to the point it could no longer penetrate the perspex I was using. Very strange. Marginally changing the power settings had no effect (I was using settings recommended to me by the laser’s owner). A test cut in my material of a small, 8mm diameter circle was a success. I set up the laser to cut a single segment. The image was perfectly transcribed into the plastic; but not through the plastic. Looking at the cut it became apparent that the laser power was decreasing with the length of the cut; the start of the cut penetrated the 3mm perspex with no problems, but after 30mm or so the beam no longer penetrated. I’m not sure how deep the cut was at the end, but I couldn’t press the shape out nor free it with a Stanley knife.

After a couple of weeks, other users’ experiences of the laser came to light and the alignment issue seems to have reappeared in addition to the power issues. As I type, new parts (a tube and mirrors) are being shipped from abroad in an attempt to fix the issues. Lets hope so, as I may be struggling to find another laser cutter if not!


3 thoughts on “One degree out: update

  1. mkhorton

    Hi, Just wanted to say that I’m following your blog with interest! I’m just about to embark on my own (substantially less ambitious) alethiometer project, and came across your site while looking for high-res vectors of the alethiometer symbols 🙂 Feel free to contact me if you want to chat about anything! Matt

  2. mellchie Post author

    Hi Matt!

    Without trying to sound cheesy, thanks for stopping by to say hello! It’s good to hear other people are doing something similar, if not so complicated.
    I have to confess, I did bite off a lot more than I could chew and progress has been slow, partly due to equipment problems. I probably won’t be posting much for the next few weeks due to Uni stuff (dissertation, presentation and viva, ugh) but I will be taking time off to help out at Newcastle Maker Faire so might find the time to get some more done (and blog about it!) that weekend.
    I’d be interested to see how your project goes and happy to discuss ideas and ‘stuff’!


    1. mkhorton

      Sure! To be honest, my project is just laser engraving my laptop, but it means I need to vectorise some of the symbols and decide if I want to stylise it a bit or be faithful to the original or what. It doesn’t involve any..hmm..technical skill? But I thought it’d be a fun thing to do at least.

      Anyway, just wanted to say good luck with the viva and the rest of it! I went through that all myself not too long ago (I also did an MSci) and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, but at least it’ll all be done soon 🙂 My email is my username @ — when you get back to your project (whenever that might be!) feel free to drop me a message if you want to discuss ideas etc. (or just all things Philip Pullman!)


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