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Fab@CIC part 2: My Laser Cutter Experience at FabLab

By September 27, 2016No Comments

A while back, I shared about my first visit to FabLab and what it’s all about. After taking the training and learning about how to safely operate the laser cutter, I decided to create some small posters to welcome Impact Hub Boston members to the new space on the 15th floor. You can read all about our new space here!


To create a file to laser cut a design, you can use vector files (like pdf or eps). When you need to cut or engrave lines, or engrave images, it’s best to use the “raster image option” that will create different shades by using the laser with different power levels. Be aware that not all fonts will look good when you cut out the letters: stencil fonts look best because they’re made for this purpose! Stencil fonts consist of only capital letters, with rounded edges, and thick main strokes. I recommend you to use stencil fonts like Allerta stencil or Stardos stencil. Here are the welcome signs I made, in process and then on display in our new Impact Hub space:


laser  poster1  poster2


It’s also important to know which materials you can use in the laser cutter, adjust the power and speed of the laser before running it, and follow all the safety measures. You can engrave materials like wood, acrylic, plastic, glass, leather, fabric, coated metals, stone, and more. For cutting you can use a similar range of materials, along with cork and paper. It’s important to check If the material won’t burn or produce toxic fumes. But don’t worry– you will learn more about it all in training!. To use the equipment, members must have received training at Fab@CIC or provide documentation that they have been adequately trained elsewhere, so you never go it alone.


You can find other resources online like this Tutorial: Laser Cutting Techniques and Projects at the Make Magazine website. Instructables (self described as “an amazing mix of wonder from around the world.”) is another good source for germinating creative ideas, offering free detailed instructions and open source projects created by a big community of makers. You can download projects from other makers and create your own version, like this Minimalist Chess Set.

minimalistchessset


So don’t worry if you feel you are not feeling creative, I bet you’ll find something inspiring to make after doing some quick online research for inspiration. I loved my experience at FabLab, and will definitely going back to tackle more creative projects!

How do I visit Fab@CIC?

If you want to visit Fab@CIC, you can attend the open to the tours that happen every Wednesday at 3:00 p.m., or take one of the basic classes that offer training in each specific machine, and see everything for yourself.

To explore upcoming training and tours and to confirm your spot, please check the CIC events calendar and send an email to fab@cic.us.

How can you become a member you ask?

Membership has it’s privileges:

fab-membership