New video by Michael; The Factory | Rapid Prototyping Production Tools With A Laser Cutter

New video! Laser cutters are awesome for making custom tools! This week on #TheFactory we prototype a laser-cut programming jig for programmed PiicoDev modules. Regardless of the toolchain, programmer and test suite, you’ll always need to physically connect to the Device Under Test. With any luck, we can whip this up in time for the arrival of the first PCB, and use the jig during firmware development.

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    Hello Michael,

    I was disassembling a CDROM for parts and after watching this video it occured to me that if your jig was mounted where the lens assembly is… you could maybe control the motor and rails to “dock” the chip in the connectors and use the spindle action to lift and lower it onto the bit that does your programming. Maybe???


    Hey @Eric43534 , welcome to the forums :smiley: That’s a pretty cool idea! I wonder if they can handle the linear force required.

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    Hi Michael.
    A quick question. What sort of Laser power is required to cut this sort of materisl. I am assuming some sort of Perspex or Polycarbonate. I am thinking of tinkering with an entry level milling/engraving device with an optional Laser.
    Cheers Bob

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    We’re using an 80W CO2 laser to cut through this 3mm Acrylic. You can get away with much less power - the cutting speed will be slower however.
    I’m not really sure what the floor value is for laser power and acrylic. Some light research led me to this blog post:

    As a typical rule of thumb for every 10 Watts of power you will be able to cut 1mm / 0.04 inch of material. This will give you the ability to flame polish your cuts and give good production speed. That doesn’t mean you can’t cut 12mm / 0.5 inch with a 60 Watt laser, this is still possible, but the quality of the cut will not be nice and the process will be much slower. As a general rule, more power is always better; this gives you the versatility to cut extremely fast on thin materials and give you much better cut quality on thicker materials, peak power is the key!

    This seems reasonable - the pro-maker market (eg. glowforge) seems to select for around 40W so that’s probably the place to aim for balanced performance and price.