I love laser cutters! I've done a few repetitive projects recently, like catan, and I've grabbed a handful of clamps, brought them into the lounge and done all the tedious gluing in front of the TV. The clamps normally live on the cross bar in the garage and as I was sticking them all back on again for the umpteenth time I realised I needed a hanger. Something to hang from the cross bar that all the clamps stick to, this way when I want all the clamps somewhere else I can just take the hanger and move them all at once (svg here)
Tuesday, 7 April 2015
I managed to fit all of the laser cutter components back into the box again. Getting the cover on was a significant step towards seeing where everything will fit. Sure there are cables strewn all over the place but they can be routed round as required, finding the space for each of the boxes was the important part. The high voltage PSU and the Stepper motor PSU all tuck into the gap on the right hand side of the case. The stepper motor drivers and control board can fit along the front edge of the machine. Now I just need to drill more mounting holes and shorten a whole bunch of wires.
I have totally managed to remove the lower half of the machine and the only thing I've lost is the ability to engrave boxes (or at least I have to engrave boxes slightly differently)
Monday, 6 April 2015
Development work on my Catan set continues. This is another complete set done with painted tiles instead of real woods. I'm trying to balance materials costs vs time costs while trying to minimise both but it's not going so well.
- I'm happy with the artwork now but I'm not sure about the painted tiles, it's a bit of a false economy because the amount I save on real woods I lose on painting and drying time.
- This set uses 1 magnet per side which means the tile only match up in 3/6 rotations. This is fine for the resource tiles where the orientation doesn't matter but this causes an issue with the port tiles. I suspect I'll be switching back to border tiles for the next test.
- I tried to bring the tile thickness down, the base is made of 2mm mdf, the same thickness as the magnets but it's hard making sure each magnet is perfectly flat. I'll be going back to 2.7mm poplar for the base.
- The coloured resource section is 1.5mm (making the while tile 3.5mm thick). There is 0.7mm between the tile border (0.8mm ply) height and the tile height, this isn't really tall enough to keep the roads in the right places. I also don't like doing the borders in 2 segments so next time there will be a whole layer of 0.8mm across the top and 1.5mm will be stuck on top of that. So new tile thickness will be 5mm, so substantially thicker but with good reason.
Sunday, 5 April 2015
With the dice principle proven I moved on to actually laser cutting the dice for the game. The is a Vale LRP version of Zombie Dice, you try to get treasure before being attacked by the Octopus or before the treasure escapes on a boat. There are two styles of dice shown here, one set is engraved and outlined and the other set is just outlined. Doing one dice at a time and all 6 sides was actually quite time consuming, with more regular dice all 13 could have been engraved at once which would have cut the time down. It's also interesting to note that the engraving took 20 seconds per side but the outlining only took 10 seconds, it's 3 times longer to colour the shapes in and that really impacts on the price of any such work.
The game looks fun though and I can't wait to play it next time I'm at a Vale event.
The Blacknose laser cutter has now been stripped down and deconstructed, all of the essential parts have been moved across to the new base plate and everything has been reconnected. This machine is now functional. It's mostly a good indicator to show that nothing was damaged in the transfer, it's still wired in using the Leetro controller but as we already know that's easily switchable.
The next phase is to shorten all the wires and find new places to mount all the separate parts of the machine so that they all fit back into the cover.
The E-Stop is now conveniently located just on the floor down there, just in case of really bad emergencies.