Laser TODO

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TODO
This page contains something to do. You can help us out by doing it and then editing this page to let us know it's been done.
Other places you can look for things to do include:
WARNING: Do not look into laser with remaining eye. Pages to do with the Laser Cutter:

Big Laser Rebuild

On 8/12/19 a fire started in the Big Laser Cutter. Fortunately, the fire was contained to the Big Laser itself.

No one was injured, though there was a lot of nasty smoke in the building.

The fire did cause a lot of damage to the Big Laser and made a mess of the FabLab. It could have been a lot worse.

Much of the Laser is still good. Over the last two days a list of needed parts has been developed. Upper end cost estimate for parts is between $2000 to $2500.

Many parts are now competitively supplied on AliExpress. The original maker has been contacted for possible parts.

Money for parts is only a part of the problem. Rebuilding this laser is going to take a lot of work.

Hive13 is a Do-ocracy - Nothing gets done unless you step up and do some work.

Hive13 does not have any paid staff. Hive13 only gets better when Members Do Something.

Task Listing and Volunteer Doers - Thank You for Stepping up.

  • Parts Ordering - Dave Velzy - AliExpress parts are purchased and scheduled arrive by 9/20/19
  • Cleaning - Jacob Sebren
  • Strut Redesign and Installation - Ralph Blumberg
  • Electrical Evaluation - Ralph Blumberg Possibly doing this 9/2/19
  • Fire Suppression Design - Jim Dallam & Dave Schwinn
  • Program Management - Jim Dallam


You Might Ask - WHY should I get involved? Answer: Because Hive13 is an all volunteer Member Supported organization.

You Might Say - I don't know anything about Lasers. - You can learn about Lasers by participating in the rebuild. You will meet interesting people.

You Might Say - I don't have much time. We will break down tasks to small bits. You will find something that you can do. Reply to this list or email me directly.  We need your help with:

Things we need to do

  1. After Action Review to assess the cause and response to the fire.
  2. Safety Review to assure Hive13 Members are as safe as we need to be
    1. What do we need to do? Training, Equipment
    2. Conclusion: Install an automated CO2 fire suppression system inside the cabinet.
  3. Clean-Up – Note: This is a very time consuming step because the crud is tough to get off.
    1. Clean Up the Dry Chemical fire extinguisher residue. The extinguisher used on the big laser contained monoammonium phosphate which leaves behind a corrosive powder.
      1. Vacuum or sweep up loose debris.
      2. Spray stuck-on residue with isopropyl alcohol diluted 50 percent with warm water. Let the solution sit for several minutes, and then wipe with a damp rag. Isopropyl alcohol is in the yellow flammables cabinet.
      3. To neutralize monoammonium phosphate residue, apply a baking soda and hot water paste. After several minutes, wipe the area with a damp rag.
      4. Wash the affected area with soap and water, then rinse clean. - Use fans to help the spot dry quickly.
    2. Clear workspace around the Big Laser: Move PC, Cooler and plastic material - This is mostly done.
    3. Clean the support bars. Paint stripper seems to work best to remove the soot and creosote from the bed bars, Lay out plastic on the pavement near the hose bib out in back of hive. (Out the back door on the ground level way over on the left.) Paint the orange goo on. Cover with plastic. Wait 60 minutes. Scrub the bars with a scrubby pad. Wash off the goo. Repeat until clean. Don't bend the bars or rub off the anodize. Rinse in clear water. Wash off with mild detergent. Store the cleaned bars in FabLab.
  4. Separate the Small Laser from the Big Laser – Move it away from the Big Laser.
    1. Close off Big Laser Exhaust Duct on Exhaust fan - DONE
    2. Disconnect Big Laser from Chiller- DONE
    3. Disconnect 220V power for Chiller and Exhaust from Big Laser- DONE
    4. Run Extension Cord for Chiller and Exhaust- DONE
    5. Update Wiki and Instructions on running the small laser
  5. Software
    1. Evaluate LaserCut 2017 on small laser - - DONE and it's universally hated.
    2. Ralph has implemented GRBL for a test. Watch the mailing list for updates
    3. Document the software use and train members
  6. Damage Assessment
    1. Photograph and wiki document the damaged parts of the Laser - - DONE
    2. Disassemble the damaged parts. Organize, clean and assess the damage. - DONE
    3. Specify and source replacement parts - Replacement Parts List Updated
    4. Order parts - Vote approved 8/27/19. First round of Parts Ordering was done August 30. AliExpress parts are scheduled to arrive by 9/20/19
  7. Electronics Team
    1. Evaluate the operating condition of the visibly undamaged electronics – 220V Power circuit, Power Supplies and Drivers, High Voltage circuits.
    2. Document electronics parts on this page Big Laser Component List
    3. Determine Requirements for in house build wiring harness – Circuit Diagram, Connectors, Wire, Wire guides, Strain reliefs, labels, High Voltage
    4. Assure all parts are ordered
    5. Assemble the wiring harness
    6. Install components and bench test prior to systems test.
  8. Hardware Team
    1. Continue to disassemble, clean and recondition and reassemble salvageable parts - Dave Velzy disassembled and cleaned the mirror carrier and laser head. The mirrors are compromised. The lens seems OK.
    2. Replace the Lid Lift Springs - They groan and cannot be trusted - Ralph Blumberg is on this task
    3. Assure all assemblies are square and true
    4. Prepare the physical machine for electronics installation
    5. Align the Laser
  9. Run It
    1. Prepare a test using LaserCut2017
    2. Run it on the machine

Things we need to buy