I have taken more classes. I have taken the first part of the Trotec Laser Cutter/Engraver class, the first part of the TorchMate CNC Plasma Cutter class and the first part of the ShopBot class. Each of these machines is a fantastic tool.
All of these machines are software controlled so time is spent learning how to use the software. Adobe Illustrator, which is available on our computers, can be used to create 2D engrave-able images for cutting out or engraving on the Trotec and TorchMate.
In the Trotec Laser class, one of our members made a business card out of MDF particleboard and another engraved on a piece of plastic. We were shown how to go through the process of setting up our files and how to set up the Trotec for different materials. We were also told of the hazards associated with this machine and how to avoid crashing the bed into the laser. There is a tray of sample materials to touch and look though with setting information.
With the TorchMate we did not make anything, that is for the second class. While we focused on the software, the instructor did demonstrate how to inspect the machine for wear and how to replace those parts as well as how to change the different pieces for different settings for different materials.
In the ShopBot class, after being shown how to use some features of the software, two of the members made engraved cutting boards. The ShopBot now has a vacuum bed to hold work pieces in place and there is some experimentation going on with this. It is being improved by our staff. It’s very cool.
I definitely have some ideas to put these tools to work.