Planning, Polycarbonate, and Programming

A broken dress strap adjustment slider and the replacement cut from polycarbonate

Tuesday evening was another busy evening at the makerspace with a lot going on and a couple of people visiting the space. It’s even possible that a theme emerged for the evening, which seems to have been the letter ‘P’.

Plans were hatched (including some for the Always The Sun festival in September), Phones were prodded, Polycarbonate was lasered, Prototype development boards were Programmed, and Pudding (okay technically a huge slab of brownie from Smokey Joe’s) was purchased.

The image at the top of today’s post shows a dress repair project (which is where the polycarbonate comes in). A new plastic strap slider thingumy was needed and they’re not something you can easily buy in small numbers.

As you can see the end result worked, but does look a little charred. Polycarbonate seems very smokey to cut, even having refined the setting to use two passes (85% power, 80mm/s). Dropping the power lower may help a bit for future attempts.

Anyway you can find out more about some of the plans (including raft building and non-planar video projection) on our Forum, or by dropping by. If you’d like to find out more about the brownie then I’d suggest coming to one of our Tuesday or Friday Open Sessions and stopping at Smokey Joe’s in the garden downstairs first.

Notable Replies

  1. So how thick would you say that polycarbonate was?

  2. More accurately it was 0.75mm, so it should be cuttable - I could be wrong but it seems as though the issue is that there’s a limited happy cutting temperature range.

    One run at 60-85% power, 80mm/s wasn’t deep enough and just slightly browned the edges. Two runs at that with perhaps a second between them caused some smoking and was probably a deeper cut than needed.

    I think my next test would be to try a couple of runs at say 30-50% power, 80mm/s with say 20s between them to allow more cooling. I might also try taking the protective film off to see if that helps too.

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