Makerspace Equipment Upgrade

We are looking to upgrade the laser cutter and would like to know thoughts on equipment that needs fixing, upgrading or new items.

Unfortunately we are budget limited and would require contributions to upgrade multiple items.

Laser Cutter
Current issues are:

  • The buttons and display are fading.
  • Laser tube is nearing end of life.
  • Safety interlocks do not function.
  • Chiller need maintenance and cleaning.
  • Exhaust hose needs replacing

This would need a new tube and controller control panel
Current tube is 40W, this is a opportunity to upgrade to a 60W.

In order to fix these the laser cutter will need to be out of action for a short period of time!

3D printer
Our 3D printers are not very user friendly.
Instructions and bed levelling are missing.

Please give your thoughts and requests.

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This years maintenance budget needs to be completed by Friday 25th March. So fast responses appreciated.

The laser cutter is the tool I use most regularly at the space and is something of a star attraction (apart from the wonderful members of course). So if there is any budget to fix/refurbish any eqipment I would plumb for that. Upgrading to a 60W tube sounds great as I guess it would allow us to cut thicker material. So far as using it for models and sculpture is concerned I will live without it if it’s out of action during repairs. But if possible I would like to know when they are taking place. Happy to chip in £40 to help with this.


Any updates on this?
I think @JulianWarren has some time he can spare for maintaining the laser cutter if @AndrewPatience is available.

I would be happy to help with this work too, but I have no experience of maintaining this machine. If can can hold something, clean something, undo something or put something together let me know.

Update on the Equipment Upgrade.

Laser Cutter
Screen has been replaced and buttons cleaned back to fully working. The laser cutter is back to working properly.

Chiller maintenance requires draining the cooling system. I have found a couple of pipes need replacing and now have the parts.
Following some investigating. We have a couple of spare 60W laser tubes unfortunately it is not certain if they work. The laser cutter power supply does not state it’s wattage and is unlikely to be compatible. It looks like we will need a new power supply before start any other jobs. We can do the chiller maintenance now but it will be less downtime if we only drain the cooling system once.

3D printer
We have a new 3D printer that is very easy to use. You can now download a model and print over WIFI in just 4 clicks.

The laser cutter air assist (the blower that pushes smoke away from the cutting area) has now been reconnected correctly.

Thanks to @odo for identifying the issue, and @AndrewPatience for scrabbling about under the laser cutter to work out what the cause was.

Thanks for posting the good news @JulianWarren and for your, no doubt dusty, scrabble under the machine @AndrewPatience.