Sunday, January 15, 2012

Laser Cutting at FabLab Manchester

Manchester FabLab allows anyone to go along and use their kit for free on Fridays and Saturdays on condition that we make public what we do. So I paid them a visit on Friday to cut myself a new enclosure for my Arduino Lilypad Binary Clock.

The clock is one of the projects from my book '30 Arduino Projects for the Evil Genius'. Its a binary clock with four red LEDs indicating the hour, six blue LEDs the minute and six green LEDs the second. They all fan out from the Arduino Lilypad. A reed switch is used to advance the clock by holding a magnet close to it.

Its a little difficult to photograph, so here it is again on a white background. I quite like the effect of the white background and may fit a backing to the acrylic.

The clock was formerly housed in a picture frame. Which looked okay, but I thought it should be possible to make something nicer:

The new enclosure does not really do much enclosing. Its just a sheet of 3mm clear acrylic, cut in the shape below. This allows the LEDs to sit in the channels and allows a space in the center for the Lilypad.

The PDF for the clock face is available on the book's website in the download section.

The laser cutter is a Epilog Mini 24 Laser Cutter and I wasn't really taxing it much to cut the acrylic.

As well as a laser cutter, Fab Lab has a 3D printer, a Desktop Milling machine, a Vinyl cutter, a large CNC Router, a vacuum former and well equipped electronic workstations.

This is all backed up with a knowledgeable and helpful set of staff as well as well as lots of people around happy to help out.

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