So very excited that one of my projects FINALLY involves laser cutting. And typical of my stuff, I’m not starting small! This beast of a laser cutter is 55x48" and my first cut area is 41x35". I was making the last video in the series I have been working on, and needed to laser and CNC some stuff on film. Well kill 2 birds with one stone, and I am on my way over to NuVu studios near MIT to work with the faculty on the filming.
This design I will cut is the base plate for a 3D printed project, which is designed to suspend either a pig colon or stomach/small bowel for practice colonoscopy or endoscopy that we can’t do on my silicone molded version (because they involve actual electrocautery on tissue layers). However since the colon or stomach you get at the butcher (waste) is “dead” it doesn’t have blood in it, which is the substance that conducts electricity primarily in your body when we do electric procedures. So had to solve some electrical grounding problems on the organs. These parts are huge (a colon is about 60cm in length for instance). The parts are all printed in amphora and lock together via magnets embedded in the parts, and then lock onto the case (what will be laser printed) via pins that come up from the case floor. There were a million little engineering problems to solve here, including keeping this from becoming a giant petri dish (everything is copper or silver), dealing with the fact that electricity is running through a moist/acidic environment with multiple types of metals (battery) which will cause electrolysis (sacrificial zincs) and the fact that these very complex spline based objects are way, way bigger than any printer, so had to creatively section them, and embed magnets to lock them back into one piece.
I used MakerCase for the case base design, then edited it in adobe illustrator (how painful after using a parametric CAD to do high-precision CAD work).