Vacuum tray replacement for cutting lightweight materials

I’m right here. sheesh.


Yeah, but @timjedwards has a familial obligation to still like me even if I bug him to excess. You don’t. :wink:


They can also clog the exhaust or unbalance the fan causing other headaches.


If it hasn’t happened by now…


He also lives close enough to visit when you are home anyway.

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Yeah, for the first time in a quarter of a century…and then along comes stupid COVID. sigh






Fabulous idea and implementation!


Fabulous! I want one but could not begin to make this myself. You should sell them!


This is seriously one of the coolest tools that I have seen made for this machine since we purchased it for our school. Good job! Thank you for sharing!

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Yes, evansd2 should definitely sell them, or at least kits with instructions…


I somehow missed this when it first came out! I’m a big fan of the seklema mats (which are about a million times better than Cricut mats) , but for really thin/delicate materials this seems like the only proper way to go.

Really cool.


Or better yet, Patent and license to Glowforge, and take a royalty, just like Mr. Wonderful.


This would make me even more interested. I’m not ‘electrically inclined’ and am on my own with most things regarding my GF…but, a battery? I could handle that.


Battery vs external plug is almost exactly the same amount of work. You just use an existing 12v power supply and it’s trivial. The circuit for going from wall power to 12v is the only scary or difficult part, this completely skips that. Chances are if you look in your old electronics cable box (which we all have) you probably have an old 12v power brick in there. The fan I used pulls 0.6 amps in use, a 2A power supply will be plenty for 2 fans once I upgrade.

Just look closely at the label, it’ll look like this:

Follow the red arrows to the output line, where it says “12v … 2A”. If you plan to use one fan, it only needs 0.6 A, but you generally want to spec the power supply to have some slack. 2A would be perfect, 1A will be fine, 0.5A won’t be enough.

The green arrows show you the polarity: this is pretty standard, it’s +12v on the inside and ground on the outside. This is important when wiring up the fan, basically you want to ensure the black wire from your fan goes to ground and red goes to +12v. (check your documentation for your specific fan’s wire colors, but that’s almost universal). The third wire is a power control but for this we don’t need to fool with it – it’s an entirely separate rabbit hole with microcontrollers and whatnot.

If you don’t have a spare power brick and want to buy one, get something like this:

Notice the screw terminals on the female plug (the little green bit)? You wouldn’t even need to solder that. It’s not as tidy as a through hole type plug… I wonder if anyone sells one like that with screw terminals?

Anyway, however you tackle it, this is at least as easy as a battery solution, without the extra hurdle of keeping it charged or having it die on you mid-job and losing suction.


Hmm no screw terminals I’ve found yet, but they do make them pre-wired, which means you can use wire nuts to connect them internally if you wanted to:

Soldering is great though, and this is an opportunity to try it! :slight_smile:


You could totally do this with a walkthrough. If you don’t have to figure out the specifics, assembling circuitry/wiring is no different than a good crafting afternoon. The right tool(s), some fine motor skills, and a bit of patience is all you need.


I am with you on this one, but it looks like we are getting schooled!


Well it’s not quite like that.

So take the simplest case, where you don’t want a switch… that can be as simple as attaching two wires. Solder or wire nuts, doesn’t matter. You’d need a wire cutter and strippers (or careful work with a sharp knife) and you could have this up and going in in 5 minutes, electrically speaking.

I added a switch and a way to plug the fans into the system so I can replace them easily later, but those things are optional, especially the pluggable fans. I pulled the switch from an old electronic something or other, but you can buy those too for super cheap.

These are fancy and would be perfect:

Amazon isn’t the cheapest way to do this, but it’s convenient.

Here’s cheap but less convenient (and maybe shipping costs): $0.55.

(and amazon has ones like it in a 16 pack, lol: