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Make Your Own Robotic Arm

Explore laser cutting, Arduino programming, and robotic automation in this challenging workshop. Learn specific Arduino concepts and basic robotic purpose by assembling your own robotic arm. One class fee pays for one kit.

Assembled robotic arm - learn to build with laser cutting, Arduino implementation, circuit soldering

Illustrator for Laser Cutting and Engraving

Through a combination of guided instruction and independent work, build on existing knowledge of Adobe Illustrator to create and design for laser cutting. Explore features that can be used for laser design including layer use, smart guides, bitmaps, clipping paths, compound shapes and kerf testing. Time will be given at the end of class to work on personal files. Introduction to Adobe Illustrator or a prior working knowledge of Illustrator is required.

Trotec Speedy and Trotec Flexx 300 Lasers

Learn to safely operate the Trotec 300 and Trotec 500 laser engravers. Discuss material choice, file prep, laser focusing, air filtration, and clean up. Practice preparing files for the lasers, and use a NextFab provided file to demo cutting. NOTE: Upon completion of class, students will schedule an appointment with a staff member to demonstrate their ability to safely operate the machines. Completion of this appointment will grant the member access to the Trotec lasers.

Lasers II

Explore various intermediate techniques on the laser. Learn about kerf, a fundamental consideration when laser cutting. Using this knowledge, create a file that inlays one piece of wood into another. Take this pathway further and create a press fit acrylic design. Practice jig-registration techniques for engraving objects not created on the laser and finally discuss how to optimally prepare a photo for engraving.

Universal Lasers

Learn to safely operate the Universal laser to cut and engrave a variety of materials. Using a file provided by NextFab, prep, cut, and finish your own keychain. Explore best practices for material choice, file preparation, and color and stroke choice. After the class, schedule an appointment with NextFab staff to demonstrate ability and gain unsupervised access to the laser.

Using the Rotary Attachment: Custom Pint Glasses

Etch your own custom pint glass! Practice proper techniques to install and safely use the rotary attachment for the laser cutter. This attachment allows for engraving and cutting cylindrical objects without distortion. Build on existing skills and learn to laser etch on all 360 degrees. Each participant will receive one pint glass to engrave. Additional pint glasses may be purchased for an extra fee.

Laser Cutting & Engraving Tool List

  • Trotec Speedy 300 Laser Cutter, 29" x 17" bed
  • Trotec Speedy 500 Laser Cutter, 28" x 49" bed
  • Universal Laser Cutter, 48" x 24" bed
  • Universal Laser Cutter, 24" x 18" bed
  • Universal Laser Cutter, 32" x 18" bed