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About Tenfour86

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  • Birthday 02/19/1986

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  1. I have a Full Spectrum Laser, 45 watt, Gen 5 unit (now marketed as an H-Series laser) that I have been pretty happy with. I chose it because it was relatively comparable to similar sized units offered by Epilog, Trotec, and Universal Laser, but way more affordable for me with a price tag of $3,000 at the time. Unfortunately, I'm unfamiliar with the eBay units. Most of them seemed to have pretty small engraving areas and I couldn't find much information on control software for them when I was looking to buy, which is ultimately what convinced me to buy from a brick and mortar company. I can offer some insight from my experience though. 40 watts is a good starting point, but you'll soon realize more power would be helpful. Definitely go with a higher wattage if you can, and you won't be disappointed. I won't say that wattage doesn't matter as much when engraving, but it really makes a difference when cutting. At 45 watts it's still a challenge for me to get through 1/4 ply (which is closer to 3/16 really) or 8 oz. leather even with multiple passes. The fewer passes you have to make, and the faster you can make them, the cleaner your cuts will be. My first pass when cutting is generally very clean, but subsequent passes will begin to char or deposit smoke. Equally as important as wattage is the usable engraving area of the machine. 20x12 works for most of my small projects, but as a nice perk, the bottom of my machine is removable which allows it to be lifted up or set on top of large objects that don't fit inside. Also consider height of the machine too since you're looking to fit a rotary attachment in there. The rotary attachment plus the object on top of it take up vertical space, and you still need some to spare in order to focus your lens. I’m not sure I could get a rotary attachment and drinking glass into my machine and still have room to focus without first removing the bottom and raising it up. FSL even started producing an extension box because of this. I can't comment much on laser control software as I've only used retinaengrave, so hopefully others on here can speak about the software other machines use. As an aside, my laser will certainly engrave glass, but I've found that sandblasting will produce a much more opaque and deeper etch than my laser can. You can get more detail with a laser though, so it's a tradeoff either way.
  2. Unfortunately, I'm not familiar with Flexistarter. I use Corel, which has an option to "convert to curves". This converts it from text format to vector format. I believe flexi calls this function "convert to outlines." I found this on another forum referencing flexi, but I can't guarantee it is applicable to your version. First select your text, then go to ARRANGE and select CONVERT TO OUTLINES. From there you should be able to separate the white area from the black outline.
  3. Here's two versions depending on the final size you want to make. A more complex one for larger applications, and a simplified one for smaller stuff. If you ever want to change out the title on the badge, the font in your pic of the real badge appears to be something in the helvetica family. I used helvetica inserat, which is a bit more bold than in the pic, but it's what I had in my font library. MCSO Badge.svg MCSO Badge Simple.svg
  4. You could still say "free food," but try installing the new vinyl so that "free" is completely on the sliding door and "food" is mostly, if not completely, covered when the door is fully open. You might have to slightly reduce the size of the text, but at least "free" will be visible no matter if the door is open or closed. As for removing and modifying other lettering, that's up to you and the volunteer group to decide, but it appears that something similar could be done to the blue "Freshly cooked vegetarian food" text too if you wanted. It looks like that text could be shifted to the left so that "freshly cooked" was completely on the sliding door, and "vegetarian food" was covered by the door when open. All in all, when the door is open you would see "free" and "freshly cooked."
  5. I've never tried it in a vinyl cutter, but it could be possible. It might be a little less rough on the blade if you fed the material through grit side down and mirrored your cuts. This way you're only trying to cut through the paper backing and a thin layer of adhesive, avoiding much of the abrasive grit. I've laser cut skate board tape before, and that's how I've set my cuts up. If you're looking to keep your cuts in place like you do with vinyl, you might also try taking some wide masking tape or painters tape and covering the grit side of your material before cutting. Transfer tape, like HT55, isn't sticky enough. It would act like transfer tape and you could weed out your waste material after cutting, leaving your shapes stuck to the masking tape.
  6. Thanks for sharing your work and how you did it. I've been using corel for years and have never looked into what the b-spline tool does. I can't tell you how many times this tool would have been useful to me, and the amount of time it would have saved. Mind = Blown!
  7. As far as I know, aluminum can be cut with carbide tipped tools. I've cut extruded aluminum several times with my miter saw and a blade with carbide teeth. Take it slow, and it cuts like butter. For the thickness you're looking to cut, you might try using a router. Make a jig to slip the corner into that has the radius you're looking to cut on the outside. Use a flush cut bit to follow the profile of the jig.
  8. Never used that laser rubber before, but the inexpensive rubber sheet from Menards works pretty well. A lot cheaper too.
  9. Nice! Looks even better with the modified "E".
  10. Something like this? Sterling.eps
  11. Not necessarily true that Coroplast will emit HCl or Cl gas if laser cut. True Coroplast is not a vinyl product. According to the MSDS, it is polypropylene. PVC (vinyl) molecules contain chlorine which produces HCl and Cl gas when vaporized. Polypropylene molecules only contain hydrogen and carbon. Though it probably wouldn't be a great idea to directly breathe the fumes from laser cutting, it doesn't appear to produce anything too detrimental to people or equipment. I've never tried cutting it myself, but I have a spare piece that I can try out. I've read that it is rather flammable if cut at too high of a power setting, but multiple passes at a lower power can remedy that.
  12. Most of the time, cuts that don't line up are the result of the feed roller slipping as it tries to pull the media off of a heavy roll and through the machine. Try this: 1. Feed whatever length of vinyl you need for your design (plus a little extra) through the machine. 2. Feed it back through the machine in the reverse direction to the point where you want to start your cut 3. Let that extra vinyl hang loose behind the machine. Do not roll it back up. 4. Start your cut
  13. I've actually been using SCALP3 with Windows 10 since the day the OS came out. Haven't had any issues.
  14. How did you install them? Through SCALP? Try installing to your windows system folder. SCALP can use them from there. Instructions can be found in this thread: http://forum.uscutter.com/index.php?/topic/50363-adding-fonts-to-scalp/?hl=%2Binstall+%2Bfonts#entry407177
  15. Not from Pittsburgh, but how's this? Found the center seal on the wiki page for the Pittsburgh flag. Pittsburgh FD.eps