Dhruv Jain

Computer Controlled Cutting

Hideout for my rats - Dee and Jay

I have two albino rats, Dee and Jay, who are very affectionate and loving. They live in the cage all day and play with me for an hour. I recently realized that my room is sufficiently lit. Since rats are prey animals, they prefer dark, cozy places. I decided to use the skills on this assignment to build a press fit hideout for them.

The main goal was to keep the joints as close and snug as possible. The close fitted joints avoid littering the place as the holes are not big enough for their poo to pass through. The snug joints allow for a steady structure that cannot be broken down by them.

More than it took me to make the model using inkspace, it took me a lot of time to figure out the exact settings for the laser cutter. I started with usual recommended steps - measuring the cardboard width and adjusting the joints, reading about the epilog cutter a bit more, taping the cardboard sheet to the base of the cutter, setting and adjusting the parameters for one joint before printing the whole structure. At first, I started with one joint, which worked fine for a settings of 25.30.3000 for speed.power.freq. But, when I tried cutting the whole structure, it didn't turn out to be well. The CBA laser cutter cuts strength increases as it cuts from left to right.

Lessons learnt :

measure the cardboard - and specify the joints according to that size.

figure out the exact settings for speed and power over a small area --while keeping freq at one settings-- and then carry out the entire job. Adjust the specs again according to your requirements again. Use binary search rule - keep reducing the high and low bounds of your settings as you arrive at the exact numbers. Mine were 16.41.3000 for speed.power.freq.

it's better to have longer length and shorter width. The CBA epilog laser cutter power.speed are different across the width of the sheet.

make sure the cardboard sheet is tape down as flat as you can possibly make it. Trust me.

one of my albino rat

speed.power.freq=25.30.3000; raster speed.power=25.25


speed.power.freq=15.40.3000, printing final prototype

final prototype, the rat hideout