Ebay Chinese 100W Laser Cutter

I want to share the thought and process to buying this laser.  I wanted some certain things in a laser when I purchased it.  I wanted to cut 1/4 plywood really easily, so I wanted a machine that “could” cut 1/2 wood.  The bulk of my work would be cutting through 1/4 plywood.  I decided that 100W can do 1/2 so I settled on 100W.

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New Changes

I decided to restart this site, just to keep all of the old posts but add all that is happening now.  I realized as I left the shop class I taught that I still love making things.  I have been teaching Kindergarten this year and have loved everything about it, but I go home and still love getting on some tools and making things.  Most of these things focus on what I want in my classroom or for my kids, but really it’s a love of making and tinkering that drives this.  I have picked up some equipment and I want to share my trials of this equipment and what I use it for.  I have changed the domain name to reflect what I am doing.

I do a lot of googling for help and ideas and I am always looking for people’s home shops or makerspaces.  Home shops tend to really focus on wood or metal.  Makerspaces tend to really focus on groups of people collectively using equipment to get to their goal.  I wanted to create the look and feel of the makerspace, but in a home shop environment.  A place to make that wasn’t focused on a particular medium.  The Home Shop Makerspace is a place that I, my kids or friends can make and do the fun of tinkering.  I am aiming to write about what I am actually making and the troubles with equipment along the way.  I bought some cheap Chinese equipment to recreate the tools used in most makerspaces, so this equipment is accessible, but can be very DIY or finicky.  I would never have bought this equipment in my shop class as it could not have handled the variety of users very well.

My Last Post (Here)

I am keeping this site as a static site of the program I once taught.  It gets enough traffic as a support to CNC routing, 3D printing and Plasma cutting that I am not ready to completely abandon it yet.  I did drop the ownership of penguinmanufacturing.com, but picked up a new domain to reflect my new position.  The Instagram on the right should still update to pictures of my current kindergarten classroom and if you would like to catch up on my current class, you can join me at www.kindermakers.com

Some links to specific documents may die over time.  I will try to transfer them over to a more current google drive, but I kept all of those documents on my last school district email account.

Google Earth Topography To .STL file To Vectric Aspire CNC

I have long loved Topography and maps and love the visual you get by seeing the terrain topography.  I also love how amazing Google Earth is dealing with the terrain.  It seems magical to me. I wanted to see what we could do with the Google Earth.  We have found .STL files of existing terrain, but I wanted to customize it to a specific location.  The San Juan Islands.  I tried this a few years ago, but the process was very involved and I gave up on some other pursuit.  I looked at retrying hoping that someone had gone to the work of simplifying the process.  I was in luck!  I found terrain2stl.  .Stl files are simply a triangulated surface of a 3D shape that is usable by almost any 3D software.  I think of it as the .PDF file of the 3D world.  It is complicated to manipulate once made, but easily transferable to post process for manufacturing.

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Incoming Freshman Showcase Night

Tonight is one of the great events at Arts and Technology High School.  Marysville School District high schools are a series of small learning communities that specialize in different pathways.  Tonight, at our school, next year’s incoming freshman will get to see all of the clubs, classes and groups our school offers.  Each class and club puts up a booth showcasing their work.  It acts as a great way for incoming freshman to feel welcome and get a feel for the school.  It has also served the upperclassmen feel a sense of accomplishment seeing these students excited about their work.  It is one of the best community building activities at our school.  Here are some pictures from walking around.