Working with Plastics and Metal

The guys down at Deezmaker began to trust me more on my second week (third senior project week.) They began giving me more important duties such as assembling the various kits included in each purchased printer. The company doesn’t just ship out printers, it ships out the components in a DIY style to allow customers to construct it themselves. A smart practice, as the assembly process equips the customer with a good base of knowledge about the inner workings of the printer before they even use it. Therefore customers are far more likely to be able to identify their own problems when they arise and not clog up the phone lines with questions. Anyway in the beginning of this week I was entrusted with assembling these kits as well as soldering some of the circuit boards that control the x,y, and z axis movements of the printer’s extruder. I’d never really soldered before so starting on company property was mildly unnerving, but I got the hang of it. The most challenging part was getting the solder to go through the board at certain points called contact pins. There was a certain type of finesse required to melt it through but I ended up doing over 70 pins. Woo.

The last couple days of the week I came in I was taught how to use the industrial laser cutter Deezmaker uses to cut their acrylic, material used in various shapes as components of the printers. My instructor is named Metal (listed on the website too, I have no idea what his real name is, he’s a cool guy) and he walked me up to the printer and said “Okay so it’s easy all you have to do is set the origin point using the z axis controller and by hitting return three times, then just hit datum and set the magnet on the acrylic, DO NOT FORGET THAT, then hover over stop and allow bonding contact, go into the program and position the cuts appropriately, you may need to perform some rotal adjustments for efficiency but that’s not super important, then just hit test to outline your area, scroll down twice on the control to ensure you’ve selected the latest file, then hit escape to deselect and slam start then you’re cutting away. I’m gonna be outside talking to a customer, I’ll check in later, holler if you need me!” This was all said in the space of 20 seconds and the visual cues didn’t really help. He left and I spent about 3 minutes staring at the display visibly sweating before the CEO and owner walked in, glanced over and said hey, then double took and ran over before warning me about using the machine unsupervised and informing me that if it broke the business was screwed, then he immediately excused himself to talk to a client. After a couple more minutes of sweating Spencer (God bless) came over and broke down the process for me in a long lesson. So now I can use laser cutters. Ayo.

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