Resolved - Dorian - I accidentally ran the head into one of the silver weights

Problem report also submitted

After the hit, it isn’t firing, but I’m also not choosing to test more than that as I’d prefer to have someone with more skills give it a look to give the all clear

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With good timing, Charlie gave it a look and got it running again, with good targeting based on a quick test. Just be aware that this happened

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So why are people using the weights instead of the mag clamps, which present very little risk of being struck by the head?

I’ve been wanting to get rid of these weights due to the head strike risk, but that wouldn’t be on the table until all the reasons for them to have been used are addressed and resolved with alternative solutions

The one thing I can see is the mag clamps can only apply force along the edge of the stock. That’s hard to address with safer alternatives. On the other hand, if it’s because the stock edge is on the edge of the honeycomb leaving no room for a clamp, there might be some other ways to secure that with a profile that the air assist cone will clear

For example, tungsten is 2.5x denser than steel, so height of the weights would be reduced by 60% right there if we switched to tungsten weights. But the clearance under the cone is small and a weight as short as that- like same height as the mag clamps- may not have enough weight to flatten out the workpiece. We could increase weight by expanding the x and y dimensions, maybe

The weight being there was an accident, as I said.

I think what’s important to remember here, a problem occured and a member reported that problem in an appropriate manner. That report allowed for a timely repair, preventing down time of the machine. It also served as a warning to other users to keep an eye out for persisting problems.

As you stated @dannym, there are very likely reasons weights are used instead of the edge clamps. Asmbly has not said weights can’t be used at this point. One instance that I can think of, warped plywood.

It’s very hard to imagine all the ways a machine can be stressed or damaged in a makerspace environment. I joke that manufactors should send us machines to test for the failures they never dreamed of.

Again, the important part after any machine experiences a problem is to report it appropriately as done here, so repairs can be completed in timely repairs.


I brought the plates into the laser room from the metal shop scrap bucket. I had some especially springy ply that your otherwise excellent clamps could not maintain a grip on.

You and I had a discussion about this at the time with respect to verifying the cut path would not intersect a weight, but like many fragments of knowledge around the shop, this information did not magically distribute itself to the membership.

I’d be happy to make a sign and/or box to keep the weights in that explains the necessary precautions. If the vote is to remove them, please set them aside for me, and I’ll keep them in my storage space.

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Oh I’m not laying any blame here at all. I’m just trying to understand all the reasons people use weights over low-profile clamps in case there’s an opportunity to design another low-clearance hold-down method that could be used instead of weights in some scenarios


I have also found fewer and fewer of the mag clamps in usable shape. We may benefit from printing some new ones


@dannym if you give us the print file, we can print them at the shop and make them.

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I left a big batch of new clamps up there last week.

These use plastic rivets, which is easier to make and much easier to open up to replace one of the 3 parts independently.

I’ve had mixed success doing this before. Some broke, others didn’t. Theses have some different types of rivet, I’m looking to see which type performs better and replace a type that breaks with the type that doesn’t.

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@dannym , Would you be able to distribute the design files (STL) for the clamps? @bwatt

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Thank you for reporting this @stepho! This is a good reminder to use weights with caution. I was using weights recently and also made sure to preview the job to check the path the laser would be moving to get into position for rastering.

The weights are extremely useful and essential to keep in the laser shop area. Clamps are great for edges, but they don’t work for bowed wood which can’t always be avoided. I’m really grateful we have as many weights in there as we do (thanks for bringing them in @lukeg!) because I had to use every one of them when I was rastering our wedding seating chart in 12"x24" 1/8" mahogany that was very bowed and couldn’t be flipped to the other side. I had to babysit the job closely and move the weights regularly, but it worked great and the end result was awesome (I’ll post pics in the coming weeks :awesome: ).

@dannym, we really need the clamp 3DP files shared! This is a community space with lots of capable folks eager to help make more clamps. I imagine some people would also just like to have some in their tool bags themselves (or maybe that’s just me :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: ). Please add them to the shared GDrive OPEN — Projects folder! :pray:

It’s beside the point, ASMBLY doesn’t have any 3d printer capable of doing it.

Can’t do any of the engineering filaments. Including on the Prusa XL. I’ve been printing engineering filaments more often than not, there’s major game changers there

For edge clamping, I left some plywood holddowns for Dorian. They don’t work in every location, and only hold the edge. But they’re dirt cheap and effective. The design is from Festi boxes, and can be tuned for any bed. Scrap 1/8 can make a bunch of them. With a slight twist, you can get them to hang on to just bit of material edge, tightly.

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Even if Asmbly doesn’t currently have the machines, other members might. Please share the files

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