Laser cutting is a technology that utilizes a high-power laser to cut and engrave various materials. Once primarily used for industrial manufacturing, it has begun to find its way into universities, small businesses, and general consumers.
The process works by directing a laser beam of high-intensity light into several different directions as it bounces off mirrors or "beam benders" before it's focused onto the cutting workspace. The laser beam has to be precisely focused so that the density of energy and heat in that spot is round and consistent enough to cut or engrave. Analogous to this is a magnifying glass directing the sun's rays onto a leaf to burn it.
With more public facilities granting access to laser cutting technology, anyone can easily learn, create, and share this kind of knowledge. From simple jewelry to complicated models and from cutting paper to metals, the possibilities of laser cutting are endless.
The chapters working on laser cutting for the community will pursue various projects including, but are not limited to, producing sneeze guards for COVID-19 protection, developing solutions to problems faced by community centers, and large quantity laser cutting for fundraising efforts.
Chapters are expected to work on 3 or more projects every 6 months, setting up all the laser cutting files at home or at school and then going to the workspace to carry out the laser cutting. Groups will be required to attend monthly check-ins with the track lead. Additionally, all teams are required to be active, contributing, and present in the Discord community.
For any chapters looking for additional support, track organizers will be available and dedicated design experts will be available at all times via Discord. We will help chapters find groups in their communities to donate to and will walk them through the problem-solving process if needed.
Materials: Laser Cutter, Inkscape, SketchUp