Working with the Laser Cutter

This week, my partner and I demonstrated our raspberry pi card swipe to Steve, the instructor in charge of the labs in Loma. We showed him that we are able to control a relay switch that can be connected to the power supply of any device. This relay switch will only trigger if a keycard is authorized to use the device. He was impressed with our progress and thought we might be able to take a step further. Though we can control who can turn on the power or not, he explained that he would like to see if we could use it for the laser cutters in the labs. There has been expressed concern with people using the laser cutter without permission, causing it to crash. Steve explained that he would like us to try to access the power of just the laser, as opposed to the entire device. This involved taking off the frame of the cutter and inspecting the motherboard and the controls. We were able to find a data sheet for the device, so we’ll be exploring options on how to access the power of the laser on this machine.

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