Laser station layout

I had some time on the train and started thinking about placement of the subpanel. This got me to realize I should put some thought into the layout of the laser area. It was a very helpful excersize because I worked out the orientation with respect to the walls and open spaces, the fit between the wall and the laser table, position of the laptop, placement of all the appliances, and location of the appliance control center with respect to the subpanel. It also prompted me to realize the water lines should go below the conduit, and that space has to provisioned for the ventilation. Good ol’ CAD (and free time on trains).

Items that’ll be handled in the upper left hand wall: in-coming oxygen line from the tank behind the wall, a small manifold that control air versus oygen, a small airbrush air compressor and various meters (like the meter that shows the level of the oxygen tank.). This wall will probably have an auxilliary computer screen that connects to the Linux system. It will also be possible to show the computer system on the bigscreen TV.

The appliance center will be constructed out of plywood and 2x4s. It has to deal with lines of conduit coming in from the subpanel and it will house some cool boxes that I made. These boxes link between the digital I/O center and house appliances.

Things that will be controlled by the appliance center:

  • Ventilation
  • Motor power supply
  • Laser power supply (220v)
  • Gas line 1
  • Gas line 2
  • Laser controller
  • Chiller
  • Auxillary – automatic blast gate control?
  • Another view of the appliance center is shown when facing the laser station from the front.

    Take a look at the old set up. I am hoping the new layout will be a improvement over the last arrangement. I used to work in front of the table which was so low I sat on a stool. This required that I go on one knee to clamp parts down on the table. Since the supports for the parts is actually made of large, industrial sized hack saw blades (pic). Because I was working clamps without sitting excessive force applied my forearms, wrists and hands down on to the points of the saw blade edges. All art should involve some type of ordeal but I found still found this to be unfulfilling. Other problems were that this arrangement had me operating the computer with my left hand, and routinely required walking over to the right hand side of the system to reach plumbing and other equipment. I also did not like the absence of a backrest.

    In the new arrangement I have raised the laser table hieght to a level where I can sit comfortably on a chair (note: the laser table is not really shown in any of my latest drawings). Raising the height will make reaching under the table easier during the clamp up process. In the front view you can see the arm that will project out from the wall that will support the laptop. Once the system is tweaked properly I expect that everything can be controlled from the laptop. There will be lots of shelving below the conduit between the subpanel and the appliance control. I will populate this with the motor power supply, laser controller and other items that dont have to be accessed very often. So while there wont be that much more room on the right hand wall what I’ve done is reserved the left wall for items that need to be accessed more often. With that in mind it really might be smarter to put the laser controller on the left wall — i may also put the computer on that side.

    Largish tasks to complete prior to really hooking everything up – and questions:

  • Pour concrete pad – should I include where I’m going to sit?
  • Dig a load of stuff out of storage – how am i gonna move the chiller?
  • Think through some ergonomic issues – good walk space on right?
  • Mount the laser support frame, minimize its length a.m.a.p.
  • Build appliance control center – you got all the right control boxes?
  • Install subpanel and link to appliance control
  • Provision for lots of 120v lines for all computer, screens and power supplies
  • Run water chiller lines
  • Shelving and computer support arm
  • Get wall ready for 10 inch ventilation hose.
  • After I pour the concrete almost everything else should be a lot of fun.


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