Photo of the week: Fire and Ice.

by on Feb.26, 2014, under Projects

During the winter one of the members tried carving ice with the laser, with the intent to capture a little bit of Game of Thrones in ice.
This may sound both a great idea and a bad idea at the same time. The act of doing some test cutting proved this task to be more difficult than previously thought. Below you can see the results of the test cuts. The challenge was not water inside the laser, that was a simple challenge to overcome by adding a reservoir for any water that was melted and a mesh to keep the ice out of the water. The challenge with this came to be the laser itself. The power of the laser on the ice is just a bit too much for this job. This experiment became a practical demonstration of the effect of hot spots on ice in the Arctic.
The Laser is equal to the sun here, and when it heats up the ice enough for it to melt it basically creates a warm pool of water that melts the surrounding area of ice preventing any high resolution cutting. The more heated water the less of ice that remained. The laser job had to be stopped a few times to remove the excess water to achieve some of the quality of the cut in the second photo.

Test Run - Lazer power to High.

Test Run – Lazer power to High.

Test Run 2 - Laser power almost right.

Test Run 2 – Laser power almost right.


2 Comments for this entry

  • John

    What about using a wet/dry shop vac to constantly pull away heated water while you are cutting instead of cutting, stopping and pouring? Is there any way to get a nozzle next to where the laser is cutting the surface?

  • Adam Evenden

    This is an interesting solution you have. There are some hurdles thou that get in the way which would mean some how retrofitting the laser by my understanding to allow a hose for such a shop vac to access the inside space of the laser enclosure.
    The issue I see that we may run into is that unless the shop vacuum’s hose is attached to the x&y axes and just about to touch the work surface as the laser cuts there is no way of manually working within the laser cutters path to address the water.
    What I am most curious about now is how far away can the hose be from the work surface to suck up water? My logic is telling me the more pass’s the laser melts the ice there comes a point where the vacuum is to far away from the water to suck it off the ice causing the same issue again.

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