CU-AUV club, Delrin, and sound

This evening two members of the Cornell University Autonomous Underwater Vehicle club came down looking for help. Their sub needs parts, and their laser cutter (an Epilog with a 24x36 bed!) has been down for a couple of weeks. I told them that only a trained member could use our laser cutter – and that I was a trained user, and would help them out.

In the end, we ended up doing a cut job of about an hour length, and they left satisfied and willing to mention us in their “sponsorship” section. They also left behind a 12"x24" sheet of yellow acrylic with paper coating and a smaller partially used piece of dark red acrylic.

They were cutting 1/8" Delrin plastic, which is not something we’ve done before, so there was some experimenting with the settings. They cut 22 pieces out of one 12"x24" sheet, and after some experimentation with the settings, the job itself was close to an hour. As the folks at the Geek Night will attest, the sound and ventilation system could use work.

We know the ventilation is inadequate. The folks in the front room were complaining about the smell by about half-way through the job, and were threatening leaving by 45 minutes. Some clever opening of doors managed to ameliorate it, but it was still poor.

The noise was a problem. The compressor was unable to keep up, and ran continuously for the whole job. With the compressor on the floor, it was also loud. The two CU-AUV folks and I were able to talk over it, but with raised voices. The Geek Night folks, in the other room with the doors closed, found it on the edge of tolerable.

I have since put the rubber foot on the compressor, and Marty and Eric are currently putting on the wheels. I have also reclaimed a few sheets of corrogated cardboard from the recycling to put under the compressor to help the sound as well. The manual claims the intake air filter (which was not attached) will also cut down on sound, so I put that on. Hopefully, the combination of rubber wheels/feet, air intake filter, and cardboard matting will knock the sound sufficiently.


Yes, the compressor does seem noticeably quieter now.


This is cool. I hope we’d be able to visit their shop if/when we have a need

Thanks for the work youve done in compressor. I havent used it yet. Is there an order for turning things on? Or does it not matter

I would recommend turning on the compressor, but not opening the valve, when you turn on the laser cutter. That way, it can come to full pressure while you are futzing around with send your job to the cutter, loading your materials, setting the focus, etc. Then opening the valve before pressing “Go”.