[hackerspaces] [ SPAM 4.8 ] Re: Laser Cutter Fires?

Arclight arclight at gmail.com
Wed Apr 29 20:47:39 CEST 2015

Regarding fire extinguishers:

1. I recommend paying a viisit to the nearest shop that services them.
You will find that the extinguishers sold by "Big Box" stores like
Home Depot are basically disposable. For about 2X the money, you can
get a commercial-grade extinguisher that only costs a few dollars to
have overhauled every year. The yearly servicing is also a requirement
in many commercial zones, and spending more up-front will save you
money after a year or two.

2. Those places often have refurbished ones that are about half price
of new. Also, once you know what brands they service in your area
(i.e. Badger, Amerex) you can look out for more at garage sales and
swap meets. Getting them serviced doesn't cost very much, and pretty
soon, you'll have one for every major room.

3. We require that the large extinguisher and a spotter be present
whenever someone welds on a vehicle. For the laser, it needs to have
one nearby and have someone keeping an eye on it. You just can't go
out to lunch and leave it cutting.


On Wed, Apr 29, 2015 at 11:24 AM, bownes <bownes at gmail.com> wrote:
> At the TVGoG, we've never had a fire leave the enclosure, but it was close. A member left the cutter unattended while doing a raster engraving, a belt broke, and the laser was firing constantly at a single spot on a piece of flammable material, which caught fire, setting anything flammable inside the enclosure on fire. Including the viewport filter, constructed of acrylic. It was caught before the acrylic was breached. Total damage about $150 in parts and some wounded ego.
> Remediation included posting a warning never to leave the laser cutter unattended, beefing up the warning, and adding the melted plastic viewport to the Wall of Shame. Ok, maybe not the last part.
> iii
>> On Apr 29, 2015, at 14:10, Pete Prodoehl <raster at gmail.com> wrote:
>> At Milwaukee Makerspace we have air lines running through the building, and use air assist with our laser cutters, which can help avoid fires. I don't believe we've ever had a fire besides material burning a little too much when cutting. During training people are shown how to turn on the exhaust and the air assist, and as long as those things are done, and you don't do anything too stupid (and don't leave it unattended!) all has been good.
>> Pete
>>> On 4/29/15 1:06 PM, Joshua Pritt wrote:
>>> No fires yet.  But one of the main safety rules with the laser is to never leave it unattended.  You should be able to hit the emergency stop button the moment you see a flame then extinguish it immediately.  Also make sure there is a fire extinguisher right next to the laser just in case.
>>> On Wed, Apr 29, 2015 at 1:56 PM, Robert Davidson <robert at dallasmakerspace.org <mailto:robert at dallasmakerspace.org>> wrote:
>>>    I wanted to know how many out there have had a fire on there CO2
>>>    Laser?
>>>    What was the root cause?
>>>    I define fire as leaving the confines of the machine.
>>>    Though if your machine was destroyed by a fire in the tray that
>>>    would count as well.
>>>    I can start out with Dallas Makerspace we had the High Voltage
>>>    line arc to the metal case and caused a fire in the laser tube
>>>    area. (It was quickly extinguished with a Fire Extinguisher)
>>>    Artifacture a local company in Dallas; there CO2 laser destroyed a
>>>    large part of there building from a fire that was not observed.     Root Cause: (Guessing as it was absolute destruction was that the
>>>    material was left in the tray from acrylic that had fallen through
>>>    the tray)
>>>    Robert Davidson
>>>    Dallas Makerspace
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