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Frequenty Asked Questions

What online resources do you recommend?

At tekSPACY, we use the following resources to learn and work with the things we design and make:

Open Source Software

Open Source Software is software that is developed by individuals and communities with a license that allows anyone to use and modify the application. We frequently use the following applications:

  • Inkscape: a 2D vector drawing program that is supported on multiple platforms. This is the go-to software for makers that use vinyl cutters, laser cutters and CNC routers. Find the download for your Operating System, tutorials and additional resources at the Inkscape home page.
  • Blender: this is advanced software that allows a maker model in 3D for a multitude of purposes, including 3D printing, graphics design and animation. The interface is quite complex, but may be very rewarding for the persistent user. There are 3D printing tutorials for Blender here, and downloads for the software here.
  • Arduino IDE: to help you add visual flair or automate your project, this free software helps you sketches (code) for the wide range of open Arduino micro-controller boards. Due to their open design, these components have become very affordable from on-line vendors such as KeyeStudio. There are literally thousands of extension cards, called “shields”, to take the guesswork out of your build, for example the Grove System.

On-line resources

  • Thingiverse: an on-line community where makers of the world interested in 3D printing congregate. Get to view, duplicate and modify the work of some talented people, for example Jessica Simons.
  • CloudConvert: an on-line resource that can help you convert file formats quickly and accurately. It supports conversion between more than 200 different audio, video, document, ebook, archive, image, spreadsheet and presentation file formats.
  • STL viewer: View a 3D model.
  • Instructables: a comprehensive resource and on-line community for the descerning maker.

 

What materials may I laser cut?

You may laser cut plastics, woods, rubbers, foams, papers, and thin metals as long as they do not contain chlorine. Depending on the material, there is usually no limit to the thinnest sheet we can cut, and the thickest sheet we can cut is typically less than 1″ (24 mm). We stock some basic woods, paper and acrylic.

Materials

You may cut the following materials. If you do not see your material listed, we would be happy to try cutting it as long as it does not contain chlorine:

  • Plastics:
    • ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene)
    • Acrylic (also known as Plexiglas, Lucite, PMMA)
    • Delrin (POM, acetal)
    • High density polyethylene (HDPE) – not recommended as it melts badly
    • Kapton tape (Polyimide)
    • Mylar (polyester)
    • Nylon – melts badly
    • PETG (polyethylene terephthalate glycol)
    • Polyethylene (PE) – melts badly
    • Polypropylene (PP) – melts somewhat
    • Styrene
    • Two-tone acrylic – top color different than core material, usually for custom instrumentation panels, signs, and plaques.
  • Thin metals:
    • Stainless steel (up to 0.060″)
    • Spring steel (up to 0.060″)
  • Foam:
    • Depron foam – often used for RC planes.
    • EPM
    • Gator foam – foam core gets burned and eaten away compared to the top and bottom hard shell.
  • Other:
    • Cloths (leather, suede, felt, hemp, cotton)
    • Magnetic sheets
    • Papers
    • Rubber, only if it does not contain chlorine
    • Teflon (PTFE, Polytetrafluoroethylene)
    • Woods (MDF, balsa, birch, poplar, pine, etc.)

Materials you may not laser cut

You may not cut the following materials:

  • Most metals
  • Polycarbonate (PC, Lexan) – produces too much fumes
  • Any material containing chlorine
  • PVC (Cintra) – contains chlorine
  • Vinyl – contains chlorine
  • Glass – only engrave, cannot cut
  • Fiberglass
  • Printed circuit board (FR4 and other material types)
  • Carbon fiber

What is tekSPACY?

tekSPACY is a space for women to dream, learn and convert creative ideas into designs and products. tekSPACY is run by Saudi women, for Saudi women in a safe and clean environment. The space has the latest tools and equipment available, with tekSPACY makers ready to assist and guide. Please take a few moments to view our intro video below.

 

Do I have to bring my own equipment?

No. As a member of tekSPACY, you will have access to equipment and training to turn your ideas into reality. We have various hand tools available, to complimen the following advanced equipment:

  • 50W CO2 laser cutter
  • Wide- and desktop format vinyl cutters
  • 3D printer
  • X-Carve 900mm x 900m CNC router
  • Mobile phone repair station (see iSpacy)

You are welcome to also bring your own tools and equipment, provided that it is marked clearly as your property.