One of the most useful tools in our shop is our laser cutter— or more formally, our low power carbon dioxide laser cutting and engraving machine. We use it for all kinds of mechanical prototyping, cutting parts out of wood and acrylic, and even some production parts, like the cases for our clock kits, the custom cloth numbers on our d12 and d20 bag kits, and the pen arm on the Eggbot kit.
And while this has been a fantastic and reliable machine for the last several years, eventually the moment that we had dreaded arrived. Our laser power began to droop, and it started getting harder and harder to cut through the materials that we regularly work with. A visit from a technician confirmed that the power had fallen significantly, and that we needed a new tube. The replacement process is actually managed as a swap: The factory sends us a new laser cartridge, and we send them back our old one.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, or even use Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for MakeCode, CircuitPython, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell with Google Hangouts On-Air is every Wednesday at 7:30pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.
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