Latest Posts

Building a Gym Using Lasers

equipments at the gym

Lasers always sound so cool when you hear about them, and rightfully so. What was only science fiction so many years ago is now actually something that exists in our current reality, and it became possible because scientists and great minds during our generation decided to do their research and also explore science so greatly that they figured out how to actually employ lasers in every day situations and in industrial applications.

One application in which lasers are used are in cutting and welding steel. So I’m sure that with me saying that, quite a lot of you have actually figured out that there are in fact many different things that can be accomplished using steel and lasers. Well, one project I’ve been able to work on recently was to work on an outdoor gym. One of my favourite things in that project was creating the outdoor gym steel frames using lasers.

Laser Cutter Machines – How its Made

 

Lasers have truly revolutionised the process of cutting and welding metal! Even my dad would tell you that things have become so much easier with all this newfangled equipment and technology. Even though my father is actually quite ‘old school’ when it comes to the way in which he does things, he will admit that the lasers have greatly improved the process and made everything so much easier.

So what did we actually do when we were building the gym with the use of our lasers?

gym equipmentPreparing The Steel Frames
One of the most important things that we had to do of course was to build the outdoor equipment in themselves. Since the gym would be exposed to the elements, metal was the best option in order to make sure that the ‘machines’ and equipment would last a long time. So of course, once we got the plans for the equipment and figured out how we had to do them, we began to cut the steel frames and weld them.

Cutting The Parts That Go in The Equipment
Of course steel frames are just that…frames! And they aren’t really much use until the parts that need to go into them are installed, and the machines and equipment assembled for use. We actually used lasers to cut the parts such as foot pedals, seats, and so on out of metal, and also to put the parts together in order to form a part that came together in different pieces.

Putting Everything Together
We then of course assembled all the parts so that the machines/equipment were put together. This sometimes required lasers, sometimes not. Once everything was assembled it was all primed, painted, and weather-sealed as well as rust proofed. Then we brought the equipment out to the site and put everything there–and there you have it, we built an outdoor gym!

It’s become such a fun thing for me to do that I have spent quite a lot of time at that park just so I could use the outdoor gym. But who knows, maybe someday on my off hours I can build a gym for me too. I just need space to put it in!

How Pet Food Bowls are Made Using Laser Cutting and Lathing Techniques

Metal manufacturing and laser cutting is our speciality here, so I thought that I’d share with you one of my latest projects. Along with laser cutting machines, I also have metal lathes and other metal working equipment.

Recently, my sister bought her daughter a puppy, and my little niece wanted personalized pet food bowls complete with her dog’s name and a bunch of flowery designs on it too.

I knew that this was the job for me, because I wanted to test out my new laser engraving machine, which is great for adding designs and names onto metal objects.

Getting the materials
I started with a 0.05 mm austentite steel sheet that I purchased from my local metal supplier. Austentite, or stainless steel, is perfect for the use of dog bowls, as they are free of impurities and will not rust or oxidise.

steel-sheet

Rust can make a dog very sick, and since it will be used as a pet feeding bowl, I wanted to make sure that I got the right materials.

I cut it using a laser into a perfect circle, which the industry calls a “blank”. My blank is made of just 0.15% carbon, which is perfect to get that stainless steel quality.

Lathing
After I have my blank sorted out, I start placing it on my lathing machine. Making sure that it is perfectly aligned with the chuck, I start spinning the lathe while slowly pushing the metal towards the chuck.

I make sure that the lathe is spinning at at least 2000 turns per minute so I get an even bent.

lathe-machine

Lathing is a complicated process and needs a lot of patience, but it is the best way to make sure that shape comes out the way I want to.

Once the metal is sufficiently stretched, I turn it around and lathe it in the opposite direction to create that distinctive dog bowl shape using a beading tool.

I am still using a hand lathe, so I have to be very careful when working with spinning metal disks as it can cut me if I am not careful.

Smoothing out edges
Next, I use a cutting tool during the lathing process to smooth out the edges, because the bowl is very sharp after lathing.

tool-bit

I trim off the excess, making sure I wear proper protective gear as the shaved off metal is extremely sharp – as sharp as any razor blade.

After that, I take it off the lathe and sand it down by hand, to make sure that I got all of the edges to a nice, dull, shape.

Laser engraving
Finally, my pet food bowl is ready. All I need to do now is to laser engrave the name of the dog and to add some nice, engraved graphics. I had my niece choose the font and the designs, and then I plugged it into mu computer to be laser cut.

laser-engrave

The dog’s name is “Summer”, and I added some nice swirling flower designs around the bowl. My niece was extremely happy with her new pet bowls.

And before you forget, always think of safety when working with tools. Here’s a good video showing it:

The Evolution of Playground Materials

playground

Long gone are the days when we were kids at the playground playing on sets made out of wood and steel. These days most of the playgrounds are made of all sorts of newer, modern materials that are all made to code with regards to safety standards that need to be met for the safety of the children using them.

I remember when the steel used by manufacturers of playground equipment was the ‘it’ material… I remember very well because they would chafe incredibly, and if left in the hot sun the metal could heat up intensely and anyone sitting on a swing or going down a slide could get themselves burnt.

I’m sure you can remember as well the times when you were a child, playing on playground sets that were more often than not made of wood and steel. Did you get splinters?

I got several, and they were difficult to remove! But children these days do not go through the same experience as much because the humble wood and steel playgrounds of yore are dying out slowly, one by one, replaced by other, better set made out of newer materials that were chosen because they solved the problems that the old playgrounds used to have.I’m sad to see steel being replaced (I am biased after all!), but even I know from experience that chafing and burns aren’t fun!

 

So what materials are used in playgrounds these days? Here’s a quick look at the most common ones:

Fiberglass Reinforced Plastics
These days, it is common to see playgrounds constructed from FPRs or fibreglass reinforced plastics. This material is very much durable and can survive in a lot of different climates, making it a material that playground designers love to use frequently.

Its benefits over wood and steel are many—first of all it will not rust, it is insect-proof, it can withstand a lot of heat and also does well in freezing temperatures. The only issues with this kind of material is that it becomes brittle after prolonged exposure to the sun as well as repeated freezing and thawing. The bonus however is that it is non-toxic and cannot harm children.

playground-synthetic-wood

Synthetic Wood
Wood on its own has been used as a material for building playgrounds in the past. However, back then it was treated with harsh, toxic chemicals most of the time in order to keep insects away (and for other reasons). These days, most playgrounds use synthetic wood in place of real wood. Synthetic wood is composed of recycled wood fibres and plastics and when put together is usually more weather-proof than its all-natural counterpart.

Although this material is a bit more expensive than the others, a lot of people still decide to use it in the construction of their playgrounds as it is quite durable. It in fact is even more durable than wood.

So there you go… Playgrounds these days are always built with safety considerations in mind. I consider that to be a good thing—especially for my future children!

 

Some people even take it even further by testing the strength of the materials used. Here’s a short video showing he result: