Construction Kit Part Recipes

Stainless Steel and Polyester Parts

Polyester Flexures
Polyester of the desired thickness (for example, 6 or 12 microns) should be prepared for cutting under the laser.  This involves cutting a small square and placing it on Gel-pak 4 mounted on a glass slide.  The polyester flexure 1mm wide and the desired length can then be cut out.  Alternatively, long strips of the poyester can be cut out with the laser and stored.  Then it can be cut to desired length depending on the application.

Stainless Steel Faceplate
For the faceplate, 12.5 micron steel should be placed on Gel-pak 4 mounted on a glass slide and the desired pattern cut out with the laser.  The excess steel can then be peeled away leaving just the faceplate.

Stainless Steel Beams
1. 12.5 micron steel should be placed on Gel-Pak 4 on a glass slide and polyimide (PI2525) spin coated on it.  The polyimide coating should be soft baked on a hot plate (a minute with the Gel-Pak and then the steel piece should be removed and cured alone for about 30 minutes).
2. The appropiate pattern (cut and score lines) can be done by the laser.  Then flip the piece over and spin coat polyimide on the opposite side the same way as described above.
3.  Etch the piece. (This can be done by placing the steel in a beaker and pouring a small layer of ferric chloride on top.  Then place the beaker on a hot plate with a magnetic stirrer under a hood.  It is usually finished in a 5 minutes or less depending on the side of the piece.)
4.  The piece can then placed on the folding fixture and folded.  Seal it in place by applying superglue with a thin needle and running the triangle through a triangular channel.  Cut off the beam and repeat the folding and gluing process for as many beams that were patterned.

Carbon Fiber and Polyester Parts

Carbon Fiber Links
The uncured carbon fiber can be cut into strips and stored in the freezer until it is ready to be used.

Flexure Elements
A carbon fiber leyer can be patterned into flexure elements under the laser.  A layer of polyester can then be placed on top.  A glass slide with a teflon layer can be placed on top and placed in the oven with a weight on top to be cured.  The same pattern should then be done to another carbon fiber layer and the cured polyester and carbon fiber layer placed on top so that the polyester is in between the two carbon fiber layers.  The whole structure should be cured in the oven in the same fashion as described above.  When it is finished the individual flexure elements can then be separated easily with a razor blade.