Dr. Whitehead visited a Trotec showroom where he was quickly convinced that the Speedy 300 laser cutter would be the ideal machine for the LPRC's requirements. Not only was the technology the perfect fit for the centre's requirements, Trotec's strong UK based technical support network was a strong influence in Dr. Whitehead's decision.
Since its installation, the Speedy machine has enabled the LPRC to process sheet plastic, bringing with it time savings, and the ability to create more complex shapes than previously possible.
One of the many applications that the Speedy has been utilised for since installation is the production of acrylic enclosures for the other lasers within the centre. Many of the centre's existing lasers are class 4 systems, and, unlike the Speedy 300 laser engraving machine, require additional PPE such as safety glasses to be safely operated. However, with the production of the new enclosures, the team are now able to take the lasers to trade shows and events. The Speedy system has also allowed a range of applications to be brought in-house, including the production of signage, reducing cost and lead times.
The Speedy laser cutter has also been used by the wider Department of Mechanical Aerospace and Civil Engineering for both undergraduate and postgraduate teaching. For example, the laser was used during a postgraduate course to show how to use a laser as part of a small business. During this class, students personalised reusable bottles, a very different application from the laser's usual jobs – showing its versatility.
Overall, the Speedy laser has proved to be a highly efficient and reliable addition to the LRPC's machinery, broadening the scope for applications within the centre while also benefiting other areas of the university.