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Bitraf has many machines that can be dangerous to both the user and others if used incorrectly. To prevent incorrect use, special training is required for these tools. When training is completed, you'll be added to the group of people (organised as "Circles") that can access this tool.

If you have taken the required course, but are not in the circle - please contact one of the Circle admins. Ask a fellow Bitraf'er who can help you. Initially, only a few tools have access control, but all dangerous tools will have this eventually.

Checking out a tool

All tool locks should have a visual feedback telling the state of it. Look for a large (10mm) LED. The color tells the state of the tool:

  • Green LED, tool is not checked out
  • Red LED, tool is checked out. If not checked out by you, claim it before you start using the tool
  • LED off, the device has lost its connection. Try turning the device on/off.
  • Blue blink, close the door when ready

To checkout a tool, go to https://p2k16.bitraf.no/#!/tool. DO NOT check out a tool "just to test" or to show people UNLESS you are physically present and know the tool is not in use. For now, the system is set up so that anyone can take control over a tool at any time. Taking over a tool such as the laser cutter while it is in operation will physically stop it from lasing and can thus potentially destroy the material and work that others have done. They will however know who did it as all tool checkin and checkout is logged.

If you absolutely want to test how the system works, please use the "Test-tool" since this will not affect the other tools.

Returning a tool

When you finished using a tool, make sure you return it both physically and in the [checkout system]. The laser will automatically return itself when it starts up, but feel free to do it when you finished cutting also. That way you won't get the blame if someone after you destroys something?

F.A.Q. & Troubleshooting

Q: I checked out the laser but the color of the LED is still Green (= not checked out.)

A1: The laser needs to be powered when you check it out online, or it will not know. Check it out again after powering it up with the key!

A2: Please do not double-click the button when checking out. In general, no buttons on the web is set up for double-clicking. You can also verify that the Tool did Checkout by just reloading the page to refresh the log at the end of the page.

Q: I do not know if I am in the laser circle. How can I check it?

A: To check if you are in the laser circle, use this page and scroll to laser-certified. To see who can add you to a circle, look for the accompanying circle name postpended with instructor (i.e. laser-instructor).

Q: I need to get access to X. How do I get access?

A: Tools that are locked down, require training. The special drills, the orbital sander, OLH key and other light tools that are locked down only require that you do the Bitraf Maintenance workshop (often done by Jensa). The lasers require Laser Workshop (often done by Nikolai). The Table Saw requires the Table Saw workshop (often done by Yoshi). The routers require a workshop (often done by Jonas Syrstad). The Shopbot CNC requires the CNC workshop that offers both theoretical and practical training before you get access.

Q: Why is the Mirka sander (or any other tool) locked down? It's just a tool, right?

A: Tools are locked down for a couple reasons: 1) The tool is dangerous or can be dangerous to the user unless they know how to use it properly. 2) The tool requires parts that cannot be left floating around or they will be lost. To get access - get training for the tool.

Q: I already know how to use a tool, so just add me to the circle?

A: To use a locked down tool at Bitraf, you have to do the training offered at Bitraf. No exceptions. Here's a story to explain one of the why's: Some years ago, we almost had a fire in the CNC room. In the same incident we also had 16k in damages to the Shopbot CNC, rendering it defect for several weeks while we waited for spare parts (affecting many members). This was due to a member that claimed to know how to operate the tool, but left the machine while running. One of the things taught at the Shopbot CNC training is to never-ever leave the machine while it is milling. Workshops are not just for learning the machine, but also to learn how WE operate them.