Laser Cutter Introduction
Let's begin! First off, make sure you have read the machine's manual (available on the Laser PC).
Personal protection: no special PPE needed since the enclosure protects you.
|Fumes generated by burning/evaporating your work-piece might be dangerous||
|Invisible but powerful IR radiation||luckily contained by the enclosure (laser class 1)
|Fire can destroy the machine!||
Basics of Laser Cutting
The Tutor will show you:
Operating the Machine
The tutor will first show you the basic operations at the laser:
- How to prepare the laser cutter
- to prevent fires, clean the tray under the table when it gets cluttered with little pieces
- turn on the water cooling system and let it get to temperature (~20°C)
- How to turn on the laser
- How to move the x and y motors by using the control panel
- Adjust the jog length to move with larger / smaller steps
- How to ensure the focus of the laser is set correctly by moving the table up and down
- How to use the emergency stop
- How to check the safety switches: laser turns off when glass is lifted - important when fire breaks out!
- also useful if you only have one try and want a "dry run" using only the pointer (that laser stays on)
This should act as a guide, tutors can always emphasize or add points of importance.
The tutor will show you:
- how to create or edit your SVG file (using Inkscape or similar programs)
- how to generate a DXF file (use DXF R14 if your program supports this) to import into LaserCut 5.3
- introduction to LaserCut 5.3 running on our laser PC
- settings, raster vs. vector, our collection of material related settings
- importing settings
- install Inkscape or similar software to produce vector files
- install LaserCut 5.3 (Demo version, Windows only)
- download/import settings
- import DXF file into LaserCut 5.3
- set cutting/engraving settings per path
- simulate toolpath:
Laser --> Simulate
- estimate work time
- transfer job
- the entire preparation workflow can be found in detail under "LaserCut 5.3"
- activate water chiller
- activate exhaust system
- prepare the machine (Machine Control)
- set the focus
- when in focus, the red laser should be on the right spot (If nobody touched it).
- you may press
Laserto check the divergence of the laser and your cutting point to be extra sure if you have a test piece
- you may press
- you may press
Teston the machine to assure that the file fits the measurements of your workpiece: the machine's head will travel around the bounding rectangle of your design
- start the job either via the Laser PC or on the cutter's display
- observe cutting, watch for irregular fumes or flames - especially if testing new materials
- cutting might not work for the first one or two cm if you have just started the machine for the first time that day - in that case, restart the job briefly at the end
- do not leave the laser cutter unattended (fire hazard)!
- cutting: stay at the machine the entire time!
- engraving: stay at least within sight and earshot!
- after cutting
This introduction takes longer than many others and usually can't be done spontaneously during regular opening times. If you would like to receive it, please add yourself to >> this list << and we will find a good time once a few members are on it!