Difference between revisions of "Laser Cutter Introduction"

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(→‎Workflow: time estimate (VisiCut + Zing) about 20 % too high)
(Starting to update for the new laser cutter)
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Once we have a [[Laser Cutter|laser cutter]], introductions will be carried out by [[tutors]] and should take about 2 or 3 hours. Why "waste your time" like that? Attendance to such a briefing is required in order to use the machine without supervision! Scrolling down, tutors can find a checklist of what to teach and attendees can see what to expect.
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{{incomplete}}
  
== Checklist ==
 
During a briefing, participants should learn enough to work with the laser cutter independently and safely. They also receive a basic cleaning and maintenance course so not every little hickup has to be solved in the [[Issue Tracker|issue tracker]].
 
  
Here's what will be covered in such a briefing:
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This is the content required for an introduction to our [[Laser_Cutter|laser cutter]]- '''reading this does NOT replace the mandatory session with a [[tutor]]!''' It will make it a lot quicker though ;-)
* dangers
 
** invisible but powerful IR radiation - luckily contained by the enclosure (laser class 1)
 
** fire can [http://www.laserworks.jp/images/f03.jpg destroy the machine!]
 
** harmful gases
 
*** [[Laser Cutter#Forbidden Materials|forbidden materials]] (ANYTHING containing chlorine or fluorine!) may not be placed into the laser cutter at all
 
*** exhaust filtering system ''should'' take care of most others - if you notice a strong smell, something may be broken or the filter is full!
 
  
* general overview of technology, mirror system, lens, etc.
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Let's begin! First off, make sure you have read the machine's manuel (availble on the Laser PC).
  
* locations of manuals:
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== Safety ==
** [https://www.epiloglaser.com/assets/downloads/manuals/zing-manual-web.pdf Epilog Zing]
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[[PPE|Personal protection]]: no special PPE needed since the enclosure protects you.
  
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{| class="wikitable"
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|-
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! Dangers !! Precautions
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|-
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| Fumes generated by burning through your workpiece might be dangerous ||
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* Always ensure the exhaust filtering system is turned on before firing the laser.
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* Make sure your workpiece can safely be used with a laser cutter (please reference the list of [[https://wiki.comakingspace.de/Laser_Cutter#Possible_Materials_.28Cutting.2FEngraving.29|possible materials]]
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* Make sure you have read the [[Laser Cutter#Forbidden Materials|list of forbidden materials]] (ANYTHING containing chlorine or fluorine!) may not be placed into the laser cutter at all
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* If you notice a strong smell: Turn off the laser and check the filtering system: something may be broken or the filter is full!
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|-
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| Invisible but powerful IR radiation || luckily contained by the enclosure (laser class 1).
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|-
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| Fire can [http://www.laserworks.jp/images/f03.jpg destroy the machine!] || Do not leave the room when operating the machine.
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|-
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|}
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==Preperation of your job==
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The Tutor will show you:
 
* content of the '''entire''' [[Laser Cutter|laser cutter]] wiki page
 
* content of the '''entire''' [[Laser Cutter|laser cutter]] wiki page
 
** especially [[Laser Cutter#Forbidden Materials|'''forbidden materials!''']]
 
** especially [[Laser Cutter#Forbidden Materials|'''forbidden materials!''']]
 
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* How to create or edit your svg-file (using [[Inkscape]] or similar programs).
* introduction to [[VisiCut]] or another suitable laser control software
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* Introduction to [[LaserCut 5.3]] running on our Laser-PC
 
** settings, raster vs. vector, our [[Laser Cutter Material Settings|collection of material related settings]]
 
** settings, raster vs. vector, our [[Laser Cutter Material Settings|collection of material related settings]]
 
** importing settings
 
** importing settings
  
* quick overview of [[SVG]] sources and/or editing software, e.g. [[Inkscape]]
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==Operating the machine==
  
 
* practical session, especially demonstrating the machine and filter control pads and focussing
 
* practical session, especially demonstrating the machine and filter control pads and focussing
 
** release of x and y motors, definition of workpiece origin
 
** release of x and y motors, definition of workpiece origin
** network settings (static IP) to communicate with the laser cutter; job selection
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** operation of the [[Laser Exhaust System|exhaust filter unit]]
** operation of the [[Laser Exhaust System|exhaust filter unit]] and "Air Assist" compressor
 
 
** safety switch: laser turns off when glass is lifted - important when fire breaks out!
 
** safety switch: 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)
 
*** also useful if you only have one try and want a "dry run" using only the pointer (''that'' laser stays on)
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* '''software'''
 
* '''software'''
 
** install [[Inkscape]] or similar software to produce vector files
 
** install [[Inkscape]] or similar software to produce vector files
** install [[VisiCut]] (platform independent version, developer branch recommended)
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** install [[LaserCut 5.3]] (Demo version, Windows only)
 
** download/import settings
 
** download/import settings
** import [[SVG]] file into VisiCut, select material and/or try individual settings, select elements for cutting or engraving
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** import [[SVG]] file into [[LaserCut 5.3]], set cutting/engraving settings per path
** calculate time estimate (VisiCut + Zing: about 20 % higher estimate than actual time)
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** calculate time estimate
  
 
* '''prepare laser cutter'''
 
* '''prepare laser cutter'''
** to prevent fires, clean the tray under the honeycomb table when it gets cluttered with little pieces
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** to prevent fires, clean the tray under the table when it gets cluttered with little pieces
 
** clean lens (roll [[Q-Tips|Q-tips]] with [[isopropanol]] over lens - roll with light pressure, do not wipe) if necessary
 
** clean lens (roll [[Q-Tips|Q-tips]] with [[isopropanol]] over lens - roll with light pressure, do not wipe) if necessary
 
*** you can use a mirror or cellphone selfie-cam to look under the lens - '''only with the laser pointer disabled!'''
 
*** you can use a mirror or cellphone selfie-cam to look under the lens - '''only with the laser pointer disabled!'''
 
** clean mirror/s (especially mirror above lens) if necessary
 
** clean mirror/s (especially mirror above lens) if necessary
 
** switch on laser cutter
 
** switch on laser cutter
** switch on laser pointer
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** move lens to starting point
** deactivate X/Y motors and manually move lens to starting point - '''touch only the metal parts, not the optics!'''
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** set focus (move the table up or down until the red dot is centered below the laser)
** set focus with spring gauge, further reduce height for cutting (aim for the center of your workpiece in that case)
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** transfer job via [[LaserCut 5.3]]
** connect your laptop to our [[network]]
 
** transfer job via VisiCut, notebook can be disconnected once transfer is complete
 
** select the job on the cutter's display
 
  
 
* '''execution'''
 
* '''execution'''
 
** activate exhaust system
 
** activate exhaust system
** activate compressor
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** start the job either via the Laser PC or on the cutter's display
** start the job by pressing [[File:Epilog Zing Menu Start.jpg | x25px|"Go"]]
 
 
** observe cutting, watch for irregular fumes or flames - especially if testing new materials
 
** observe cutting, watch for irregular fumes or flames - especially if testing new materials
 
** cutting might not work for the first one or two cm after a "cold start" - in that case, restart the job briefly at the end
 
** cutting might not work for the first one or two cm after a "cold start" - in that case, restart the job briefly at the end
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* '''after cutting'''
 
* '''after cutting'''
** switch off exhaust system and compressor
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** switch off exhaust system
 
** remove parts from table
 
** remove parts from table
 
** [[Shop Vac|vacuum]] table if necessary
 
** [[Shop Vac|vacuum]] table if necessary
 
** [[Laser Cutter Material Settings|share your experiences]] with the others :-)  
 
** [[Laser Cutter Material Settings|share your experiences]] with the others :-)  
 
** donate for the machine time!
 
** donate for the machine time!
*** currently 50 ct per minute (goes to the next owners of the loaned machine who will need it for maintenance costs)
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*** currently 50 ct per minute  
 
 
  
 
{{Waiting List}}
 
{{Waiting List}}

Revision as of 17:43, 6 June 2020

This page is INCOMPLETE and still missing some important information before it can be used as a resource. Please use the "Discussion" feature above or talk to one of the tutors if you would like to help improve it. Thanks!



This is the content required for an introduction to our laser cutter- reading this does NOT replace the mandatory session with a tutor! It will make it a lot quicker though ;-)

Let's begin! First off, make sure you have read the machine's manuel (availble on the Laser PC).

Safety

Personal protection: no special PPE needed since the enclosure protects you.

Dangers Precautions
Fumes generated by burning through your workpiece might be dangerous
  • Always ensure the exhaust filtering system is turned on before firing the laser.
  • Make sure your workpiece can safely be used with a laser cutter (please reference the list of [materials]
  • Make sure you have read the list of forbidden materials (ANYTHING containing chlorine or fluorine!) may not be placed into the laser cutter at all
  • If you notice a strong smell: Turn off the laser and check the filtering system: something may be broken or the filter is full!
Invisible but powerful IR radiation luckily contained by the enclosure (laser class 1).
Fire can destroy the machine! Do not leave the room when operating the machine.

Preperation of your job

The Tutor will show you:

Operating the machine

  • practical session, especially demonstrating the machine and filter control pads and focussing
    • release of x and y motors, definition of workpiece origin
    • operation of the exhaust filter unit
    • safety switch: 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.

Workflow

  • software
    • install Inkscape or similar software to produce vector files
    • install LaserCut 5.3 (Demo version, Windows only)
    • download/import settings
    • import SVG file into LaserCut 5.3, set cutting/engraving settings per path
    • calculate time estimate
  • prepare laser cutter
    • to prevent fires, clean the tray under the table when it gets cluttered with little pieces
    • clean lens (roll Q-tips with isopropanol over lens - roll with light pressure, do not wipe) if necessary
      • you can use a mirror or cellphone selfie-cam to look under the lens - only with the laser pointer disabled!
    • clean mirror/s (especially mirror above lens) if necessary
    • switch on laser cutter
    • move lens to starting point
    • set focus (move the table up or down until the red dot is centered below the laser)
    • transfer job via LaserCut 5.3
  • execution
    • activate exhaust system
    • 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 after a "cold start" - in that case, restart the job briefly at the end
    • do not leave the laser cutter unattended!
      • cutting: stay at the machine the entire time!
      • engraving: stay at least within sight and earshot!
  • after cutting
    • switch off exhaust system
    • remove parts from table
    • vacuum table if necessary
    • share your experiences with the others :-)
    • donate for the machine time!
      • currently 50 ct per minute

Waiting List

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!