Lasercutter

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== Safety information and training ==
 
== Safety information and training ==
 
We should have a bunch of helpful information here on safe operation of the device and who to go to to be trained on its use here.
 
We should have a bunch of helpful information here on safe operation of the device and who to go to to be trained on its use here.
 +
 +
* Please speak to one of the people who is experienced with this laser cutter before using so we can show you where everything is, how to setup the software, how to use it without breaking it, etc.
 +
 +
* Read the instructions first. [http://www.fullspectrumengineering.com/files/FSL_40w_Hobby_Laser_Manual.pdf Manual]
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* Never turn the current up above 15 milliamps, that will fry the laser tube quickly.  Usually just a few milliamps is more than enough power to do what you want.  Using too much power on wood or paper will start a fire.  Instead of turning up the power, turn down the speed and/or use multiple passes.  Always use the minimum power you can do to the job to prevent unsightly burn marks and extend the life of the laser tube.
 +
 +
* Never leave the laser cutter unattended because sometimes things catch fire.  A squirt bottle with water is next to the laser to put out small fires.  A fire extinguisher is in the corner of the room for larger issues.
 +
 +
* It is possible to make the laser head bang against the side or top of the unit.  This causes an awful noise and must be very bad for the gears. If the laser cutter makes a banging noise, stop it immediately and reposition the laser head before the next cut, or resize the artwork.
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* Do not cut plastics which create hazardous fumes when burned.  Acrylic is ok.  PVC releases the very toxic gas phosgene when heated.  ABS is bad.  As a general rule, chemical resistant plastics should not be put in the laser cutter.
  
 
== Software ==
 
== Software ==
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 +
Any program can print to the laser cutter, I had success using Inkscape and Gimp.  As far as I know Gimp can not do vector cuts, a major limitation.  Inkscape is not the easiest software to learn but it is not difficult either. 
 +
 
=== RetinaEngrave (Windows) ===
 
=== RetinaEngrave (Windows) ===
 
==== Requirements ====
 
==== Requirements ====
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=== [https://github.com/Metalab/ctrl-cut ctrl-cut] ===
 
=== [https://github.com/Metalab/ctrl-cut ctrl-cut] ===
 
Amir Hassan and Marius Kintel are working on open source laser cutter drivers through the CUPS interface. Primarily they're working on getting it operational with an Epilog cutter, but would like to expand past that soon.
 
Amir Hassan and Marius Kintel are working on open source laser cutter drivers through the CUPS interface. Primarily they're working on getting it operational with an Epilog cutter, but would like to expand past that soon.
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== Quirks ==
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* It is easy to make the laser head bang against the side or top of the unit.  Don't let it do that.
 +
 +
*  If you are doing a raster engrave, you can not set the speed too high.  Here is some artwork on paper, raster engrave, 85% speed: [http://i162.photobucket.com/albums/t265/alanrockefeller/IMG_0190.jpg].  Here is the same image at 71% speed:  [http://i162.photobucket.com/albums/t265/alanrockefeller/IMG_0192.jpg]
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== [[Talk:Lasercutter|Discussion]] ==
 
== [[Talk:Lasercutter|Discussion]] ==
 
'''[[Talk:Lasercutter|On the Discussion page!]]'''
 
'''[[Talk:Lasercutter|On the Discussion page!]]'''

Revision as of 04:36, 25 February 2011

Contents

Lasercutter (name to be determined)

Full Spectrum Laser 4th Generation 40W CO2 Laser Engraver - Deluxe Model

Safety information and training

We should have a bunch of helpful information here on safe operation of the device and who to go to to be trained on its use here.

  • Please speak to one of the people who is experienced with this laser cutter before using so we can show you where everything is, how to setup the software, how to use it without breaking it, etc.
  • Read the instructions first. Manual
  • Never turn the current up above 15 milliamps, that will fry the laser tube quickly. Usually just a few milliamps is more than enough power to do what you want. Using too much power on wood or paper will start a fire. Instead of turning up the power, turn down the speed and/or use multiple passes. Always use the minimum power you can do to the job to prevent unsightly burn marks and extend the life of the laser tube.
  • Never leave the laser cutter unattended because sometimes things catch fire. A squirt bottle with water is next to the laser to put out small fires. A fire extinguisher is in the corner of the room for larger issues.
  • It is possible to make the laser head bang against the side or top of the unit. This causes an awful noise and must be very bad for the gears. If the laser cutter makes a banging noise, stop it immediately and reposition the laser head before the next cut, or resize the artwork.
  • Do not cut plastics which create hazardous fumes when burned. Acrylic is ok. PVC releases the very toxic gas phosgene when heated. ABS is bad. As a general rule, chemical resistant plastics should not be put in the laser cutter.

Software

Any program can print to the laser cutter, I had success using Inkscape and Gimp. As far as I know Gimp can not do vector cuts, a major limitation. Inkscape is not the easiest software to learn but it is not difficult either.

RetinaEngrave (Windows)

Requirements

Supported formats/modes

How to install

How to use

ctrl-cut

Amir Hassan and Marius Kintel are working on open source laser cutter drivers through the CUPS interface. Primarily they're working on getting it operational with an Epilog cutter, but would like to expand past that soon.

Quirks

  • It is easy to make the laser head bang against the side or top of the unit. Don't let it do that.
  • If you are doing a raster engrave, you can not set the speed too high. Here is some artwork on paper, raster engrave, 85% speed: [1]. Here is the same image at 71% speed: [2]


Discussion

On the Discussion page!

Personal tools