Laser Cutter Manual

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Laser cutter one-page manual

The laser cutter is now at a level where it can be used by inducted members, but can be improved.

To use the laser cutter, install VisiCut from http://visicut.org

Prepare your cut piece in Inkscape, FreeCAD or something similar that exports svg, eps or dxf.

Open Visicut, it will ask you where you are, say “Leeds Hackspace”!

Power on the Laser cutter prior to clicking execute in visicut, you may as well do this here, as it indicates you’re using the cutter and might stop others thinking they are able to at the same time!

Load up your svg, dxf or eps and decide how you want to proceed :

  • Cut everything as lines, Dither everything or Solidly engrave everything, simply select “Cut Everything”, “Engrave (dithered)” or “Engrave (solid)” as your mapping, check Speed and Power settings are accurate under “Laser Settings”, and click Execute.
  • Do different things for different colours of shapes - Select Map by Color, and Select the type of cut/engrave per colour. Then click on each item that is coloured on the work area and check the “Laser Settings” tab to verify the settings are correct, then click Execute.

Here is a test file to use during inductions and when calibrating materials: https://wiki.leedshackspace.org.uk/w/images/8/8e/LASER_TEST_FILE.svg

Place your workpiece on the cutting tray, take the ruler device and ensure it is flat against the side bar and the surface you wish to cut. If it is not, use the up/down switch to move the bed up/down. Note that if you have to do this, the panel may lock up, at which point you have to switch the cutter off and on again and click execute again in Visicut before you can start cutting.

If you press the red button on the panel, you can get to the main menu, where you can select Run or Boundaries. Not a bad idea to use the boundaries function until you get a feel for where the origin is on the cutter.

Insert your member card and click “Run” and click again to select the only file on the cutter (the cutter only ever keeps the last file on it and deletes it on startup). You should be keeping a track of your usage at this point, time spent with your card in the slot is what is chargeable. The price per 10m is £?.

Remove your card as soon as your cut is complete. Once you have finished cutting, power off the laser, then take the dustpan and brush and clean out under the cutting area.