Laser cutting

The laser cutters have a working area of 1200x900 mm. You may cut up to 6mm thick materials - over 6mm we prefer you use the CNC. Plexiglass/acrylic, plywood, HDF, MDF, wood, cardboard, cloth can be cut. You must ask a Technology Guru before cutting any plastic you are not 100% sure is plexiglass/acrylic - some give off poisonous fumes or damage the machine.

Watch the video:

And make sure to watch the safety video as well:

The workflow for laser cutting is in three steps.

  • Draw a model in CorelDraw (or Inkscape, AutoCAD etc.), and
  • Export the model to a PLT (or DXF) file.
  • Import to LaserCut software and Cut.

Below is a step by step guide describing the two last steps. How to get from an existing Vector file to a finished cut out model.

Setp 1: Export the model to a PLT file

Open your model from the menu: file -> åben (open)

It should look something like this:

Mark each shape in the model individually, and right click with the mouse on a color from the left column in the color menu, to give each shape individual colors. This will allow cutting out the different shapes in the prefered order.

It should look something like this:

Next step is to export the model. This is done by choosing export in the file menu. file -> export:

Now choose a name and a location for the file, and make sure the file type is PLT. Then press Export:

Step 2: Import to LaserCut software and Cut.

Open the software LaserCut from the desktop shortcut. Now choose import from: File -> Import

Choose the prepared file, and click åbn (open).

This box appears. Click ok if the number in this box is 1016, else correct and click ok.

Now you need to set speed and power for each shape in the model. This is done by double clicking the colors in the right corner, matching the colors you choose in CorelDraw.

Look up the right values for your chosen material , and wished cutting depth, on the table next to the screen (or Download here. Enter it in the two boxes (Speed, Power), and press ok.

When all shapes are done press DownLoad from the puttens to the right.

Click Download current. This will download the file to the Laser Cutter.

Make sure the target material is positioned right, and navigate the laser cutters laser head move to the lower right corner of where you wish the cut on the material. This is done using the control buttons for the X, Y axis in the LaserCut software.

When the wished X, Y position is achieved set the Z (height) position, using the Z control button.

Use the measure tool, to find the right height. The tool edge should meet the lower round edge, like on the picture.

When that is done press the test button on the Laser Cutters controls. This makes the laser head run a square around where the subject will be cut. This is a way of checking if the cut is placed over the wished area of the target material.

If everything is ok. Close the lid, check the ventilation is sucking air through and start the cut by pressing start/pause. Remember you can pause the cutting by pressing the same button again. Do not open the lid while the machine is cutting - it will turn off the laser but continue moving. Press pause first.

IMPORTANT:

Do not leave the laser cutter while the machine is cutting, due to fire danger. You can make agreements with other users to keep an eye on each others' cutting jobs, but leaving the laser unattended is dangerous and will result in immedeate expulsion.

Keep fumes in the room to a minimum - do not open the lid immedeately the cutting is finished, open it 2 cm and give the ventilation 10 seconds to suck the smoke out, and then open the lid slowly.

Throw away leftovers in the containers outside the basement door, as specified on signs. Leave only useful leftovers on the shelves. Do not leave materials anywhere else.