Laser room computer is not a work station have your files ready to cut/etch. No outside Internet access is available
All files must be vetted first by a technologist after submitting them via this website: http://mactech.sheridanc.on.ca/fabrication/submit/
An appointment must be scheduled on the Laser and 3D Print Booking page on the mactech.sheridanc.on.ca site.
Ensure the correct material is set within Job Control X with the appropriate power and speed settings.
Manually overriding the speed and power settings from defaults adds increased risk of fire, lens damage and fumes escaping the exhaust vacuum. Only override settings with the approval/assistance of a technologist.
If using the unit in pass-through mode the unit is a Class 4 laser and all occupants of the room must wear the provided approved eye protection.
Open your Adobe Illustrator file
Open AI laser template (this one)
Copy and paste all lines you want from your AI file to the AI laser template file
Change lines weights to .01 pt for cutting and etching and 1 pt for engraving
Change the line color to the appropriate color. If the specified colors are not selected when you go into the laser cutter software it will not recognize your lines.
Red is for cutting.
It must be pure red with Red set to 255, Blue and Green set to 0.
Blue is for a lower power cut.
It must be pure blue with Blue set to 255, Red and Green set to 0.
Black is for a deeper etching (engraving).
It must be pure black with Red set to 0, Blue set to 0 and Green set to 0.
Print the AI file to the Trotec printer, Job Control X will launch.
Open lid of laser cutter.
Place material on cutter bed. If using a thin wood, leather or plastic use double stick tape to secure material to the cutter bed or substrate material. Be aware that using a substrate material can sometimes excessively burn the backside of your project due to heat buildup.
Focus the laser using the laser focus tool.
If material is to be cut to the edge of your material, place outer edges of material 1in in from edge of cutter bed in both X and Y axis (or use one of the placement jigs)
Watch laser while it is cutting. You must be present while laser is cutting. Failure to do so may result in loss of your laser cutter privileges.
Laser operation can be paused (pause button) or restarted as needed (resume).
If material starts to lifts from bed and is in danger of hitting the cutter head hit E-stop and contact the technologist immediately
If material catches fire hit E-stop, turn off exhaust system, contact shop staff immediately.
If cutter bed gets heavy with smoke hit the pause button in UCP (Located next to the play button you pressed) continue cut after smoke has cleared repeat as necessary.
Wait for smoke to clear then remove your parts from the bed as well as all scrap left behind.
CLEAN UP YOUR MESS. Failure to do so may result in loss of your laser cutter privileges
Vector and Raster engraving- These terms apply to how the laser will cut your drawing, understanding them is very important in achieving the results you desire. Vector cutting/engraving means that the laser will follow each line from beginning to end. This method of cutting is advantageous when you are cutting out parts because it produces a smooth clean cut at a fast speed.
Raster engraving means that the laser will move back and forth firing 1 dot at every pixel in your drawing. This method should not be used to cut out parts but is the only way to engrave solid areas, text and intricate patterns and textures.
The printer driver distinguishes between raster objects (raster engraving) and vector objects (vector cutting and marking) by the types of elements contained in the graphic being printed. All graphics, other than outlines of very thin line widths will be interpreted as raster objects and the raster mode will be used for laser processing. Not all software is capable of printing vector output. If you want to create jobs for vector cutting, make sure your graphic software of choice allows creation of vector lines and that the line width can be 0.001” (0.0254 mm) or less. The printer driver will interpret these objects as vectors.
Focus Lens- This is the lens that focuses the laser beam onto the material you are cutting. It is important that this lens is focused correctly to achieve accurate cuts and reduce the risk of damage to the machine. It is also important to keep this lens clean because a dirty lens will retain more heat and eventually melt and crack (Replacement lenses are upwards of $350 each)
Preset Material Database
Each material has a basic preset as a starting point which can be further adjusted as required to control the desired end product. A list of the acceptable materials can be found here.