“Laser Cutting in 10 easy steps (and 10 hard ones)”
Laser cutter is currently operating around 25% of capacity. Before repairs are undertaken, do a small test cut first and don't trust any published settings for cutting particular materials.
More details on the technical details page.
The laser cutter is a bit of a tricky tool to master but this document will take you through the minimum steps to get something lasered. Once you’ve gotten through these basics, you’ll have a better idea as to how CamBam works and what settings you can change.
Read through this document, do the software steps, then get someone to help you with the actual Laser.
The origin of the laser (the 0,0 point) is in the “top, left” position. You need to mirror your part in the Y axis to make sense.
You can do parts up to 440mm by 280mm. Aim for less than that.
Cambam is available from http://CamBam.info
Our custom post processor for Cambam is available from https://github.com/CCHS-Melbourne/CCHS-Member-Essentials/raw/master/Laser%20Cutter/CamBam%20PostProcessor/GRBL_laser.zip and includes a readme file that explains how to install it.
This document only covers acrylic. Acrylic is a great learning material. It vaporises as it gets lasered, it doesn’t catch fire if you over cook it or send out a bunch of dangerous chemicals. Lets just stick to acrylic. Different colours will need different speeds, keep that in mind.
I’m not going to tell you which drawing tool you want to use. Pick one you’re comfortable with and find a plugin to export your file as dxf. Start with something simple. Real simple. I hear circles and squares are nice this time of year.
To get your lovely dxf into the laser, you’ll have to run a CAM tool over it. In this case, CamBam. Download it from http://CamBam.info and get started with the demo.
Here’s where the whole process gets a bit hairy…
This is where you grab the duty officer or someone with experience to help you. There’s another page that covers all the little things you need to do to make sure the laser is ready to rumble, but don't try it without help.
Once the laser is powered up, Pronterface is pretty easy.
Caught the laser cutting bug? usage_details has a lot more detail about material choice, design tools, fancy cutting settings, etc.