Lasercutter

Laser cutting is a technology that uses a laser to cut materials, and is typically used for industrial manufacturing applications, but is also starting to be used by schools, small businesses, and hobbyists. Laser cutting works by directing the output of a high-power laser most commonly through optics. The laser optics and CNC (computer numerical control) are used to direct the material or the laser beam generated.

Lasersaur

Intro

Staff and students @ Fab Lab Limerick have worked together to build their very own Laser Cutter. ‘Lasersaur’ is an open-source laser cutter with the ability to cut paper, card, plastics, wood and textiles at a high velocity and accuracy.

It has a bed size of 1220mm x 610mm with the power of a 100 Watt laser output that gives it the ability to cut and engrave large sheets of material.

Lasercutting is the easiest form of digital fabrication we have to offer so it is a great machine to start off with.

Useful Links for Lasercutting:Thingiverse,pinterest,make magazineand instructables.

Cost

Individual Cost/hour
SAUL Student €0
Student €18
Non Profit €24
Commercial €36

Technical Data

Bed Size 1220mm x 610mm
Power 100 Watt

Materials

The lasersaur is capable of cutting many materials. Our library of materials contains a list of cutting settings for materials we have cut. We are happy to test cutting new materials as long as they are safe to cut! The Lasersaur cannot cut Metals, PVC or Polycarbonate.

Preparing Drawings

  • Open any 2D drafting software like Autocad or Draftsight (freeware).
  • Draw your bed dimensions (1220mm x 610mm). Draw your required design/shape to be cut/engraved. It is good practice to make all lines continuous polly-lines.
  • Put cut lines on one layer and engraving lines on another layer. Make each layer a different colour.
  • Save your CAD file (you may need to save file as an old version so your svg software can read it).
  • Open your CAD file in a software that can produce a.svg filefiles, eg. Adobe Illustrator or Inkscape (opensource).
  • Save your drawing as a .svg file.

Lasercutting!

  • Open Lasersaur door, place material and then close door again.
  • Take note of Lasersaur safety, Emergency stop button, where Fire extinguisher is placed and where nearest exit is.
  • Connect your laptop to the Lasersaur via ethernet cable. Turn on Laser, Extractor and Cooler.
  • Open your Web browser (chrome is best). Type 192.168.1.253 (Laser IP address) into your address bar. Lasersaur App should appear in browser. (It can take up to 60s for laptop to connect to Lasersaur).
  • Import your svg file. Pick layers you would like to cut and assign specific power to those layers (data availabe in material chart above).
  • Home Lasersaur and press play to cut.
  • Do not open Lasersaur without first stopping the cut process.
  • When cutting is complete, remove your design and enjoy assembling it!

Trotec Speedy 400

Book Here

Intro

Our Trotec Speedy 400 is a large, fast laser cutter that has the ability to do incredible detail. It will accept both vector and raster graphices. A range of materials can be cut or engraved including paper, card, plastics, wood, rubber, glass and textiles. The Trotec cannot cut Metals, PVC or Polycarbonate.

The Trotec is a commercial grade laser cutter with a bed size of 1000mm x 610mm. It has the power of an 80 Watt laser that gives it the ability to cut and engrave large sheets of material.

Cost

Individual Cost/hour
SAUL Student €0
Student €25
Non Profit €37
Commercial €50

Technical Data

Bed Size 1000mm x 610mm
Power 80 Watt

Preparing Drawings

Files are sent to the priter as if it was a printer and therefore files can be sent from a number of softwares. We have a computer set up in the Fab Lab permanently connected to the Trotec with the following softwares installed on it:

Adobe Illustrator

To use adobe illustrator to prepare the lasercutting drawings please abide the following criteria:

  • Artboard size: 1000 x 610mm
  • Document colour mode: RGB
  • Line weight: 0.001pt
  • Raster Engrave: Fill, RGB Black
  • Vector Engrave Stroke, RGB Red
  • Vector Cut Stroke, RGB Magenta

Lasercutting

  • Take note of Lasersaur safety, Emergency stop button, where Fire extinguisher is placed and where nearest exit is.
  • Switch Trotec on with the key. Switch computer on.
  • Transfer your file onto the computer using a memory stick.
  • Open the file in one of the available softwares: Adobe Illustrator,
  • To send drawing to lasercutter click ‘File’, then ‘Print’. This will open up a printing dialogue box. Pick ‘setup’ and then ‘preferences’. You will be confronted by a few options.
  • Minimize to jobsize: Ticked: only the drawing will be sent to the laser. Unticked:the entire page with be sent to laser.
  • Pick your required material.
  • Process mode:
  • Resolution:
  • Cut line:
  • Halftone:
  • To send, click JC, then print, then print again.
  • The JC (job control software) will flash. Click on it to open it.

Book Here