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

Lasersaur is an open-source laser cutter built by Staff and students at Fab Lab Limerick. With the Lasersaur, you can cut paper, card, plastics, wood and textiles quickly and accurately. Given the variety of materials, and the ease of use, Laser Cutting is a great technology to start off with.

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.

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 a 2D drafting software like Adobe Illustrator, or Inkscape. To use AutoCAD or Draftsight, you may need to convert to .SVG format.
  • 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 polylines.
  • Assign cut lines one colour and engraving lines another colour.
  • Save your drawing as a .SVG file.

Using the Lasersaur

  • Take note of the Lasersaur safety information, Emergency stop button, where Fire extinguisher is placed and where nearest exit is.
  • Turn on Laser, Extractor and UPS.
  • Open Lasersaur door, place material.
  • Focus the laser head/lens. Use the Allen key to loosen the grub screw at the side with the depth gauge between the nozzle and the material. Tighten again when in focus.
  • Close the Lasersaur door.
  • Go to http://192.168.1.253 (Lasersaur’s IP address) in your browser. (Chrome, Firefox supported).
  • Import your .SVG file. For each colour in your file, assign a Feedrate(F): 0-8000 mm/min and a Power(P, %) setting. For example, 3.2mm MDF can be engraved with 1200(F) and 40%(P); and cut with 300(F) and 100%(P).
  • 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

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Intro

The Trotec Speedy400 is a large, fast laser cutter that has the ability to do incredible detail. It will accept both vector and raster graphics. 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.

Cost

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

Technical Data

Bed Size 1000mm x 610mm
Power 80 Watt

Lasercutting

  • Take note of the laser cutter safety information, emergency stop button, the closest fire extinguishers and exit procedure.
  • Transfer your file using a memory stick.
  • Open the file in Adobe Illustrator, or Inkscape. (If you are using a newer version of Illustrator, your file may include hidden clipping masks when you open it, which you will need to remove)
  • Ensure the drawing is set up as follows:
    • Vector Cut Lines: RGB Magenta (255r,0g,255b or #ff00ff)
    • Vector Engrave Lines: RGB Magenta (255r,0g,0b or #ff0000)
    • Engrave: JPEG or Black Fill. (0r,0g,0b or #000000)
  • To send drawing to the Laser Cutter click ‘File’, then ‘Print’. This will open up a printing dialog box. Click ‘Setup’, then ‘Preferences’.
  • ‘Minimize to Jobsize’ - if enabled, will send only the drawing, not the entire page.
  • Pick your required material from the two dropdown boxes.
  • Select ‘Process mode’. By default, this is set to Standard.
  • Select ‘Resolution’. By default, 333 dpi.
  • Click JC to accept your changes, then print, then print again.
  • The JC (JobControl software) icon will flash as soon as the job is ready. Click on it to open it.
  • Connect to the machine if necessary (USB symbol on the right-hand side)
  • Place the job (drag from the job list at the right-hand side)
  • Click “Ready” to start the Laser.

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