Laser Cutter/Cutting

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Overview

When lasering / cutting the main thing to be aware of is overheating

  • The laser cutter has a inbuilt water pump / cooler which needs to be running
  • There's also an extractor pump on the window sill for getting rid of the fumes

Warnings

WARNING
The water pump must be running before cutting

Otherwise you may cause damage to the Laser Cutter

After Cutting make sure to leave the cutter on for at least 5 mins

to allow the water pump to cool.
Otherwise you may cause damage to the Laser Cutter

Informational
It is preferred to watch over the cutter as it's cutting.

Rule 0 - don't be on fire

Failure

In the event something goes wrong

  • Mail the mailing list / Bob with the problem
  • Put the out of order sign on the top of the cutter
  • Let the cutter cool down for 5 mins before turning off
  • Put a paper bag over your head and hope the problem goes away

In the event of fire / emergency

  • Keep the lid closed to make sure more air doesn't get in
  • Turn the laser off using the red “Laser Switch” button
  • Turning the machine off completely may be one option in an emergency but it may damage the laser head if it doesn't have time to cool down
  • Shout Oh Shit / Help

Control Panel

TODO

  • what do the other buttons do?
  • Attach an image of the LCD / Button Layout

Making the Cut

Initial Startup

  • First place some money in the pot for using the cutter
  • Next Switch on at the mains socket
  • Place the extractor pipe outside the window and make sure the extractor fan is running

At this point the laser cutter will be off, but the extractor fan should kick in, if it doesn't for any reason then avoid using the cutter

  • Switch on the Laser Cutter
  • The white LED illumination should switch on to light up the cutting area
  • Make sure the water pump is running (loud noise)

If for any reason the water pump is not heard, then don't use the cutter
This one is really important and you will hear it kick in if it's working correctly

Positioning the part

  • Make sure the red press in button is out, it should be labelled Laser Switch, this will prevent the laser from activating
  • Pull the bed forwards and to the left. It should be resting against the black stepper motor at the right hand side
  • There should be a small corner piece at the bottom left corner to keep the part at least 5mm spaced away from the side of the cutter, make sure this is in place
  • Place the part into the cutter
  • When cutting try to leave the cover on both sides of the material, or if only one side the bottom (not the top)

Test the Laser positioning

Next we're going to do a test to make sure the laser cutter is working on the area we think it's going to

  • Click Execute in Visicut
  • Wait for the small LCD on the Cutter it to say Received File
  • Press the center button on the breakout board to start the cut
  • Once your happy with the positioning, turn the cutter off / on again to reset

Do the cut

At this stage you should now be ready to do the cut for real

  • Press in the red button for Laser Switch
  • Click Execute in Visicut
  • Wait for the small LCD on the Cutter it to say Received File
  • Press the center button on the breakout board to start the cut

Shutdown

  • After making any kind of cut, make sure to run the cutter for at least 5mins to allow the water pump to cool down the cutter, otherwise bad things may happen
  • Make sure the Red Laser Switch is out to make sure the laser head is off
  • After switching off the cutter bring the extractor pipe back in and turn off at the mains