S13_GD10_Laser Cutting

S13_GD10_Laser Cutting
THINK
DESIGN
MAKE.
v1.0
USING THE LASER CUTTER
This is the first of several guides to Digital
Fabrication processes that Studio 13
intends to make available to students of
the UCD School of Architecture.
This guide aims to clarify the laser cutting
process and introduce Studio 13’s new
streamlined system so that all students
can make best use of it.
GUIDES
00
THINK
DESIGN
MAKE.
BEFORE YOU BEGIN
Google Drive
VECTORS / RASTERS
The basics of Laser Cutting and Engraving
MATERIAL SETTINGS
Common settings for Cutting and Engraving
SCREEN TO PRINT
A Step-by-Step Guide through the full process
MACHINE CHECKLIST
The Dos and Don’ts of using the Laser Cutter
MACHINE SETUP
How to set up the Laser Cutter before use
MACHINE CLEANING
How to clean the Laser Cutter after use
GUIDES
To be added to our shared folder please send an
email to studio13@ucd.ie from your UCD Connect address with the subject Add Me! and your
Name and Student Number in the body. You will
receive an email invitation.
02
03
04
11
12
13
01
VECTORS
AND
RASTERS
101
VECTOR VS RASTER
There's two different cutting techniques
you can employ when using a laser cutter:
Raster
Raster engraving is quite akin to a normal printer. Printers print
on a page from top to bottom, while printing from left to right.
They don't start printing in the bottom right corner, then the
top left and continue on to the middle of the page. Raster cutting works in the same manner. When you hit print, the laser
cutter will start at the top of the piece you're working on, and
proceed down to the bottom, while the laser moves from left to
right on whatever you're engraving. The laser turns on and off
in rapid succession at whatever points a normal printer would
and wouldn't shoot out ink.
Vector
Vector cutting is a little different if you've never experienced it
before. It will start at a point on your image, leave the laser on
and continue on the line, tracing the entire image before turning
the laser off. This is why it tends to be used for cutting instead
of etching. You should make the outline of whatever you're cutting 0.025mm so the laser has a clean line to trace. Vector lines
can also be used to engrave provided the laser is set to an appropriate power. This can be useful for engraving brick or
ground surface hatches.
RASTER tends to be used
for engraving things.
VECTOR is much more adept
at cutting things out.
See the settings chart for recommended
configurations for common materials.
02
SPEED
POWER
FREQUENCY
SPF
MATERIAL SETTINGS
Every material cuts slightly differently.
Here are some common settings.
VECTOR
CUTTING
RASTER
ENGRAVING
S
P
F
S
P
Brown Card
40
50
500
100
40
02 Ivory Board
40
30
500
75
45
03 Grey Card 1mm
35
75
450
75
50
04 Grey Card 2mm
08
70
450
75
50
05 Mounting Board
30
55
500
75
50
06 Ply Wood 1.5mm
30
80
500
40
100
07 Ply Wood 3mm
30
100
500
40
100
01
More material information to come!
03
FROM
SCREEN
TO PRINT
00
INTRODUCTION
This document aims to
give a clear step-by-step
guide to using the Epilog
Mini Laser Cutter from
file creation to cutting.
Illustrator
Vectorworks
AutoCAD
Revit
Software and Files
Only PDF files can be
used with the system.
All drawing software
can produce compatible
PDFs files but
Adobe Illustrator is
recommended.
Sending Files to Print
Files are transferred
to the Studio 13 system
via a dedicated Google
Drive that all students
of the UCD School of
Architecture may access.
USB transfer is not
supported.
Using the Laser Cutter
A Hub Computer has
been set up specifically
for the Laser Cutter.
Personal laptops are
not supported.
Read on to find out more!
PDF
Google Drive
EP
ILO
G
04
01
ARTBOARD SETUP
In Adobe Illustrator or
another vector drawing
application of your choice,
set up an artboard to
match the dimensions
of the material you wish
to use. The Epilog Mini
can take pieces up to a
maximum of 610 x 305mm.
ARTBOARD
610 x 305mm
02
ARTBOARD LAYOUT
Lay the pieces you wish
to cut out within the area
of your artboard in a
logical manner. Try to
make the best use of
the full sheet by fitting
as many cuts as possible
with minimum material
waste. Lines to be cut
should be set to a weight
of 0.01pt or 0.025mm
and coloured black.
LINEWEIGHTS 0.01pt / 0.025mm
03
RASTERIZING
You may wish to raster
engrave some elements
such as text ar graphics.
To do so, select those
parts of the artwork then
click Object > Rasterize
and choose RGB color
mode and a resolution
of 600dpi. Save the
entire artboard (vector
and raster elements) as
a single PDF to send to print.
05
04
COLOUR MAPPING
Alternatively you may
wish to engrave vector
elements. It is possible to
set the laser cutter to
engrave certain lines and
to cut others by mapping
different Speed, Power
& Frequency settings to
specific coloured lines.
In Illustrator select the
Basic RGB color swatch.
You may use black and the
first six colours on this
swatch to colour your
linework. Other software
can be used, provided the
RGB balance is set to the
exact amounts indicated
in the chart to the right.
R
02
*
Ensure values match:
RGB COLOUR
CHART
01
G
B
RED
255 . 000 . 000
GREEN
000 . 255 . 000
BLUE
000 . 000 . 255
YELLOW
255 . 255 . 000
MAGENTA
255 . 000 . 255
CYAN
000 . 255 . 255
Choose appropriate:
RGB COLOUR
(Match with file)
LASER SETTINGS
In the Epilog Properties
(see next page for details)
go to the Color Mapping
tab and adjust the settings.
03
Set your desired:
SPEED, POWER
& FREQUENCY
06
05
SAVING YOUR FILE
Save your artwork as a
PDF. In the Save Dialogue
window please select
PDF/X-4:2008.
All options should be
deselected. This will create
smaller file sizes which will
make the file upload and
print process faster.
PRINT
DATE
*
FILE NAMES
FILE
TYPE
12345678_ddmm_xxxxx.pdf
When naming your file
please use the following
naming system:
STUDENT
NUMBER
FILE
NAME
eg.
1368871_2309_Sheet01.pdf
07
06
student@ucdconnect.ie
JOINING THE DRIVE
To be added to our shared
folder please send an
email to studio13@ucd.ie
with the subject Add Me!
You will receive an email
invitation. The invite will
link you to the dialogue
to the right:
Go to your own:
UCD Connect
GOOGLE DRIVE
07
01
drive.google.com/my-drive
FILE UPLOAD
Once you have been added
to the Studio 13 File Drop
folder it will appear in your
UCD Connect Google Drive.
Find the current day’s folder
within Laser Cutter Jobs
and drop your file inside.
The file will now be available
to access from Studio 13’s
Hub Computer in the Digital
Fabrication Room.
02
03
04
PDF
1368871_2309_Sheet01.pdf
08
To access laser settings click:
PROPERTIES
08
01
PDF PRINT
SETTINGS
Open Google Drive on the
Studio 13 Hub Computer.
Find your file and open it.
It will launch in Acrobat
Reader. Click File > Print
and you will see the
following windows.
To retain
scale select:
ACTUAL SIZE
ARTWORK
PREVIEW
To retain
orientation:
AUTO
Set job type:
RASTER
VECTOR
COMBINED
09
02
EPILOG
PROPERTIES
This window is where
you configure laser cutter
settings. The settings will
vary from job to job. For
a guide to cutting some of
the most common materials,
see the material settings
chart on Page 03.
Set piece size:
Horizontal 24.00
Vertical 12.00
03
When you are done click OK.
Click Print in the first window.
Your job is now sent.
09
02
10
GO
Press:
GO
01
STOP
CONTROL
PANEL
UP
POINTER
Job: filename.pdf
You file should appear as
soon as you click Print on
the Hub Computer. Press
the GO button to begin
printing or select a job that
has been temporarily stored
on the machine by cycling
through the jobs with the
UP and DOWN buttons.
DATA
RESET SPEED POWER
SET
HOME
X/Y
OFF
JOB
FOCUS DOWN
View stored jobs:
UP & DOWN
02
11
GO
FOCUS
MODE
Adjust focus by changing
cutting bed height with:
UP & DOWN
STOP
UP
POINTER
Focus Mode
Always check that the
optics are focused. The
underside of the optics
carriage should be 50mm
from the cutting bed.
Adjust using the Focus
Mode and the attached
spacer piece.
12
Your file should appear here:
Job: filename.pdf
DATA
RESET SPEED POWER
SET
HOME
X/Y
OFF
JOB
01
FOCUS DOWN
Select:
FOCUS
WASTE
FINISHING
CUTTING
Congatulations! Once the
machine fully finishes,
your print is complete.
Take care as you remove
your material as your cut
pieces will now be loose.
Please clean the machine
after every use.
PIECES
See cleaning procedure on page 14.
10
MACHINE
CHECK
LIST.
NB
BEFORE
01
Make sure the extractor is turned on
02
Manually set the focus to 50mm
DURING
03
Never cut or engrave MDF
04
Never leave the machine unattended
AFTER
05
Clean bed and tray after every use
06
Turn off the machine fully
Thanks!
11
MACHINE
SETUP
01
610MAT
x30 ER
5m IAL
m
03
01
*Laser will NOT
cut if glass top
hatch is OPEN
02
START/STOP
GO
FOCUSING
STOP
UP
POINTER
Focus Mode
DATA
RESET SPEED POWER
SET
HOME
X/Y
OFF
JOB
FOCUS DOWN
12
MACHINE
SETUP
02
01
POWER ON
Switch is on left side of machine.
Ensure extractor is turned on.
OF
F
ON
02
SET FOCUS
Set at 50mm from bottom
of optics carriage to cutting bed.
UP
To adjust the focus:
Press FOCUS button
PLACE MATERIAL
IG
N
Cut material to 610x305mm (max).
Align top left corner against rulers.
AL
03
FOCUS DOWN
50mm
Use UP and DOWN
buttons to adjust height
of cutting bed
MATERIAL
13
CLEANING
PROCEDURE
CU
TT
ING
02
BE
D
01
TR
AY
HA
TC
H
03
04
01
LIFT RULERS
02
REMOVE BED
Take care not to touch optics
Shake over bin to clean
03
VACUUM TRAY
04
OPEN HATCH
Remove debris and offcuts
Clear out any fallen material
14
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