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tool:laser_cutter:operation_manual [2013/11/22 21:04]
jarrett
tool:laser_cutter:operation_manual [2014/07/26 19:42] (current)
jarrett
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 ==== BACKGROUND INFORMATION ==== ==== BACKGROUND INFORMATION ====
  
-The laser cutter is a RedSail model CM1080; it has a bed area of 100cm x 80cm (1000mm x 800mm, approx 3.2ft x 2.6ft, 39&​quot; ​x 31") and uses a 80W CO2 laser tube. It is capable of both cutting (with vector shapes) and engraving (with raster images), both of which may be used together in a single job.+The laser cutter is a RedSail model CM1080; it has a bed area of 100cm x 80cm (1000mm x 800mm, approx 3.2ft x 2.6ft, 39" ​x 31") and uses a 80W CO2 laser tube. It is capable of both cutting (with vector shapes) and engraving (with raster images), both of which may be used together in a single job.
  
 The Laser Cutter Committee oversees its usage and ensures correct maintenance. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact a member of the LCC. The Laser Cutter Committee oversees its usage and ensures correct maintenance. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact a member of the LCC.
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 ==== SAFETY WARNING ==== ==== SAFETY WARNING ====
  
-The laser cutter is a piece of industrial machinery. The laser cutter is not a printer, it is not an appliance, and it is not a peripheral. It must be treated as such; a potentially very dangerous device. You must remain in within 1m of the Emergency Stop button at all times. It must never be left unattended, even for a minute. Fires in laser cutters are very common, ​and given that we are in an old wooden building, any fire could quickly engulf the entire building, and the operator must be ready at all times to extinguish a fire as soon as it occurs.+The laser cutter is a piece of industrial machinery. The laser cutter is not a printer, it is not an appliance, and it is not a peripheral. It must be treated as such; a potentially very dangerous device. You must remain in within 1m of the Emergency Stop button at all times. It must never be left unattended, even for a minute. Fires in laser cutters are very common, the operator must be ready at all times to extinguish a fire as soon as it occurs.
  
 From Adafruit: From Adafruit:
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 To make matters worse, CO2 lasers emit completely invisible IR (infrared) laser beams at 10,640nm. There is no way to know where the beam itself nor any reflections are going. The only thing you can do is completely avoid any possibility that the laser energy will leave the laser cutter. To make matters worse, CO2 lasers emit completely invisible IR (infrared) laser beams at 10,640nm. There is no way to know where the beam itself nor any reflections are going. The only thing you can do is completely avoid any possibility that the laser energy will leave the laser cutter.
  
-At 80W, it will instantly vaporize the cornea, lens, and/or retina of your eye. You will instantly and permanently lose your eyesight - and while it scars over it will be complete agony. It will boil your eyeball. According to Wikipedia, ​"A pop or click noise emanating from the eyeball may be the only indication that retinal damage has occurred i.e. the retina was heated to over 100°C resulting in localized explosive boiling". Even indirect exposure to the laser beam (or a scattered part of it) can result in blindness.+At 80W, it will instantly vaporize the cornea, lens, and/or retina of your eye. You will instantly and permanently lose your eyesight - and while it scars over it will be complete agony. It will boil your eyeball. According to Wikipedia, ​"A pop or click noise emanating from the eyeball may be the only indication that retinal damage has occurred i.e. the retina was heated to over 100°C resulting in localized explosive boiling". Even indirect exposure to the laser beam (or a scattered part of it) can result in blindness.
  
 To reiterate, this laser cutter is 160 times as powerful as the maximum safety-class that is worth differentiating between; well and truly into the realm of lethality if mistreated. To reiterate, this laser cutter is 160 times as powerful as the maximum safety-class that is worth differentiating between; well and truly into the realm of lethality if mistreated.
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 === For ENGRAVING: === === For ENGRAVING: ===
  
-EasyCut takes BMP/JPG/PNG images. They must be 1-bit (black & white dithered, ​not greyscale), and will need to be scaled appropriately when imported into EasyCut.+EasyCut takes BMP/JPG/PNG images. They must be 1-bit (Black White dithered, ​NOT greyscale), and will need to be scaled appropriately when imported into EasyCut.
  
 === General Usage === === General Usage ===
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 Corel Draw is a good choice for creating files for use on the laser cutter, or converting existing files into formats that can be used, due to its wide variety of import and export formats. Adobe Illustrator may also be used, but it has limited capability for exporting to the older versions of file formats that EasyCut requires. Corel Draw is a good choice for creating files for use on the laser cutter, or converting existing files into formats that can be used, due to its wide variety of import and export formats. Adobe Illustrator may also be used, but it has limited capability for exporting to the older versions of file formats that EasyCut requires.
  
-The most time-consuming,​ challenging,​ and thus error-prone step of preparing a file for the laser cutter is setting up the order and settings for the various parts of the job. In EasyCut these are controlled on a per-layer basis, where an unique colour is considered to be a layer (i.e. all parts that are red have the same settings and are cut together, and all parts that are blue may have different settings and also are cut together). The order is specified by the order the layers appear in a list (the top layer will cut first), and may be re-arranged as required. Generally when you're setting up a job, you will want to cut the smaller and more intricate/​interior parts first, progressively working up to the larger cuts, and ending with the outline of the work. You will quickly get a grasp on what this means and how to do identify what parts of a given job must be cut when.+The most time-consuming,​ challenging,​ and thus error-prone step of preparing a file for the laser cutter is setting up the order and settings for the various parts of the job. In EasyCut these are controlled on a per-layer basis, where an unique colour is considered to be a layer (i.e. all parts that are red have the same settings and are cut together, and all parts that are blue may have different settings and also are cut together). The order is specified by the order the layers appear in a list (the top layer will cut first), and may be re-arranged as required. Generally when you're setting up a job, you will want to cut the smaller and more intricate/​interior parts first, progressively working up to the larger cuts, and ending with the outline of the work. You will quickly get a grasp on what this means and how to identify what parts of a given job must be cut first and in which order to set the layers.
  
   * Use different colours to indicate different layers. Layers are automatically added and removed as colours are selected.   * Use different colours to indicate different layers. Layers are automatically added and removed as colours are selected.
-  * Set the layer order in EasyCut to go from small -&​gt; ​large details, ending with the outline cut (if any).+  * Set the layer order in EasyCut to go from small details to large details, ending with the outline cut (if any).
   * Do not remove the protective film/paper from acrylic before cutting or etching, as the smoke will ruin the finish.   * Do not remove the protective film/paper from acrylic before cutting or etching, as the smoke will ruin the finish.
  
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 === Getting Started === === Getting Started ===
  
-Some experimentation will be required to get the desired results. Refer to the [[laser_cutter_settings|materials ​and settings chart]] for reasonable starting points.+Some experimentation will be required to get the desired results. Refer to the [[tool:​laser_cutter:​settings|Materials ​and Settings Chart]] for reasonable starting points
 + 
 +Generally, we don't run the laser higher than 80% power. This causes excess wear on our laser tube, which costs about $1000 ($500 plus shipping) to replace.
  
 Always bring extra scrap material with you that has identical properties (type, thickness, colour, etc) to what you want to finally lase. Use this scrap to test and verify that the laser cutter, your material, and your designs setup are behaving as you expect. Always bring extra scrap material with you that has identical properties (type, thickness, colour, etc) to what you want to finally lase. Use this scrap to test and verify that the laser cutter, your material, and your designs setup are behaving as you expect.
  
 +  * Turn on the switch located in the back-right corner of the desk.  This will turn on the light in the laser room, and will also turn on the exhaust fan.
   * Check for instructions posted on or around the laser cutter, such as notices of troubles or out-of-service signs.   * Check for instructions posted on or around the laser cutter, such as notices of troubles or out-of-service signs.
   * Make sure that the Emergency Stop button is not activated. If so, twist it gently to de-activate it.   * Make sure that the Emergency Stop button is not activated. If so, twist it gently to de-activate it.
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   * Clear the top, bed, and catchment tray of material.   * Clear the top, bed, and catchment tray of material.
   * Close the lid.   * Close the lid.
-  * Turn the power switch of the transformer box, located in the bottom-right of the laser cutter cabinet, to On. The water cooler should beep as it starts, the air-assist pump will start, and the exhaust fan will also start. +  * Turn the power switch of the transformer box, located in the bottom-right of the laser cutter cabinet, to On. The water cooler should beep as it starts, the air-assist pump will also start. 
-  * Wait at least 5 minutes after power-on as the water cooler must get the water chilled and evacuate all air bubbles from the laser tube (**this is critical**).+  * **IMPORTANT**:​ //Wait at least 5 minutes after "power-on", ​as the water cooler must get the water chilled and evacuate all air bubbles from the laser tube **this is critical**.//
   * Put on the laser-rated safety goggles.   * Put on the laser-rated safety goggles.
   * Turn the main power key on the top-right of the laser cutter clockwise to turn the laser cutter on.   * Turn the main power key on the top-right of the laser cutter clockwise to turn the laser cutter on.
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   * **Do not** touch the mirrors or lens of the laser cutter. If they are dirty, please discontinue use of the laser cutter immediately and let the Laser Cutter Committee know. Using the laser cutter with dirty mirrors or lenses could bake the dirt onto the glass and they will then need replacing!   * **Do not** touch the mirrors or lens of the laser cutter. If they are dirty, please discontinue use of the laser cutter immediately and let the Laser Cutter Committee know. Using the laser cutter with dirty mirrors or lenses could bake the dirt onto the glass and they will then need replacing!
   * Close the lid.   * Close the lid.
-  * In EasyCut:+  * In EasyCut: ​(this information is out of date, and will be updated shortly)
     * Click the Calculate button in the top-right corner.     * Click the Calculate button in the top-right corner.
     * Click Download in the bottom-right corner. The Stand-alone file manager window will appear.     * Click Download in the bottom-right corner. The Stand-alone file manager window will appear.
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   * Turn the main power of the laser cutter off by turning the key on the top-right of the laser cutter counter-clockwise.   * Turn the main power of the laser cutter off by turning the key on the top-right of the laser cutter counter-clockwise.
   * Do not use the Emergency Stop button to power-off the laser cutter. It is for emergencies,​ and using it as a regular power button will only confuse the next operator as it will appear that there was a catastrophic event prior!   * Do not use the Emergency Stop button to power-off the laser cutter. It is for emergencies,​ and using it as a regular power button will only confuse the next operator as it will appear that there was a catastrophic event prior!
-  * Leave the transformer box (and thus water cooler, ventilation fan, etc.) on for at least 5 minutes to cool the laser tube down (this is critical for the lifespan of the laser tube, which is very expensive) and vent any remaining fumes. 
   * Clear the laser cutter'​s top, bed, and catchment tray of any material.   * Clear the laser cutter'​s top, bed, and catchment tray of any material.
-  * Turn the power switch on the transformer box in the bottom-right of the laser cutter'​s cabinet to Off after at least 5 minutes have past.+  * **IMPORTANT** //Leave the transformer box (and thus water cooler, ventilation fan, etc.) on for at least 5 minutes to vent any remaining fumes and most importantly to cool the laser tube down. This is critical for the lifespan of the laser tube, which is very expensive.//​ 
 +  * (//after at least 5 minutes have past//)Turn the power switch on the transformer box in the bottom-right of the laser cutter'​s cabinet to Off
   * Turn off the light at the back of the laser cutter room if it is on.   * Turn off the light at the back of the laser cutter room if it is on.
   * Replace the laser safety goggles.   * Replace the laser safety goggles.
-  * When leaving make sure that you lock the door behind you. The laser cutter is the first thing that everyone entering from the back alley sees, and we do get break-in attempts. 
  
 === Dealing with Flare-ups === === Dealing with Flare-ups ===
tool/laser_cutter/operation_manual.txt · Last modified: 2014/07/26 19:42 by jarrett