How to use the Laser cutter in the LFL:

Also refer to EpilogSpeedsAndFeeds for material cutting parameters, and AddingOffsetForKerf to modify a dxf file so it will take into account the width of the laser. See MakingMasks on how to use the Laser cutter to make solder paste masks.

First turn on and set up the LaserCamm:

  1. Plug in blower fan in fume hood into the outlet just outside the fume hood
  2. Turn on compressed air valve on side of fume hood to start feeding air to cut path.
  3. Turn on LaserCamm by flipping the switch located on the side next to the fume hood, about 1 foot down
  4. Reset the home position to make sure it is not set somewhere weird. Do this by the following, or look at p.132 in the manual:
    1. Push both "Reset" and "Set Home" at the same time. It will ask you if you want to reset the home position.
    2. Hit Go to say yes you do. At this point it will move around a little and adjust itself.
  5. The LaserCamm starts cutting in the top left corner of the bed.

On the computer:

  1. Make a DXF file somehow, or you can actually just make any file that can be read by CorelDraw
  2. On computer in LFL, login as labuser. You can access Yoda. Open your part in CorelDraw.
  3. Make sure all line widths are 0 == "Hairline" in the pulldown menu next to the pen icon in CorelDraw, otherwise it will cut multiple times per line.
  4. Change the paper size to 24" Horizontal x 18" Vertical -- you have to set the paper size to "Custom"
  5. "Print" the file, select the "Epilog Laser" printer.
  6. It will give you an error about the page size, don't worry about this quite yet.
  7. Hit Properties of the Epilog Laser printer.
  8. Change the paper size to 24" x 18"
  9. To set the laser frequency, speed, and power, go to "Advanced" tab -> "Browse" -> "My Documents" -> "Epilog" (note that it normally starts in a subfolder of this, so you just need to go up one folder)
  10. Click on the preset you want, click "Load".
  11. Click on the "General" tab to get back to the main properties page.
  12. Back on the main Properties page, click the "Autofocus" check box.
  13. Make sure it has "Vector Sorting" == "Optimize"
  14. Any other settings, etc.: see p.196 in the manual. It is a 45 Watt laser. You can also refer to EpilogSpeedsAndFeeds for other material cutting parameters.
  15. Double-check the settings after you hit OK by hitting the Properties button again. Note that sometimes it changes the paper size back to 12" vertical for some reason.
  16. Click Print
  17. On the LaserCamm, hit "Go".

After you have finished cutting, to turn everything off:

  1. Close CorelDraw on the computer
  2. Turn off monitor
  3. Unplug blower in fume hood
  4. Turn off LaserCamm switch

Other useful things:

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