Difference between revisions of "Laser Cutter"

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==== Lens Damage Examples ====
==== Lens Damage Examples ====
[[File:lens_damage_examples.png|Lens Damage Examples]]
[[File:lens_damage_examples.png|720px|Lens Damage Examples]]
==== Focal Length Sensor Plunger ====
==== Focal Length Sensor Plunger ====

Revision as of 20:42, 20 January 2018



Laser Model: Rabbit Laser QX-80-1290 80W
Working area: 47.2 x 35.4 inches (1200 x 900 mm)

Parts of the Laser

X/Y carriage - Moves the laser head along the X and Y planes (left to right, toward and away.)
Honeycomb table - disperses any reflected laser energy as well as positioning the engraving material within the proper distance from the laser head.
Z axis Bed of Laser - Z axis Bed of Laser - The bed of the laser moves up and down to focus the laser. It can be lowered 10 inches under the laser focal lens.
Laser Tube Water Jacket Chiller - A pump moves chilled, distilled water through a glass tube around the laser, cooling it.
Compressed Air in - Air Assist is compressed air that blows onto the cutting point of the laser. It blows away smoke that would otherwise deposit on the mirrors


Machine Safety

  • Only use materials on the approved list! If your material is not on the list you must get approved before attempting to cut or engrave it!
  • Do not exceed the recommended power settings more than 10 units. If the laser is not cutting at those settings, it needs maintenance. Please let someone know!
  • Do not set the power setting above 85%. This extends the life of the laser tube considerably.
  • Keep the area around the machine clean and free of unnecessary clutter, combustible materials, explosives, or volatile solvents such as acetone, alcohol, or gasoline.

The smoke generated from cutting materials deposit particles of residue on the lenses and mirrors of the laser. For the laser to work at its full potential proper maintenance is necessary. This is done by trained Tinkermill members so you don’t have to.

The machine is regularly checked and maintained but if you notice a loss in power or performance you can help by alerting a qualified TinkerMill member. If the laser does not seem to be cutting at its full potential please alert a member who has been trained in laser maintenance. If none are available please submit an email to info@tinkermill.com with a description of what you observed. Do not attempt to clean the optics or service the machine without training!

Keep all the lids closed while the machine is in use, including those on the sides of the machine.

Fire Safety

Laser cutting and engraving systems represent a significant fire hazard.
The materials on the approved list most likely to flare up are paper based products such as cardboard. The most common cause of flare-ups is cutting too slowly.
Keep a properly maintained and inspected fire extinguisher on hand.

Material Selection

Our laser cutter is capable of cutting and engraving a wide range of materials. To help ensure that the laser stays in a working condition we ask that you only using materials on the approved material list. If you would like to use a material not found on the list (and it isn't on the do-not-cut list) please contact a shop captain and be prepared to provide a sample of your material.

You can help by testing your material according to the “IDENTIFICATION OF POLYMERS” booklet accompanying the laser cutter: http://www.chymist.com/Polymer%20Identification.pdf http://makezine.com/2011/09/22/identifying-unknown-plastics/

Do not cut any material that contains chloride as it is corrosive to both the machine and your body! These include PVC and vinyl.

Approved Materials

A new settings page is being created here: Laser Cutter Settings


Material Hazard
Polycarbonate Fire hazard
Lexan Fire hazard
PVC Chlorine
Cintra Chlorine
Vinyl Chlorine
ABS Plastic Fire hazard, difficult to clean up
Pleather / Faux Leather Chlorine
Epoxy Coated Fiberglass / Composites Noxious fumes from epoxy
Printed Circuit Boards Noxious fumes
Epoxy Coated Carbon Fiber Noxious fumes
HPDE / Milk Bottle Plastic Fire hazard
Any Material Containing Chlorine Chlorine


Scheduling Time on the Laser Cutter

The laser cutter is a popular tool here at TinkerMill, thus a Resource scheduling and reservation system has been set up with Google Calendar.

Preparing Vector Files for Cutting and Engraving

The upgrade of the 80W laser cutter has brought on a new laser cutter software called RDWorks. This program can be downloaded for free so makers can prepare their cuts on their own computers.

Preparing Raster Images for Engraving

The RDWorks software has advanced features for converting images to grayscale or black/white. Click the BMP icon in the top toolbar for those options.

Operating the Laser

The laser cutter has been upgraded, thus it requires re-training before use.

Updated laser operation instructions are yet to come.

Cleaning and Maintenance

Please refer to http://www.rabbitlaserusa.com/Manuals/LaserMaintenanceSchedule.pdf for maintenance instructions.

Due to the delicate nature of the laser cutter, maintenance is to only be performed by trained members. Please do not attempt to clean or repair the machine without this one-on-one training and specific authorization. If you believe that the laser needs cleaning or other maintenance please send a message to info@tinkermill.org.

Lens Damage Examples

Lens Damage Examples

Focal Length Sensor Plunger

It is necessary to periodically clean the tip of the focal length sensor plunger. Because this plunger is used to set the focal distance of the laser, a build up of debris will cause this distance to be off enough to affect the quality of cuts and etchings. Focal length sensor - before after.png


Design Resources

Material Resources

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