Laser Cutting a Part

Policies    Selecting materials    Generating a DXF file    Loading a file onto the laser cutter  Laser Cutting a Part  Power and Speed settings

Laser cutting a part

SAFETY

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  1. Note the locations of the nearest fire extinguisher, electrical emergency stop (the red button with yellow cap located on the wall by the double doors), first aid kit, and laser cutter emergency stop.
  2. If your material catches on fire or the laser cutter starts making noises it shouldn’t, press the red Emergency Stop in the panel on the right side of the laser cutter.
  3. If the laser cutter catches on fire, use the Carbon Dioxide fire extinguisher (CO2 for Class C fire) located in the room. This has a short range, so the nozzle must be directly over the flames. You should already know this because you shouldn’t operating the laser cutter if you haven’t taken fire safety training.
  4. You can usually blow out small flames in cardboard. Acrylic will sometimes generate a brief flame that burns out quickly. Never use polycarbonate; it will burn.
  5. Thick acrylic cuts tend to melt back together, so remove your parts promptly and use a tool to press out the small pieces. Be careful because acrylic is brittle and can crack.
  6. Be sure to wash your part and your hands after handling freshly cut acrylic. Do not get the residue left on the part in your mouth.

Power on

  1. Be sure the Rabbit Laser Cutter’s power switch key is in the ON position.
  2. If the Equipment Control Panel does not light-up, check that the key is fully On and twist the red E-Stop to make sure it’s not engaged.
  3. Depress the red and green buttons located below the E-Stop. rabbit-buttons-small
    1. The red Lighting button controls the interior light.
    2. The green Laser Power Switch controls power to the cutting laser.
    3. The green Socket Switch controls power to the water chiller, air pump, filtration system and fan booster.

Material preparation and placement

  1. Remove any protective paper layers from the top of your material.
  2. If your material bowed or warped, use painters tape to secure it to the table; otherwise, the vacuum that holds the material in place will not be effective. Use only the provided painters tape.  Other tapes have adhesives that can melt and make a mess when heated by the laser.

*Note: If your material is too warped, you run the risk of causing a fire and damaging the laser cutter.

  1. Open the lid to the laser cutter using the two large handles.
  2. Carefully slide your material on the laser table until it is under the laser lens assembly, making sure not to bump the laser assembly.
  3. Make sure your material is square with the edges of the laser table.

Set the Z-height

  1. To get started, press the ESCape button on the control panel. This isn’t always necessary, but it’s a good idea to press ESC before you start a new operation and whenever the laser cutter isn’t responding to your commands.rabbit_z-small
  2. Use the XY Motion arrows to position the laser head assembly above your material. You can move short distances by tapping the arrows; You can move long distances by pressing and holding the arrows. When you are done, the laser lens assembly should be 1/4″-1/2″ (6mm-12mm) from the upper left corner of your material.
  3. Press the Z-0 button. The laser head will descend until it just touches the top of your material and then will retract. The software then adjusts the Z-height automatically.

Set the origin 

  1. You should have already imported your DXF file into the LaserCut program.
  2. The blue diamond in your CUT File is the origin point where the laser will begin cutting.
  3. Press the Test button and to have the laser head quickly outline the area it will cut. If the laser travels off your material, adjust your home position with the XY motion buttons (or just move and re-square the material by hand) and try again.

Cut the part

  1. START: Close the lid slowly. Press the green Start button to begin your job.
  2. COMPLETION: The laser cutter beeps when it has completed the cut. Leave the lid closed for 10-30 seconds to allow extraction of hazardous fumes.  Remove your parts and pieces. Vacuum small debris from the table and equipment. Do not try to lift up the laser bed.
  3. PAUSE: If you need to pause for some reason, pressing the green Start button again pauses your Job. When you are ready to restart, close the lid and press the green start button to resume your Job.
  4. ABORT: Press the red Stop button to halt your job before completion. The lens assembly will return to its starting location.
  5. Place usable scraps in scrap bins, sorted by color; Place unusable scraps in the trash.
  6. POWER-OFF: Push off the lighting, power and socket buttons located on the control panel.
  7. Remember to take your USB drive with you.

Leave the Rotary Power Switch (w/ key) ON, and make sure the Emergency Stop is not active.