Equipment/HPC LS3060 Laser Cutter

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Laser cutter
Laser-cutter-installed.jpg
Model HPC LS3060
Sub-category Defunct
Status Unknown
Last updated 23 December 2015 00:43:25
Consumables Unknown
Accessories Coolbot
Training requirement Yes
Training link Training Roster
ACnode No
Owner LHS
Origin Pledge
Location Ground floor, main room
Maintainers Solexious, Yetifiasco
NOTE: This is our old laser cutter which has now been replaced with the Silvertail A0 Laser Cutter. This page is left here for reference.

We have a HPC LS3060 laser engraver and cutter, with a cutting area of 300mm x 560mm. Trained members can use it for the very reasonable rate of £5 per hour.

This cutter was sold.

Laser-cut-key-rings.jpg


Training

You must not use the laser cutter without being trained. The laser cutter is unlikely to hurt you, but you can easily hurt it without training.

Training is given most Wednesdays or Thursdays at around 8pm, is free to attend and available to all members but your place needs to be pre-booked. Space is strictly limited per session so you need to reserve a spot on the Training Roster when a session is available - watch the Mailing List for announcements. Reserving a spot is on a first come first serve so you'll need to be quick. If you can't attend your training session please remove your name from the roster and inform the Mailing List, this will save wasting people's time and can allow a last minute replacement to take your slot.

Training is currently limited to members only but this may change in the future.

A good way to get notified of new training sessions is to go to the roster page, add it to your wiki page Watch list, and modify your wiki account preferences so that you receive emails when pages you Watch get modified.

Feel free to ask for help on the Mailing List, but please read the FAQ first

Costs

  • Training - Free
  • Usage - £5/hour
  • Consumables - Bring your own and/or use what is in the off cuts bin, but always ensure (rather than assume) it's laser safe.

Safety information

  • Don't touch the cooling system without asking first: overheating or rapid cooling can damage the laser.
  • Never leave the laser cutter unattended while cutting: your material may ignite, and an unchecked fire in the laser cutter could be both dangerous and costly. We've also seen mirrors go out of alignment and cut into the cables, This is what a laser cutter fire does to a laser cutter:

Lcfire.jpg Lcfire2.jpg

  • In case of fire: use the CO2 extinguisher by the laser cutter first. Do not use the powder extinguisher unless you feel that you can't control the fire. Put it in the logbook and tell the Mailing List: tiny flames while cutting are normal; anything more must be reported.
  • Never cut PVC or chlorinated plastic: you should always know what material you are cutting, and chlorinated plastics should be avoided because they release chlorine gas when cut. Guidelines for how to test materials.
  • You can't cut metal in the laser cutter: if you wish to mark the metal, please use Thermark / Cermark, or use anodised aluminium.

Using the laser cutter

  1. Make sure you're familiar with the operating instructions.
  2. Look up the laser cutter parameters for the material you're using (see bottom of this page).
  3. Use the LHS Laser Cutter Checklist to ensure that you don't forget anything important as you cut.
  4. Log your use to help with the upkeep of the lasercutter. (Records can be viewed here.)
  5. Pay for your usage - the cost is £5 per hour, which is just enough to cover our maintenance costs.

List of allowed and banned materials

Allowed

  • MDF (up to 4mm)
  • Plywood (Up to 6mm) Note: Denser/poor quality ply will have trouble cutting deeper than 4mm, use poplar or another less dense ply for 6mm
  • Balsa wood
  • Non-resinous wood IE hardwood (Engraving only)
  • Paper (Cut only, don't engrave)
  • Card/Cardboard
  • Acrylic (up to 10mm)
  • Foamcore (non-PVC variety)
  • Anodized Aluminium (Engrave only)

Banned

  • Food
  • Body parts
  • Plastics containing PVC
  • Plastics containing ABS
  • Fibreglass
  • Glass
  • Circuit boards
  • Polycarbonate
  • All metal (except anodized aluminium)

You should only be cutting materials on the Allowed list, if you want to cut a material which is not on this list, contact one of the trainers and get them to OK it first.

Trainers and maintainers

If you have questions or problems with the laser cutter, please speak to one of these people:

Resources

Consumables

  • Plastic Online
  • HPC sheet products - Laser ply, perspex, engraving laminate - where we purchased the cutter.
  • The Plastics Shop - mattp purchased the plastic for the first batch of Hackspace key rings from here.
  • Hamar Acrylic Cuts to size, and is ~10mins walk from the space. Order at the desk and it should be cut to size within minutes.
    • Price guide 320x600x4mm (laser bed size) clear acrylic = £8 + VAT (=£9.60).
  • Acrylic-Online - Elliot has bought some Palglas from here. They cut to size - delivery £8.00. Price guide (incl. VAT):
    • 320x600x4mm (laser bed size) clear acrylic (Palglas) = £5.12
  • Hobart Laserables - wide range of materials: MDF, Birch, Acrylic (clear and coloured), Rubber, Laminates, Anodised metal. Prices seem competitive. Nigle has ordered from here. Shipping is £12.
  • Fred Aldous – online craft supplies, free delivery on orders > £30. Polypropylene sheets amongst other things. Alex P has ordered from here.
  • 4D ModelShop is not too far from the space, and is open Saturdays. They offer laser cutting too, and hence seem to have a lot of suitable materials. Helpful staff and a good selection.
  • Blueprint Modelshop There's a commercial laser cutter service 10 mins from the space, DIY service is £30/h (as of 2013). You can buy acrylic there, but it's coated with horrible sticky paper rather than easy-to-peal plastic. Beware.

Manuals

More information

Other Hackspace wikis

Laser Cutter Parameters - Background

Thick Material

Do not try to cut anything thicker than the thickest width listed for that material on this page.

Corner Power

When the path goes round curves, or a straight line passes close to previous line (TBC), the laser will slow down. As a consequence, the Corner Power needs to be lower to compensate. Typically about 80% of the Power setting.

Lowest power

Setting the power below 10 or 11 means that the laser will not activate.

Tried but DIY parameters

Laser rubber has been used (mainly for stamps) it works well but you'll need to experiment for engraving/cutting. Check out Laser_Cutter/Parameters#GradeEngrave, which is useful for rubber stamps.

Parameters

Cutting

Acrylic - Perspex

Thickness (mm) Speed (mm/sec) Power (%) Corner power (%) Examples / Notes
3 6 100
4 3.5 100 21
5 3 100
10 1 (not enough?) 100

PLY

Thickness (mm) Speed (mm/sec) Power (%) Corner power (%) Examples / Notes
.5 25 80 This seemed to work really well with not much burn on the edges for the super thin ply.
1.5 8 100
3 5 100
5 2 100
6 1 100

MDF

Thickness (mm) Speed (mm/sec) Power (%) Corner power (%) Examples / Notes
3 5 100 20
4 4 100

Misc

Material Thickness (mm) Speed (mm/sec) Power (%) Corner power (%) Examples / Notes
Acrylic - Palglas 3 6 100 21 Cubauble
Corrugated Cardboard 3 12 100
Hardboard 3 3 100
Paper 60 15
Card 35 40
Mountboard 12 100
Engraving Laminate 15 80
Funky Foam 25 25
Curian 1 100 Four passes required
Laser Rubber 6 100 25
Suede 1 25 100 25
Suede/Leather (line engraving) >1 150 10 10
Leather 3 4 100 100 (needs more testing)
Full grain leather 3 9 85 85 Burn free result! Helps to put tape over leather.
LD45 Plastazote 12 25 100 20
Unknown clear thermoplastic 4 10 10 - 15 10 These box lids melt easily but can be cut with multiple passes at low power.
Polypropylene sheet 500micron (0,5mm) 14 40 17
Polypropylene sheet - scoring 500micron (0,5mm) 60 60 15 This will produce a score. useful if you want just to mark a point or fold.
Polyester "paper" - NeverTear 300micron (0.3mm) 40 60 40 Never tear is a polyester sheet that can be laser printed like normal paper.
Polyester "paper" - NeverTear - Scoring 300micron (0.3mm) 100 15 40 This will produce a score. useful if you want just to mark a point or fold.

Engraving

Material Speed (mm/sec) Power (%) Corner power (%) Examples
Acrylic - Perspex 200 21
Birch PLY 200 17
MDF 200 25
Corrugated Cardboard 200 20
Hardboard 200 20
Paper 200 15
Card 300 20
Mountboard 200 20
Engraving Laminate 200 21
Curian 3 100
Laser Rubber 200 70
Anodized aluminium (dyed black) 450 90 ? LHS logo on black phone
Anodized aluminium (Macbook Pro) (Vector - in "cut" mode) 100 100 80 Russ's Macbook Pro
Suede 250 15 80
LD45 Plastazote 200 10 10 At 10% engraves 2-3mm deep. Laser doesn't seem to come on at all at 5% or engrave at speeds >200 mm/s so may not be possible to engrave less deeply than this.

GradeEngrave

What happens when you use GradeEngrave

Grade Engrave will cause an area inside a engraved area to have raised edges. It is intended for easier rubber stamp making but can be applied to any real use. See the Nottinghack wiki for more details.

Material Speed (mm/sec) Power (%) Corner power (%) Examples
Dette's 2.3mm Laserable Rubber Sheets 200 70 Two passes might work better :)