Difference between revisions of "Equipment/HPC LS3060 Laser Cutter"

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[[File:Laser-cutter-installed.jpg|thumb|right]]
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{{EquipmentInfobox
[[File:Laser-cut-key-rings.jpg|thumb|right]]
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|name=Laser cutter <!-- Name of the item. -->
 +
|image=Laser-cutter-installed.jpg <!-- Image of the item. Leave with placeholder image if none exists. -->
 +
|model=HPC LS3060
 +
|category=Equipment <!-- Main category. Please leave alone to keep item in this category -->
 +
|subcat=Defunct <!-- Sub-category if one exists. Please check main listing to see other categories contained within the main one -->
 +
|status=Unknown
 +
|consumables=Unknown <!-- Any items used up in normal operation, such as; ink, paper, saw-blades, cutting disks, oil, etc.. -->
 +
|accessories=Coolbot <!-- Any items associated with the equipment but not consumable, such as; drill bits, safety gloves, goggles, etc.. -->
 +
|reqtraining=Yes <!-- Is training required to use this equipment? Yes or no. -->
 +
|trainlink=[[Lasercutter_Training|Training Roster]] <!-- If training is required, provide a link to training signup or contact page. Otherwise leave blank. -->
 +
|acnode=No <!-- Is the equipment ACnode locked? -->
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|owner=LHS <!-- Provide a link to owners members page if other than LHS -->
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|origin=Pledge <!-- If via pledge, please link to the completed pledge page on the wiki -->
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|location=Ground floor, main room<!-- Floor, room/zone and location within that area -->
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|maintainers=Solexious, Yetifiasco<!-- If an individual is nominated as managing the upkeep of this item, please list them here. -->
 +
|template_ver=1.1 <!-- Please do not change. Used for tracking out-of-date templates -->
 +
}}
 +
'''<div style="font-weight: bold; font-size: 110%">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.</div>'''
  
 +
We have a HPC LS3060 laser engraver and cutter, with a cutting area of 300mm x 560mm. Trained [[Membership | members]] can use it for the very reasonable rate of £5 per hour.
  
== '''<div style="color:red">Please don't touch or fiddle with the laser cutter unless you have been trained. </div>'''==
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This cutter was sold.
=== '''<div style="color:red">Don't use coolbot. Check the temperature manually, and only plug the chiller in when cutting. </div>'''===
 
  
'''Please log your use to help with the up keep of the lasercutter. '''
+
[[File:Laser-cut-key-rings.jpg|thumb|right]]
  
'''This can be done easily at [http://bit.ly/LaserLogbookForm http://bit.ly/LaserLogbookForm] and the records can be viewed at [http://bit.ly/LaserLogbook http://bit.ly/LaserLogbook]'''
 
  
 +
==Training==
  
Training is given most Tuesdays at about 8pm, feel free to ask for help.  
+
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.
The laser cutter is unlikely to hurt you but you could easily hurt it without training.
 
  
==Name==
+
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 [[Lasercutter_Training|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.
The computer is named after [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C._Kumar_N._Patel Kumar Patel].
 
  
See also: [[System naming]]
+
Training is currently limited to members only but this may change in the future.
  
==Status==
+
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.
  
The lasercutter is working, if you scale to 60% power.  The current theory is that this is a bug in the power supply.  [[Equipment/LaserCutter/CoolBot|Coolbot]] is unreliable: check the temperature using the thermometer at least every 5 minutes in case coolbot dies.
+
Feel free to ask for help on the [[Mailing List]], but please read the [[Mailing_list_FAQ|FAQ]] first
  
[http://hack.rs/cacti/graph_view.php?action=tree&tree_id=7 Coolbot temperature graph]
+
==Costs==
  
 
+
* Training - Free
Remember to check the [[Equipment/LaserCutter/LogBook|logbook]]
+
* 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_Cutter/Instructions#Chlorine_Testing_and_Material_Safety|laser safe]].
We're currently trying to [[Projects/RELaserSoftware|reverse engineer]] the [[Equipment/LaserCutter/Software|software]].
 
 
 
Information about additional useful bits of software installed on the machine can be found on the [[Equipment/LaserCutter/Software|software page]].
 
 
 
==Model==
 
* [http://hpclaser.co.uk/ HPC] LS3060 "plus" laser engraver and cutter.
 
====Specification====
 
{| class="topalign"
 
| '''Laser:'''
 
|| 40W - water cooled CO<sub>2</sub> laser.
 
|-
 
| '''Working area:'''
 
||
 
*320 x 600mm honeycomb bed
 
*Cutting area possibly about 300 x 550mm. Max attained: 310 x 550 mm (not to be relied upon)
 
*At extreme of the y-axis (> ~400mm) cutting power can be reduced and require recutting
 
|-
 
| '''Features:'''
 
|| Air-assist (removes debris from cutting region),
 
red-dot pointer (to show beam location)
 
|-
 
| '''Water cooling:'''
 
|| Simple tube cooling circuit connected with (9mm OD, 6mm ID) latex tube.
 
Uses supplied submersible pond pump (2.8m head, 2800L/H flow).
 
|-
 
|}
 
====Manuals====
 
* [http://www.scottware.net/Lasers/FAQ/FAQ_17/User%20Manual(DSP5.3).pdf LaserCut software manual]
 
* [[:File:JSM3040N&3060N Manual.pdf | HPC LS3060 hardware manual]]
 
* [http://www.leetro.com/english/down/MPC6515%20%20Manual.pdf Controller manual]
 
  
 
==Safety information==
 
==Safety information==
* '''Please don't affect the cooling system without consultation''' - overheating or rapid cooling can damage the laser.
+
* '''Don't touch the cooling system without asking first''': overheating or rapid cooling can damage the laser.
* <span style="color:red">'''Never leave the laser cutter unattended'''</span> - 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.
+
* '''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:
* '''In case of fire''' - Use the CO<sub>2</sub> 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''': 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.
 
* '''Do not try to cut metal in the laser cutter''' - If you wish to mark the metal, please use [http://hpclaser.co.uk/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=2&products_id=17 "Thermark Laser Engraving Spray / Paste"], or use anodised aluminium.
 
  
==Instructions==
+
[[File:lcfire.jpg]]
These instructions are intended as a companion to [[Workshops#Regular_Hackspace_workshops|laser cutter safety training]] - not a replacement.
+
[[File:lcfire2.jpg]]
  
Refresher instructions found at [[Equipment/LaserCutter/Refresher]]
+
* '''In case of fire''': use the CO<sub>2</sub> extinguisher by the laser cutter first. Do not use the powder extinguisher unless you feel that you can't control the fire. '''[http://bit.ly/LaserLogbookForm Put it in the logbook] and tell the [[Mailing List]]''': tiny flames while cutting are normal; anything more must be reported.
====Powering on====
+
* '''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. [[Laser_Cutter/Instructions#Chlorine_Testing_and_Material_Safety|Guidelines for how to test materials.]]
# Insert key and turn - the PC is turned on using the 'sleep' button on the keyboard.
+
* '''You can't cut metal in the laser cutter''': if you wish to [[Laser_Cutter/Metal|mark the metal]], please use [http://hpclaser.co.uk/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=2&products_id=17 Thermark / Cermark], or use anodised aluminium.
# '''Always''' perform the following pre-checks:
 
## Check that there is a '''CO<sub>2</sub>''' fire extinguisher '''immediately to hand'''.
 
## Check that the water pump is running
 
## Check that the extractor fan is on
 
# '''Caution:''' Be certain that the water coolant is at a suitable temperature.
 
#* If you are unsure if the cutter has been '''used recently''', or you have been using the cutter for an '''extended period of time''' (an hour or so) check the temperature of the water using the infra-red thermometer.
 
#* If the water temperature is outside the acceptable operating range (22 &plusmn; 3 &deg;C) then wait for the water to cool before using the cutter.
 
  
====Preparing your design====
+
==Using the laser cutter==
* Produce your design. There are various options for doing this but [[Equipment/LaserCutter/QCad|QCad]] is a good low-cost choice.
 
* Start the 'LaserCut' application and load/import your design.
 
* '''TODO''' Different file types pros/cons
 
** DXF is nice because it maintains absolute dimensions.
 
* Sometimes it's useful scale your design. The Laser cutter application allows for this but it's rather quirky:
 
** From the Laser software menu select 'Tools/Size'
 
** Calculate and enter your new widths/heights in Google/calc etc.
 
* Rotating
 
** Go to 'Draw/rotal'
 
** Enter the number of degrees to rotate
 
* Uniting lines (making the path finding suck a little less)use this if you've used lines rather than polylines is qcad etc.
 
** Go to 'Tools/Unite lines'
 
** Use the defaults
 
** You should see fewer direction lines, the laser cutter should use a less insane route now.
 
* The work-area in the LaserCut software is not an absolute representation of the laser cutter bed. The origin must be set relative to your design.
 
** From the LaserCut application menu select [[:File:Laser-Cutter-Screen-Origin-1.png|'Laser/Set laser origin']]
 
** Move the 'target' cursor and click on the location on your design where you wish to position the origin (this is usually at the top right of the design)
 
** You may also [[:File:Laser-Cutter-Screen-Origin-2.png|manually enter the position]] - the top corner of bed is located at (299, 559)
 
* Layers can be used in your design to provide combinations of different cut types and engrave options on a single piece. For example you may wish to cut out a key-ring and then engrave a name on it.
 
** Each layer can be assigned different action, speed and power settings - consult the manual or the [[#Parameters_for_different_materials|wiki]] for appropriate settings.
 
** Finer control of layer power and speed settings is available by [[:File:Laser-Cutter-Screen-Cut-options.png|clicking on the layer]]
 
* '''Engraving''':
 
** Try to align the bulk of the engraving with the short axis (y), the laser cutter seems to do passes in this direction only so if you have it aligned to the long (x) axis it will do many short passes rather than fewer longer ones, this can '''massively''' increase engraving time (minutes -> hours)
 
** Rather than slow down/increase power there is a setting to repeat a layer multiple times, this is very useful if using the engrave option to reach a certain depth.
 
** For fast prototypes the engraving step size can be changed (default is 0.1mm) a setting of 0.2 is good for depth engraving, again this can speed up the process a lot.
 
* '''Note''' if something hasn't cut/engraved to the complete depth (or you just want to run it again) it is possible to select which layers are 'output' by scrolling to the right in the layers box, this is very useful for an extra layer of engraving or to confirm a full cut. DON'T move the sheet before doing this.
 
  
====Uploading your data file====
+
# Make sure you're familiar with the [[Laser_Cutter/Instructions|operating instructions]].
* Upload the file to the design and settings to the laser cutter hardware as follows:
+
# Look up the laser cutter parameters for the material you're using (see bottom of this page).
** Select the [[:File:Laser-Cutter-Screen-Download.png|'Download' button]]
+
# Use the [[Media:LHS-Laser-Cutter-Checklist.pdf|LHS Laser Cutter Checklist]] to ensure that you don't forget anything important as you cut.
** Remove any existing files by selecting them and clicking 'Del all'
+
# [http://bit.ly/LaserLogbookForm Log your use] to help with the upkeep of the lasercutter. (Records can be viewed [http://bit.ly/LaserLogbook here].)
** Download (upload) your file by clicking 'Download current'
+
# Pay for your usage - the cost is £5 per hour, which is just enough to cover our [[Laser Cutter/Maintenance|maintenance costs]].
** You should hear the laser cutter machine beep.
 
  
====Positioning your material====
+
==List of allowed and banned materials ==
* '''Caution:''' Know your material - be absolutely certain that your material is safe to use in the laser cutter. If in doubt - ask. For unidentified plastics try [http://www.nycresistor.com/2008/08/28/how-to-identify-polymers-with-burnination/ this test method].
+
'''Allowed'''
* '''Caution:''' There are a number of electrically live areas inside the cabinet towards the back. Be very careful when reaching around at the back as you may get a shock.
+
* MDF (up to 4mm)
* Place the material on the cutter bed.
+
* 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''
* The bed height must be adjusted to the thickness of your material. Different materials should have the beam focussed in different places. Thicker materials should have the beam focussed in the middle of the material. You can adjust where the beam focuses by adjusting the bed height:
+
* Balsa wood
** Press the 'Z' button on the [[:File:Laser-Cutter-Screen-Z-Axis.jpg|control panel]].
+
* Non-resinous wood IE hardwood (Engraving only)
** The display will show 'Z-Axis operate'
+
* Paper (Cut only, don't engrave)
** Then press the 'Datum' button
+
* Card/Cardboard
** The display should now show 'Z-Axis datum' and the bed will move to the 0 point. Now you use the up and down buttons to move the bed.
+
* Acrylic (up to 10mm)
* To make sure that your design will be cut within the boundary of your material you can have the cutter mark out the bounding box with the red-dot pointer. Note that you must upload your design to the cutter before doing this.
+
* Foamcore (non-PVC variety)
** Click the [[:File:Laser-Cutter-Screen-Run-box.png|'Run box' button ]] in the laser cutter application
+
* Anodized Aluminium (Engrave only)
** Observe the path of the red-dot pointer
 
  
====Cutting====
+
'''Banned'''
* '''Caution:''' Never leave the machine unattended. The laser cuts and engraves by burning the material so '''you must be present''' to deal with any fires should this process undesirably escalate.
+
* Food
* Know where the CO2 extinguisher is and that you can easily get to it without having to come nearer to the cutter.
+
* Body parts
* Turn on the air pump on the [[:File:Laser-Cutter-Screen-Control-panel.jpg|main control panel]]
+
* Plastics containing PVC
* To begin cutting press the [[:File:Laser-Cutter-Screen-Start.png|'Start' button]] in the laser cutter application.
+
* Plastics containing ABS
* Monitoring progress
+
* Fibreglass
** '''TODO''' What to watch out for
+
* Glass
** '''TODO''' What to do in case of problems
+
* Circuit boards
**Note: There are at least 3 different ways of stopping the cutter mid-process. There is the emergency stop button on the cutter, there is the stop button in the software (not recommended), and there is a sensor that detects if the lid is opened. There is also a pause/resume button on the cutter.
+
* Polycarbonate
**Please be aware that the software stop button has on at least two occasions had the unfortunate effect of moving the laser back to the start position while it was still on, leaving unwanted lines cut into the material.
+
* All metal (except anodized aluminium)
* '''TODO''' What to try if the result is not what you expect
 
* Log your Laser Cutter use in the [[Equipment/LaserCutter/LogBook|logbook]]
 
  
When cutting flammable materials (or non-flammable materials which happen to emit gases which are flammable when cut) or materials with a thin oil/wax film - be prepared for fires or small flames. While not common - it does happen occasionally and should not be cause for panic. When it happens - press the stop button and use a small gentle blast of CO2 fire extinguisher to douse it. There is no need to get very close to the fire - generally the box 'fills' up with the CO2 gas which is heavier than air - esp. when things are not yet hot. Note this in the logbook (both so we can replace the CO2 and because of sooth on the lens).  Don't forget to report any fire in the logbook.
+
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.
  
In the unlikely event that you cannot contain the fire with CO2 - switch to the powder extinguisher. Do not use water (risk of electrical shock). If you use the real (sealed) extinguisher - post  an incident follow the accident/reporting protocol - to comply with fire, health and safety regulation.
+
== Trainers and maintainers ==
  
If you are unfamiliar with fire extinguishers - and why there are many type - then read the instructions on both the CO2 and the ABC extinguisher (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fire_extinguisher) as to understand the difference.
+
If you have questions or problems with the laser cutter, please speak to one of these people:
  
====What to do with Scraps====
+
* [[User:Solexious|Solexious]] ([[User talk:Solexious|talk]])
You can either make some LaserCut Mechano with the scrap (files here: C:\Documents and Settings\Hackspace\My Documents\LaserCutMechano), put the scrap into the container on the right hand side of the lasercutter or, if the piece is too small to be useful, the 'landfill' bin in the workshop.
+
* [[User:Yetifiasco|Yetifiasco]] ([[User Yetifiasco|talk]])
  
== Chlorine Testing ==
+
==Resources==
Chlorine is a very dangerous gas used in the creation of many plastics (e.g. PVC) these are safe until heated; when they release the chlorine gas. The laser cutter will easily heat plastics enough to release chlorine.
 
  
To test an unknown plastic for chlorine content try the following:
+
* [http://hack.rs/cacti/graph_view.php?action=tree&tree_id=7 Coolbot temperature graph]
 +
* We're currently trying to [[Projects/RELaserSoftware|reverse engineer]] the [[Equipment/LaserCutter/Software|software]].
 +
* Information about additional useful bits of software installed on the machine can be found on the [[Equipment/LaserCutter/Software|software page]].
  
1. Heat some copper (wire's easiest) until red hot (do this for a while to remove any PVC that may be stuck to the wire from the coating).
+
==Consumables==
 +
* [http://www.plasticonline.co.uk/ Plastic Online]
 +
* [http://hpclaser.co.uk/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=3&zenid=b68f5a7bd4307cba7fc3822122b2e661 HPC sheet products] - Laser ply, perspex, engraving laminate - where we purchased the cutter.
 +
* [http://www.theplasticshop.co.uk/ The Plastics Shop] - [[User:MattP|mattp]] purchased the plastic for the first batch of [[Media:Laser-cut-key-rings.jpg|Hackspace key rings]] from here.
 +
* [http://hamaracrylic.co.uk 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).
 +
* [http://www.acrylic-online.co.uk/ Acrylic-Online] - [[User:Teabot|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
 +
* [http://www.hobarts.com/store/ 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.
 +
* [http://www.fredaldous.co.uk Fred Aldous] – online craft supplies, free delivery on orders > £30. Polypropylene sheets amongst other things. Alex P has ordered from here.
 +
* [http://modelshop.co.uk/ 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.
 +
* [http://www.blueprintmodel.co.uk/ 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.
  
2. Apply red hot copper to plastic so that it melts a little onto it.
+
==Manuals==
 +
* [https://www.bosslaser.com/images/pdf/User%20ManualDSP5.3LaserCut53.pdf LaserCut software manual]
 +
* [[:File:JSM3040N&3060N Manual.pdf | HPC LS3060 hardware manual]]
 +
* [http://www.leetro.com/english/down/MPC6515%20%20Manual.pdf Controller manual]
 +
* [[Equipment/LaserCutter/LogBook|Maintainers Logbook]]
  
3. Heat copper wire until red hot again.
+
==More information==
 +
* How the [[Equipment/LaserCutter/CoolBot|cooling system]] works
 +
* Some useful [http://www.ladyada.net/library/laser/index.html laser info from Adafruit] - the settings section in particular gave a good idea of what we can expect.
 +
* More information about the controller card used by the cutter
 +
** http://www.leetro.com/english/sale/20.html
 +
** http://www.leetro.com/english/sale/23.html
 +
** [http://www.jqlaser.com/service/service.html Latest version of the software]
 +
** [http://www.leetro.com/english/down/59.html Firmware for MPC6515 controller and software] (hit the download page for latest version)
 +
* For making boxes you can use:
 +
** [http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:404 this script] - recommended settings of "--bolt_length 13 --nut_multiplier 1.8" YMMV
 +
** [http://rahulbotics.com/personal-projects/boxmaker/?boxmaker/ BoxMaker] is also _very_ good for making boxes.
 +
** [http://www.keppel.demon.co.uk/111000/111000.html BoxMake] Inkscape plugin
 +
* [http://www.ribbonsoft.com/qcad.html QCAD] - open source .dxf exporting 2D CAD program
 +
* Using Google [[Guides/SketchUp for Laser Cutting|SketchUp for Laser Cutter]] designs.
 +
* A [http://oplaser.co.uk/opsupport/viewforum.php?f=22&sid=730902927827c6ce9aefaa2d085ea9f1 support forum] with various guides
 +
* [[Etching my Macbook Air]]
 +
===Other Hackspace wikis===
 +
* [http://wiki.edinburghhacklab.com/lasercutter Edinburgh Hackspace's Lasercutter] is the same model, so some useful notes over there.
 +
* [https://wiki.nottinghack.org.uk/wiki/Laser_cutter/LaserCut/Usage NottinHack's LaserCut] software write up is quite comprehensive.
  
4. A green flame means that the plastic contains chlorine so do not use it.
+
==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 for different materials==
+
==Parameters==
If you found some sweet settings please share them here.
+
===Cutting===
====Tried but DIY parameters====
+
====Acrylic - Perspex====
* Laser rubber has been used (mainly for stamps) it works well but you'll need to experiment for engraving/cutting
+
{| border="1"
 +
!|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
 +
|
 +
|
 +
|}
  
====Cutting====
+
====PLY====
 
{| border="1"
 
{| border="1"
!|Material
 
 
!|Thickness (mm)
 
!|Thickness (mm)
 
!|Speed (mm/sec)
 
!|Speed (mm/sec)
Line 177: Line 193:
 
!|Examples / Notes
 
!|Examples / Notes
 
|-
 
|-
|Ply wood
+
|.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
 
|3
|?
+
|5
|?
+
|100
|?
+
|
 +
|
 +
|-
 +
|5
 +
|2
 +
|100
 +
|
 
|
 
|
 
|-
 
|-
|MDF
+
|6
 +
|1
 +
|100
 +
|
 +
|
 +
|}
 +
 
 +
====MDF====
 +
{| border="1"
 +
!|Thickness (mm)
 +
!|Speed (mm/sec)
 +
!|Power (%)
 +
!|Corner power (%)
 +
!|Examples / Notes
 +
|-
 
|3
 
|3
|4
+
|5
 
|100
 
|100
 
|20
 
|20
 
|
 
|
 
|-
 
|-
|Acrylic - Perspex
 
 
|4
 
|4
|3.5
+
|4
 
|100
 
|100
|21
 
 
|
 
|
 +
|
 +
|}
 +
 +
====Misc====
 +
{| border="1"
 +
!|Material
 +
!|Thickness (mm)
 +
!|Speed (mm/sec)
 +
!|Power (%)
 +
!|Corner power (%)
 +
!|Examples / Notes
 
|-
 
|-
 
|Acrylic - Palglas
 
|Acrylic - Palglas
Line 204: Line 260:
 
|21
 
|21
 
|[[:File:Teabot-Cubauble.jpg|Cubauble]]
 
|[[:File:Teabot-Cubauble.jpg|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
 
|Suede
Line 210: Line 329:
 
|100
 
|100
 
|25
 
|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
 
|
 
|
 
|-
 
|-
Line 218: Line 365:
 
|10
 
|10
 
|These box lids melt easily but can be cut with multiple passes at low power.
 
|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====
+
===Engraving===
 
{| border="1"
 
{| border="1"
 
!|Material
 
!|Material
Line 227: Line 404:
 
!|Corner power (%)
 
!|Corner power (%)
 
!|Examples
 
!|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)
 
|Anodized aluminium (dyed black)
Line 245: Line 488:
 
|80
 
|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.
 
|-
 
|-
 
|}
 
|}
  
==Consumables==
+
=== GradeEngrave ===
* [http://www.plasticonline.co.uk/ Plastic Online]
 
* [http://hpclaser.co.uk/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=3&zenid=b68f5a7bd4307cba7fc3822122b2e661 HPC sheet products] - Laser ply, perspex, engraving laminate - where we purchased the cutter.
 
* [http://www.theplasticshop.co.uk/ The Plastics Shop] - [[User:MattP|mattp]] purchased the plastic for the first batch of [[Media:Laser-cut-key-rings.jpg|Hackspace key rings]] from here.
 
* [http://hamaracrylic.co.uk Hamar Acrylic] Cuts to size, and is ~10mins walk from the space. Order by phone and it should be cut and ready to collect on arrival.
 
**Price guide 320x600x4mm (laser bed size) clear acrylic = £8.
 
* [http://www.acrylic-online.co.uk/ Acrylic-Online] - [[User:Teabot|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
 
* [http://www.hobartlaserables.com/ Hobart Laserables] - wide range of materials: MDF, Birch, Acrylic (clear and coloured), Rubber, Laminates, Anodised metal. Prices seem competitive. [[Nigle]] has ordered from here. Prices don't include VAT. Shipping is £12.
 
* [http://www.fredaldous.co.uk Fred Aldous] – online craft supplies, free delivery on orders > £30. Polypropylene sheets amongst other things. Alex P has ordered from here.
 
  
== Running cost ==
+
[[File:GradeEngrave-stamp.jpg|thumb|What happens when you use GradeEngrave]]
  
*The tube is £250 for 1000 hours
+
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 [https://wiki.nottinghack.org.uk/wiki/Laser_cutter/LaserCut/Usage#Grade_Engrave Nottinghack wiki] for more details.
*The lens+mirrors are £150 for 250 hours
 
*The power is (say) 1.2kW at £.2/kWh.
 
*So 250/1000 + 150/250 + 1.2*.2 = £1.09/hour
 
*The space also used a large chunk of funds to get the cutter, this needs to be recouped.
 
  
'''Therefore a recommended donation of £5 for each hour of use would be greatly appreciated.'''
+
{| border="1"
 
+
!|Material
Laser cutter money held in the the foundation bank account:
+
!|Speed (mm/sec)
 
+
!|Power (%)
{| class="wikitable"
+
!|Corner power (%)
 +
!|Examples
 
|-
 
|-
! Date
+
|Dette's 2.3mm Laserable Rubber Sheets
! Amount
+
|200
|-
+
|70
| 2011-04-02 Usage Fees
+
|
| + £210
+
| Two passes might work better :)
|-
 
| 2011-05-28 Usage Fees
 
| + £248.44
 
 
|-
 
|-
| 2011-06-08 Optics set
 
| - £188.25
 
|-
 
| 2011-06-20 Usage Fees
 
| + £30.00
 
|-
 
| 2011-06-20 Water + tubing change
 
| - £30.00
 
|-
 
| 2011-06-28 Usage Fees
 
| + £25.04
 
|-
 
| 2011-07-12 Usage Fees
 
| + £88.46
 
|-
 
| 2011-07-27 Usage Fees
 
| + £70.58
 
|-
 
| 2011-12-17 Usage Fees
 
| + £135.66
 
 
|}
 
|}
 
==Cleaning Schedule==
 
* Optics cleaning every 25 hours (or as required)
 
* Extraction fan cleaning every 25 hours
 
* Electronics section dust removal every 25 hours
 
* Laserbed cleaning every 50 hours (soaked in a peroxide based cleaning solution)
 
 
==Changing machine options==
 
 
advanced use only! Please make sure current settings are backed up first (sorry I don't know how to do this).
 
 
Click File->Machine Options. This will show you a dialog like this:
 
 
http://wiki.london.hackspace.org.uk/w/images/2/23/Machineoptions.PNG
 
 
Make your changes.
 
 
Useful that I've found is the Machine options -> worktable page. This allows adjustment of scaling for x and y axis. Decrease the numbers to increase the distance moved. I got good scaling with 0.00635 for both.
 
 
Then click 'save' and OK the password dialog. The settings won't become live until you download them to the cutter.
 
 
Click 'download' as if you were putting a new design on the cutter, but then click 'download cfg'. The machine should beep. I had problems with this and then cutting a pattern, the machine always told me 'soft stop'. I 'fixed' it by powering off the machine before downloading the new settings.
 
 
==More information==
 
* How the [[Equipment/LaserCutter/CoolBot|cooling system]] works
 
* Some useful [http://www.ladyada.net/library/laser/index.html laser info from Adafruit] - the settings section in particular gave a good idea of what we can expect.
 
* More information about the controller card used by the cutter
 
** http://www.leetro.com/english/sale/20.html
 
** http://www.leetro.com/english/sale/23.html
 
** [http://www.jqlaser.com/service/service.html Latest version of the software]
 
** [http://www.leetro.com/english/down/59.html Firmware for MPC6515 controller and software] (hit the download page for latest version)
 
* For making boxes, you can use [http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:404 this script] - recommended settings of "--bolt_length 13 --nut_multiplier 1.8" YMMV
 
* http://rahulbotics.com/personal-projects/boxmaker/?boxmaker/ is also _very_ good for making boxes.
 
* [http://www.ribbonsoft.com/qcad.html QCAD] - open source .dxf exporting 2D CAD program
 
* Using Google [[Guides/SketchUp for Laser Cutting|SketchUp for Laser Cutter]] designs.
 
  
  
[[Category:Systems]]
+
[[Category:Tools for use on wood]]
 +
[[Category:Tools for use on plastic]]

Latest revision as of 00:43, 23 December 2015

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 :)