Laser Operations

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Hack Manhattan Has a Lazer!!

K40 lazer

Note: Although the lazer has been re-assembled and run, it's not quite open-seasons for general usage yet.
What the procedure will be for checkouts, training, etc has still to be decided.

"Verified" Members

Only the members listed below should be using the laser.
If you wish to gain access to the laser, contact someone on the list and request a walk-through from them.
When you get your walk-through, add yourself to the list and put down the name/handle of who gave it to you.

Member Instructor Comments
James James "Thanks for getting it to work"
Konstantin James
Guan Konstantin
Krissy Konstantin
John OB Konstantin
Masahiro Konstantin
Mark Carroll Konstantin
Stephen Lynch Konstantin
Max Stephen

The lazor is not a workbench, vise, or shelf

The linear bearing surface of the ways is actually quite fragile and easily damaged by denting or abrasion.
Check before lazing whether your material is safe to laze. Do not laze metal objects. The reflections will damage the lazor. Do not laze any material that contains chlorine (e.g. PVC, Vinyl)
Do not have the lazer turned on when the controller is off! It will behave unpredictably and may fire without warning if the controller board is turned off.


Design Preparation Guide

1) Align design inside of blue guide-lines of template.
2) Select all design features (the ones inside of the blue lines).
3) Select Extensions->export->turnkey laser exporter.
4) Do not export design with auto-home.
5) Make sure y axis origin is set to bottom left.

General Laze Starting Checklist

  1. Make sure laser power switch is off.
  2. Insert workpiece. Bottom left corner of workpiece should be aligned with back right corner of laser cutter.
  3. Plug in the ghetto 220V plug into outlet.
  4. Turn on laser related accessories power strip.
  5. Turn on ATX power supply to enable exhaust fan.
  6. Verify that water is flowing by pinching water supply tube.

SAFETY GOGGLES ON! The window on the lazor is perspex and may or may not block laser light. The laser light is not visible and can cause eye damage if you do not wear goggles.

Printing from SD with aligned design

Note that raster designs will not print reliably using the SD card
1) Load gcode onto SD card.
2) Insert SD card into controller and make sure it is on.
3) ONLY WHEN CONTROLLER IS ON, TURN ON LASER POWER.
4) Navigate on the menu to Prepare-> Autohome, and select.
5) Select your g-code and choose print.

Printing Through USB with aligned design

1) Launch pronterface.
2) Connect USB cable to computer instead of wall wart.
3) Wait for menu to appear, then choose connect assuming that the correct port is populated. Use default baud rate of 115200
3) ONLY WHEN CONTROLLER IS ON, TURN ON LASER POWER.
4) Use the pronterface menu to home x and y
note: your design will not be visible. as proterface thinks it's talking to a printer.
5) Select your g-code and choose print.

Shutdown Checklist

1) TURN OFF LASER POWER IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE laze IS DONE!
2) Remove the workpiece.
3) Unplug 220V outlet cord.
4) Turn off ATX power Supply
5) Turn off Laser accessory Power Tailpower strip.

Hints

Installing turnkey lazor plugin on OS X

  1. Install inkscape
  2. Clone the github repo Turnkey lazor plugin
  3. Copy turnkeylaser.inx and turnkeylaser.py from the repo into the extensions folder of inkscape (need to right click on inkscape and choose "show package contents". Contents/Resources/Share/Inkscape/extensions)
  4. Install pillow (updated version of PIL) e.g. from terminal 'pip install pillow'
  5. Start inkscape, turnkey laser exporter will be under Extensions->Export

Tooling

Materials and settings

For thin cardstock (Astrobrights premium cardstock 80lb (216g/m²) from Staples) P20, Feed=2000, ppm=40 works well

Resources

This is needed to make the G-code for the laser: Turnkey lazor plugin

This is a template that will help with aligning workpieces in the laser bed: File:HM_K40_Template.svg

This program directly sends the gcode to the ramps board and avoids having glitches during rasters: pronterface

Tips on working in Inkscape: Inkscape Tips

If pronterface in os x gives an "[ERROR] Failed to set power settings" error try using the March 2014 build instead of the Feb 2015

Material Settings

Please use 75 as the max power setting

Member Material Layer name Purpose Comments
Konstantin 3mm Cardboard 75[ppm=40,feed=2000] Cutting Fast cutting of cardboard cutouts
Konstantin 3mm Cardboard 12[feed=3000,ppm=30] Engrave Fast Raster of cardboard text and labels
Konstantin 3mm Brown wood & glue crap we have 75[feed=400,ppm=40] Cut It is slow enough to cut that crap
citybadger 1.4mm Leather 30[feed=800,ppm=40] Cut
citybadger 1.4mm Leather 10[feed=800,ppm=40] Deep stitching groove or deep engrave A wide enough groove to be useful would require multiple adjacent passes
citybadger 1.4mm Leather 5[feed=800,ppm=40] Lighly engrave