How to use the Epilog Laser Mini – Fab Lab Wiki – by NMÍ Kvikan

The Epilog laser is a laser cutting and engraving device. It can load thing materials such as wood, plexiglass or cardboard and cut out various shapes and sizes from them. Aside from this it has a engraving mode. The machine can take plates of up to 60 by 30 centimeters. Any vector design in the PDF file format can be cut out by the machine. First you need a vector graphics file of the shape you want to cut or engrave. You can make these files with programs such as Inkscape, Coreldraw or Adobe Illustrator. Make sure you save the file as pdf. Lines that you want cut should be 0.01 mm thick. Everything else will be rasterized. Choose your material and place it in the machine. It is always best to make a dummy version in cheap cardboard first, to see if you got your measurements and settings right. If your are going to cut the material, make sure the honeycomb bed is in the machine. On the machine, press the [X/Y OFF] button followed by the green [GO] button for confirmation. Now proceed to move the laser by hand to where you want it to start cutting. If you need help aiming press the [POINTER] button to get a red dot on the lasers position. You can use the arrow buttons on the machine [up] and [down] to lower the bed for placing thicker materials. Bear in mind the machine starts at the top left corner of your design file. If you are satisfied with the position you can press [SET HOME]. Open the Document in Adobe PDF reader on the computer. Press the [CTRL]+[P] buttons to print. Click on the [PROPERTIES] tab to set the laser cutter's options. Here you will need to determine the settings that correspond with the material you have placed in the laser cutter. First select either [RASTER], [VECTOR] or [COMBINED] from the selection in the top center. Raster means engraving only, vector means cutting only, combined means both. The next step is to set the piece size. Here you fill in the size of the material you placed in the lasercutter. Make sure you have [AUTO FOCUS] and [VECTOR SORTING] selected. The last step is to set the raster and vector settings in the right side of the dialog window. Below you will see a table with the settings for the materials we use in the FabLab. When this is done you can press the [OK] button to get back to the main dialog print window. In this window make sure you have the right printer selected and not fill but actual print size selected. When ready hit the print button. The job will be waiting in the lasercutter. Switch on the ventilation and the air pressurizer. And then hit the green [GO] button on the machine. Epilogs printing options. Here you chose what resolution you want, if you want raster(engraving) or vector(deeper cutting) cutting. When you are going to adjust the speed, power and freq options, first look in the manual for the best settings. When you use color mapping you can set different options to different colors. To remove a color just mark it and hit the – button. To Add a color you hit the + button. You can also move the color up and down the list, the color that is at the top is the one that is going to get cut first. The speed, power and frequency options works in the same way, as in the general options. Before you start cutting, open the machine turn on the pointer. If the red dot hits one of the ruler you need to adjust the x an y. If you are making press fit design it is good to test first before cutting your whole design. Per laser cutter machine and per acrylic plate there can be a slight difference (like o.something mm) with is enough to make a pressfit design work or not. Source.

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Last Modified: August 27, 2014 @ 12:00 am