Operating instructions to use the K40 laser cutter.
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Vinyl contains chlorine
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README.md Vinyl contains chlorine Feb 4, 2018

README.md

Blackpool Makerspace Laser Cutter Guide

Type of Cutter

K40 Laser cutter

Does it work?

Yes!

Laser Cutter Rules

Rule 0: Do not be on fire!

Rule 1: If you haven't been shown how to use it, ASK!

Rule 2: Never leave it unattended.

Rule 3: If something happens, turn off the power or the laser.

Rule 4: The lid should always be down when the laser is in operation.

Startup Guide

  • Check water in the bucket.
  • Ensure that the pump is submerged in the water and that the return tube is also in the water.
  • Check that the extractor fan is attached.
  • Turn on BOTH fans.
  • Power up the laser cutter.
  • Ensure the LASER switch is OFF. (Raised Proud).
  • Set laser power to correct level as per table below.
  • Place the material to cut in the cutting area and close the lid.
  • Connect computer to cutter using the USB lead.
  • Start up the software and use as per the software guidance below.

Software

We are using the K40 Whisperer software that works with Windows and Linux.

Installation instructions here

Materials

Do not cut the following materials

  • MDF
  • PVC
  • Anything containing chlorine (That includes vinyl)
  • Polycarbonate
  • Fiberglass
  • PCB
  • HDPE
  • Carbon Fiber
  • Metal

Material Cutting Guide

Material Thickness mm Cut / Engrave Power % Number of Passes Speed Details
Hardwood 3 Cut 75 2 Default Cuts cleanly with no burns
Hardwood 3 Engrave Raster 12 1 Default Light engrave, no burns
Hardwood 3 Engrave Raster 20 1 Default Medium engrave, no burns
Plywood 3 Engrave Vector 15-25 1 Default 15% is light, 25% Heavy engrave
Plywood 3 Cut 50 2 Default May need a slightly higher power
Plywood 6 Engrave Raster 20 - 50 1 Default Looks lovely
Plywood 6 Engrave Vector 15-25 1 Default 15% is light, 25% Heavy engrave
Plywood 6 Cut 90 3 5mm / second Will cause burn damage to wood, use masking tape
Acrylic 2 Engrave Raster 15-25 1 Default Light engrave no burns
Acrylic 2 Engrave Vector 15-25 1 Default Nice clear lines, you can turn up the power at risk of burns
Acrylic 2 Cut 70 1-2 Default Cuts well, 2 passes should go through cleanly
Acrylic 5 Engrave Raster 25 1 Default Light engrave no burns
Acrylic 5 Cut 75 2 Default Cuts but not all the way through
Acrylic 5 Cut 50 2 Default Cuts well do this after 2 passes at 75% for a clean cut
EVA Foam 2 Engrave Raster 12.5 1/2 Default Looks good at large sizes (half A4) but smaller sizes it can be diffcult to get detail
EVA Foam 2 Cut Vector 25 1/2 Default Cuts easy, needs moderate speed multiple cuts rather than one slow cut.
Foamcore 2 Engrave Vector 12.5 1 Default Slow, low power engrave needed, the board can warp slightly
Foamcore 2 Cut Vector 12.5 2 Default Slow, low power cut, go over twice and then carefully check it.
Felt 1 Engrave Vector 12 1 20mm / second WATCH IT LIKE A HAWK!! Cuts really easy but too much power too slow can cause a fire, cut slow and low
Felt 1 Cut Vector 12 2 10mm / second WATCH IT LIKE A HAWK!! Cuts really easy but too much power too slow can cause a fire, cut slow and low