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Here you can find information about the Epilog Fusion Pro 48 laser cutter and how to start using it at the Aalto Fablab.

1. Start the machine and set up the material

  1. Make sure that the ventilation and fume extraction is on. Turn the rotary timer switch to its maximum position clockwise.
  2. Turn on the laser cutter
    1. Turn the key to “1”, if it’s on “1’ then skip this step.
    2. Scan the card to this red machine and the laser cutter will start to initialize. This red machine will ring every few minutes to make sure there’s someone next to the laser cutter. You can press the “v” button to stop the ring.
    3. Wait for it till it finishes the initialization, during which you will see the laser head move left and right and stop on the top-left corner in the end.
  3. Open the lid of the laser cutter and insert your material. You can find what kind of materials are safe here.
    1. Make sure that you know the size, type, and thickness of the material.
    2. Close the lid slowly and carefully.

2. Login computer

Use your Aalto account to log in to the laptop. If you can't log in, try to connect the Wi-Fi to "aalto".

3. Prepare your design in Adobe Illustrator

Search for Adobe Illustrator and open it. If it asks you to log in, you can use Aalto email to log in to Adobe Illustrator.

Open a new file or open your own file. Make sure that the document color mode is set to RGB (you can check it under File / Document Color Mode).

3.1. Prepare your design for cutting

  1. Ensure the lines you want to cut are 0.01mm thick (stroke = 0.01mm).
  2. Make sure the area you want to cut only has an outline without filled color.

3.2. Prepare your design for engraving

  1. Make sure the area you want to engrave is filled with color.
  2. Make sure the area you want to engrave doesn’t have an outline (no stroke).

💡Tip 1: If you want to engrave some texts: select the texts → right click → create outline, then you can convert texts to vector shapes.

💡Tip 2: If you want to engrave a very thin line, you can set it as a cutting job but don’t cut through the material.

💡Tip 3: If you want to do different jobs on one design file. For example, some parts are for engraving, some parts are for cutting. You can set different colors for different parts, so you are able to set the job separately later.

💡Tip 4: The laser cutter uses a laser beam to burn out the material so please consider the kerf that may cause. You can cut a few little pieces before starting the real cutting job. Measure the difference between the size in Illustrator and the actual pieces.

Here is an example design: 2 cutting outlines & 2 engraving areas

3.3.  Send your design to the software of the laser cutter

After you finish your design

  1. File → Print →Print.
  2. Do the same setting as in the below picture → Print
  3. The file will be sent to the laser cutter's software, and the window should pop up automatically. If you don't see the popped window, you can open it from the taskbar.

4. Set the jobs for the laser

4.1. General setting

  1. Drag your design to where you want to cut and engrave on the material.
  2. On the right side panel, set Auto Focus to Plunger, so the laser head will detect the thickness of the material automatically

4.2. Set the engraving job.

There are three parameters that will affect how the laser cutter does the engraving job:

  • Resolution: The unit is DPI, which means Dots Per Inch. Like the density of laser pulse in an area. Higher resolution can make finer engraved images.
  • Speed: How fast the laser head moves on the material. With the same power, lower speed can make deeper engraving.
  • Power: How strong the laser goes to the material. With the same speed, higher power can make deeper engraving.

💡Tip 1: Click the top-right folder icon and open the material library. Here are the presets for different materials, you can choose what is suitable for your case.

💡Tip 2: If you want to use different settings on different areas, go to split by and choose color, then the job will be separated by the color setting.

4.3. Set the cutting job

There are three parameters that will affect how the laser cutter does the cutting job:

  • Speed: How fast the laser head moves on the material. With the same power, lower speed can make deeper engraving.
  • Power: How strong the laser goes to the material. With the same speed, higher power can make deeper engraving.
  • Frequency: How many laser pulses are emitted in a certain time. For example, because you need a higher temperature to get a smooth edge of acrylic, you need a higher frequency.
  • Same as the engraving job, you can use the setting from the library and split the job by colors.

💡Tip 3: The laser cutter will do the jobs from the top to the bottom of your job lists. You can change the order by dragging a job up and down to another job. The only thing that you cannot change is that the engraving job is always before cutting jobs.

💡Tip 4: Because cutting and engraving jobs are both affected by more than one parameter, different combinations of the parameter's value can get a similar result. You can use the preset from the library as a starting point, and change a parameter every time you test till you get a satisfactory result.

4.4. Send the job to the machine

  1. After setting all the jobs, click Send to JM on the bottom right, and a window will pop up. Select Job tab.
  2. Choose your job which should at the first one on the list.
  3. Click the Quick Print button (a printer icon) on the top-right corner
  4. You can see your job on the laser cutter's display. Select it and press the start button, now the laser cutter should start your job 🎉🎉🎉

The outcome of this example

5. After finishing the job

  • Remember to take out your material.
  • Clean up the working area.
  • Press "X" button on the red machine to turn off the laser cutter

6. Troubleshooting

6.1. Auto focus doesn't work

If you see this message show up on the laser cutter's display, that means the laser head cannot get the proper focus distance by itself. Press Cancel to stop the job.

So we can use manual focus to get the proper focus distance

  1. Select the Jog Menu on the display, then you can move the laser head by the joystick. Move it to your material.
  2. Select the second button from the left, which is Focus Menu. Use the joystick to rise up a little bit of the working table (the metal grid platform)
  3. Open the lid and put a metal stick that is next to the laser head down. The stick should touch the material at some angles.
  4. Use the joystick to move the working table down, trying to make the stick as straight as possible and still touch the material.
  5. Try to adjust the working table up and down a few times, making the stick go straight and touch the material's surface.
  6. Now you get the proper focus distance! Put the stick back. It's can be fixed on a magnet.
  7. Choose the Job Menu on the display, select your job, and press the Start button.
  8. Select Ignore this time when the message pops up, and the laser cutter will start your job.

💡For more advanced techniques, consult the Fablab staff💡

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  1. Hi, 

    What is the maximum resolution that we can achieve using this laser cutter? I want to make a very fine pattern on some cutting  material that will be used for making silicon based pattern but I would like to know the maximum resolution of the printer available so that I make the features of the pattern accordingly. 


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