Laser Cutting Machine

The LaserPro laser cutter is used to cut and etch a variety of materials.

Material:

You must use only materials that are approved for laser cutting. If your material is not listed on our sheet, you must find the MSDS sheet and show it to a staff member for approval. Some materials release toxic fumes when laser cut or are highly flammable.

Dimensions:

The work area inside the LaserPro is 36”x24”. The material should be reasonably flat, without significant warp.

CorelDraw files:

CorelDraw is the image processing program set up for our laser. You can create the image using the drawing tools within Corel.

More commonly you will use an image from another software in which you have created your part. CorelDraw will “OPEN” a wide variety of formats. We have had good success with .DWG .DXF and .PDF. You can also create a part within CorelDraw and then “IMPORT” a variety of formats, including the above plus .BMP .JPG .TIFF. If bringing in multiple parts, you will use “IMPORT” for additional after the first.

 

  • Be sure to use the appropriate unit system.
  • Set the scaling appropriately. Usually you will want 1:1. Do Notuse Automatic scaling as you don’t know what the software will decide is correct.

The cursor indicates where the top left corner of your design will go and displays some text. Place the sketch by moving the mouse to the desired point and clicking once.

​The laser cutter will etch everything in your design except “Hairline Width” lines. If you want to cut along a line you must select the shape and then use the “Outline Pen” tool to set the width to “Hairline”.

Once you have set up your page, you are ready to configure the actual job through the LaserPro print driver. “FILE‐PRINT”.

The “Print” screen opens. Make sure that “Spirit GLS” is selected as the destination.

Click “Layout” tab.  You can size the workpiece and position the part.

Go back to the “General” screen

Go to “Preferences”

Go to “Pen”. LaserPro uses different colors to represent different speed and power settings. You can set up to 16 individual speed/power combinations per file. Lower speeds and higher power produce deeper cuts and engravings, higher speeds and lower power produce shallower cuts and engravings.

On the same page you select PPI (pulses‐per‐inch). PPI represents the number of times the laser pulses per linear inch for vector cutting. Higher settings generate deeper, overlapping laser pulses resulting in cleaner cuts. Lower settings (below 150 PPI) result in the individual laser pulses being spread apart, similar to perforations in paper. Best results are usually found in the mid‐range settings. 

Raster/Vector check boxes control processing for each color. Raster fills areas with a movement similar to the way a laser printer goes back and forth. Vector follows lines around profiles. Air checkbox controls the air‐assist function for cleanest cuts with vector cutting.

“Home” resets the positioning of the laser head to the “home position” (upper right) after each job completion and before the next job starts.

Go to “Advanced” tab. Position modes allow you to control the positioning of the laser head after each job completion and before the next job.

“Without Home” starts the next job based on the position from the graphic software. On completion of the current job, the laser head will remain at the last position of the job.

“Relative” sets the current laser position to correspond to the origin (top left) of the software. The laser will process the job from its current position when you press START.

“Center” sets the current position of the laser head as the center point of the job. “Smart Center” is an enhanced version of “Center” that allows you to store either 2 or 4 points and direct the laser to automatically position itself to the center of the saved positions.

Go to “Paper” tab.

Check “Extend”, “Imperial”

“OK”

Verify that the LaserPro is turned on:

Rocker switch on right side, Key Switch on Top.

Laser head will move to physical home which is upper right corner of working area.

Go back to Corel Draw and “PRINT”.

Turn on external air extraction system by turning rotary switch to “ON” and flipping toggle switch mounted on the wall. Press “Hand” on upper part of control unit, wait until you hear blower start.

Place the material in the work area. Install Autofocus device and press “Autofocus” button. Table will move up to sensor, then move back down to correct focal distance. Press “Back” button. Remove sensor. You can move the head to starting place depending on which start position you chose. Verify that the movements are correct by pressing “Start” with the cover open. This will allow a dry run without the laser firing.

If the movements are correct, close the cover and start. When done, wait a few seconds for smoke to clear before opening cover and removing parts.

Cleaning

  • Move head to middle of machine by hand
  • Remove the three thumbscrews on the front of the head, remove front panel

Mirror cleaning

  • Loosen thumbscrew on the top of the head and remove the mirror
  • BE VERY CAREFUL NOT TO TOUCH THE MIRROR SURFACE
  • Place 2 drops of cleaning fluid on mirror surface
  • Pull lens tissue horizontally across mirror surface to remove cleaning fluid without exerting any pressure on the mirror itself
  • Reinstall mirror in head, finger tighten thumbscrew

Lens cleaning

  • Remove lens from head and place 2 drops of cleaning fluid on its surface
  • Wipe surface down with q-tip
  • Repeat for both sides
  • Reinstall lens in head with beveled corner on the upper left

Smoke baffle cleaning

  • Remove baffle from bottom of the head
  • Wash in sink or wipe down interior with damp swab
  • Reinstall in head