At Bechtel: Operating the Laser

Printing your job

Overview

The software on the computer “sees” the laser as a standard printer. When a file is printed to the laser it is opened in the Trotec JobControl software. JobControl configures and operates the laser.

Depending on your chosen file format, there will be a different process for printing. Start by opening the file in the program it was designed in or one of the ones listed below that can open it.

AutoCAD [.dxf or .dwg]

  • Select plot
  • Under Printer Name select Trotec Engraver v10.6.1
  • If prompted use the default paper size
  • Under Plot Area select Window
  • Select what you want to cut / engrave
  • Uncheck fit to paper
  • In the scale boxes type the folowing:
    • If your drawing is in inches: 1 inches = 1 units
    • If your drawing is in millimeters: 1 inches = 25.4 units
  • Check Center the plot
  • Hit OK
  • When prompted enter a job name, then hit Apply

Inkscape [.svg , .png , .pdf]

  • Make sure all of your file is within the boundaries of the page
    To resize the page go to File → Document Properties, the page size will be in pixels by default
  • Go to file and select Print
  • Make sure the Trotec Engraver is selected
  • Hit Print
  • When prompted enter a job name, then hit Apply

Adobe Illustrator [.ai, .svg, .pdf, .png]

  • Make sure all of your file is within the boundaries of the artboard
  • Go to file and select Print
  • Make sure the Trotec Engraver is selected for the printer
  • For the printer preset select Trotec Laser
    • This preset has the color management setting changed to Adobe RGB 1998
  • Make sure the scaling is set to do not scale
  • Hit Print
  • When prompted enter a job name, then hit Apply

Setting up the laser


Turning on the laser

  • Twist the emergency stop button clockwise to disengage it.
  • Turn the black key switch to the right. Start it like you would a car.
  • The laser will go through a calibration cycle and move the bed all the way to the bottom
  • Once you hear a beep from the laser it is then ready for use.

Focusing the laser

  • Bring the bed back up using the keypad on the laser (Leave enough room for your material)
  • Place your material on the bed
  • Grab the focusing tool from the tray by the keypad of the laser

    Always put the tool back in the tray when you are done

  • Orient it so the angled legs are facing the center of the laser head
  • Hang the tool on the side of the laser head by the brass block
  • Slowly bring the bed up till the tool falls off
  • The laser is now in focus and you can put the tool back

Positioning the job

  • Use the keypad to move the laser head where you want the corner of your job to be
  • Go over to the Job Control software hit the USB icon in the lower right to connect to the laser (Only needs to be done if turning the laser on for the first time for the day)
    You will hear a series of beeps during this process, that is normal
  • Now drag your job to one of the corners of the cross hairs on the screen
    Your job will want to snap to a corner or center of the cross hair

Wherever your job is positioned in Job Control is where it will cut regardless of where the laser head is.


Running the laser


Verify that everything on Job Control looks correct

  • Your job is not missing any features
  • Your job is positioned correctly
  • Your material is set to what you are cutting

On the laser

  • Make sure there is nothing the laser can run into sitting on the bed
  • Make sure the lid is closed and the red light is on
  • Make sure the exhaust fan is on

    This is the lightswitch located by the laser on the wall

  • Once that is ready you can hit the Start button in the lower right corner of Job Control
  • A warning will appear this is a reminder to check that the exhaust fan is on
  • Hit ok once it is on
  • Wait for your job to cut
  • Watch the laser process to assure nothing is flaming up
  • The laser will beep once your job is finished
  • Turn off the exhaust fan
  • You can now remove your pieces from the laser
  • When you are done with your job, ask the TA if the laser should be turned off (To turn the laser off, turn the key to the off position and press the red e-stop button)