Intro: Laser Cutting
How to learn the easy steps of laser cutting
Step 1: Getting Your Design
Go to thingeverse.com and explore around until you have found something that you wast to cut.
Step 2: Downloading
Once you have found something you want to cut, you will click on it, and it will bring you to a new page. Once you get to this new page, you want to scroll all the way to the bottom and find the file that says ".stl"
This is your file that you will be cutting. Note: Your file must be a .stl file or this may not work.
Step 3: Importing Your File
Once you have your file downloaded, you will want to open up "123D Make". This program allows you to customize your file to fit any requirements you might have.
Once your program has opened, you will want to click on the button that says import at the top left corner of the program.
Step 4: Finding Your File
When you click on import, a small window will pop up. Select "downloads" on the left and search until you find the file you have downloaded.
Once you have found it, select it and click open on the bottom left.
Step 5: Setting It Up
Once you have imported your file, you can new view it and move it around however you want. Once we get here, you will want to select the little bar on the left (should be the very bottom bar) and select "stacked slices". This allows you to see what your file will look like with all pieces cut out and stacked together.
Step 6: Getting the Plans
Now that you have everything you need on 123D Make, you can now get your plans and move to the cutter.
You will want to select the button on the bottom left corner (should be the last button of 4). The screen will change to each piece of your object. At the bottom, you will see "File Type". Click the down arrow and select "DXF"
Once you have selected "DXF", click on the Export button to the right of the file type.
When you hit export, a small window will pop up and you will name your file whatever you want, the click on the down arrow and select desktop.
Step 7: Transferring
When your file has saved to the desktop, open the file and take your plans out of that file. Then you will take the USB drive from one of the printing computers and plug it into your computer. Then you will want to open the USB drive file (Cruzer) and find your file and drag it into the USB drive.
Then you want to close all the windows, drag the USB drive file to the trash to disconnect it and the unplug the USB drive
Step 8: Uploading
Put the flash drive into the cutting computer.
Then get onto the cutting computer and slick on "File", select import, and the a new window should pop up. In the top left corner should be another drop down arrow where you will select the USB Drive file.
Then select your file and then hit open in the bottom right.
Step 9: Sizing
Once you have imported your file, can now move it around and resize it.
Step 10: Cutting
This is where it gets fun. Once you have everything where it needs to be, you can click import on the right side. it should be the last button to click. When you click it, a new window will pop up. Click on "delete all" and then click "Import Current". Now your design is in the laser cutter.
Then go find a piece of wood and place it in the cutter. Aline the top right corner of the board to the top right corner of the cutter. Then close the latch.
Then you will want to press ESC on the cutter, then the Test button. This will show you where the laser will be cutting. Note: If you are testing and the laser moves anywhere off your board, wait for it to finish testing, open the latch and move your board so the area it has tested is completely on the board. Once you have finished that, you may close the latch, and press the Start Pause button.
Watch it cut!
Step 11: Final Product
After it is cutting, you will hear a beeping. This means that you are allowed to open the latch. Grab your piece of wood and bring it over to one of the tables.
If the laser didn't cut all the way through, that's OK. Just find a small knife and cut the pieces of wood that are still attached.
Then your free to do whatever you want with it. Paint it, cut it, sand it, or whatever. Good luck!