Laser cutting- is a technology that uses a laser to cut materials, and is typically used for industrial manufacturing applications, but is also starting to be used by schools, small businesses, and hobbyists. Vinyl cutter (or vinyl plotter) - is a computer controlled plotting device with a blade instead of a pen. A vector based design is created in a software program (usually Adobe Illustrator or Corel Draw) and then sent to the cutter where it cuts along the vector paths laid out in the design.
In Fab Lab Yucatán there are two laser cutter machines. This first one i don´t think we are going to use, because it is not a good machine. I heard the mail problem is when a file is done in rhinoceros the lasser cutter cuts wrong at some point. The machine we are going to use is a Chinese one, bigger and with more power
1. I did my test file on Rhinoceros. Just a square with cut and engrave. Each one in a different layer. The text must be exploded
2. Save it as .dxf file in a USB
3. Go to the laptop that controls the machine. Is has to be connected by a USB cable to the laser cutter, and the USB key must be plugged to the laptop also.
4. Open the laser cutter program, right click and select open as administrator
5. Import the .dxf file from the USB
6. Set the parameter for cutting and engraving, speed and power for each one
7. On the menu, tools, select unite lines
8. Select immediate or not if you want to set the area where is going to cut or use the coordinated straight from the program
9. Press download, when the new window opens, delete all the files there and press download current. It will transmit the file to the laser cutter machine
10. The head of the laser should be more and less 15mm from the material. You need to measure it by yourself and move the bed up of down with the Z button.
11. Press test to check the area that is going to be cut and the press start. It will start cutting
13. On the third try it worked
14. I try with different thickness of mdf. In this case with 15mm
16. We continued cutting in different materials
The Vinil cutter I am going to use is a Silhouette Curio