About Epilog Laser
The epilog laser is a machine that is capable of cutting, rastering, and etching a variety of materials in a quick and easy way. The laser is limited to performing these actions in the 2D X-Y plane. This machine uses files printed from AutoCad to cut these parts, and files can be sent from any shop computer in the lab.
- General Stats:
- Material : Acrylic, Wood, Vinyl, Foam Core, MDF, ABS, Paper, Card Board, Leather.
- Maximum Part Size : 457.2mm x 609.6mm (18in x 24mm)
Preparing a File
- Main Article : Using AutoCad to Laser Cut
All of the computers in the shop have either AutoCad 2016 or 2017 software and can be used to create files that will be laser cut. In AutoCad, your file should only consist of 2D geometry and should use the preset layering system the shop has in place. Yellow is used for lines that will be cut first, while purple is for lines that will be cut second. Red is for rastering, while green and blue are for scoring shallow and deep respectively. White lines are not read by the laser. It is important to note that these are not colored lines, these are lines set to the specific colored layers. Once the drawing is complete, it should be placed inside the laser bed template on one of the computers. No part of the drawing should go outside of the 18in x 24in laser bed. Make sure to place parts within 1/16in of each other in order to reduce the waste of material. Double check your drawing paying attention to and deleting all duplicate lines, points, and other unnecessary segments. This step will produce cleaner cuts and a better finished product. Once you believe your file is ready to send to the computer, call over a shop supervisor to take one last look at it before it is sent.
Sending a File to the Laser
- Main Article : Sending a File to the Laser
To send a file to the laser, click the print icon at the top of the program. The page that appears next should match the screen pictured to the right. If it does not, change the appropriate settings so that it does. Once the settings are correct, select window, as circled in the example screenshot. Selecting window will bring you back to the drawing screen. From here, select the top left corner, and the bottom right corner of the entire bed you are going to cut. Do not just select the part you are going to cut, select the entire 18" x 24" bed. Once this is selected, make sure that plot scale ratio is 1:1, select print preview. If everything looks correct with the cut, including all of the geometry being set to the correct color layer. After double checking the preview, select print. This will send the file to the computer by the laser cutter.
Prepping the Laser
- Main Article : Using the Epilog Laser Computer
Once, your file is sent to the laser computer, have a staff member walk over to the computer with you to begin cutting. The Epilog application should be open, if it is not, open it. Under the jobs tab, select the job you want to print.
- Main Article : Processing zPrinter Files