Preparing a Laser File in AutoCAD
1. Open the Laser Cutter template in AutoCAD.
a. File > Open
b. The template file is Z:/APP SUPPORT/ACAD/laser template.dwg
2. If an error about missing dependencies appears, click ignore.
3. You should see a File with several 18”x24” rectangles.
4. Immediately save the template as a new file so you don’t overwrite the original.
a. File > Save As
b. Choose a file name that is relevant to your project in your own Z drive folder.
5. If you already have a dwg file drawn in AutoCAD, copy and paste everything in your original file to the copy of the template you made in Step 4. Once done, you may close your original file.
6. If you do not already have a drawing, you can simply draw your part in the copy of the template in Step 4.
NOTE: Make sure that your ENTIRE drawing fits in only ONE of the rectangles. The default printing window is the top leftmost rectangle.
7. The laser cutter will remove a very thin amount of material, so individual parts can be place very close to one another (about 1/16th of an inch) without causing problems. This is preferred as it will reduce the amount of waste material.
8. Select the proper layer type for EACH line in your drawing using the “Layer” dropdown menu.
a. The dropdown menu is in the Home tab, in the Layers section
b. Though lines in the “0” layer will be cut, it is the same color as they “LAYOUT” layer, which can also be used, so it is best practice not to use the “0” layer.
c. If you wish to raster something, set those lines as “RASTER”, the red option.
d. If you wish to cut something through, set those lines as “CUT_FIRST”, the yellow option.
e. If you have any duplicate lines, points, or unnecessary segments, be sure to delete them, or move them to the “LAYOUT” layer. This layer will be ignored by the laser cutter.
NOTE: If your part includes some shape out of which you are cutting a hole, such as an annulus (a 2D donut shape), you must set the inner hole as part of the “CUT_FIRST” (red) layer, and set the outer hole as the “CUT_LAST” (magenta) layer.
9. Be sure to save your file when done!