Cutting Perspex with 5 watt Laser
@RodneyB You are using a vector and not trying to cut with a raster file, correct?
Air assist can be as simple as a ducted fan (if you have a 3D printer you can print one) or an aquarium air pump, or you can use a small compressor (air brush) or a compressed air tank filled from a larger compressor.
@Zax ![alt text]
Please see attached, I set it to do 6 passes
Sent G Code
Only does one pass in 11 minutes. What am I doing wrong?
@Zax Sorry I am totally confused what is a raster file.?
@RodneyB Your star is a raster file, it's an image made up of pixels and is engraved by the machine raster scanning back and forth. To cut you need a path or vector file, then the multi-pass vector command will work and be much faster of course.
If you are using Inkscape or a CAD program, simply save the design as a vector format: DXF is the industry standard.
You can also use Sketch as that generates vector (unless you select filled and then it is a raster), or use Trace to convert a raster to a vector format. In your case you'll get double lines as it will trace both sides, if you are using a 64-bit system the Centerline Trace would be acceptable.
Thank you for your help, yet I am still experiencing problems. I followed the following
- Open Inkscape
- Imported star Image
- Saved it as a dxf File
- Then saved with the following default that came up
- I then opened T2 Laser
- File, Import, DXF file,
- The following error comes up
I am not sure what or where I am going wrong.
Your assistance is really appreciated.
@RodneyB what are you doing is save a dxf file with a bitmap inside, not a vector. What you need, for cutting, is a pure vector image. Just to simplify, a vector image of a line is a sum of informations about the line, starting coordinates, ending ones, thickness...
a bitmap image of a line isn't a line, but dots.
Please forgive me for the extreme semplification.
If you want to cut a star, you must design it, for example, in Inkscape (or any other tool that manages vectors), as a sum of lines (possibly as a closed object), then export in dxf.
As @Zax wrote, you can also trace the actual image in t2laser, to obtain a vector (do not use sketch filled).
@RodneyB Marco_b is correct, also you need to disable LWPolyline when exporting DXF from Inkscape as there is a bug in that method.
@Zax Thank you both for your help. I managed to do as you said and it started to cut as you said it would. I tried a piece of 3 mm MDF and set it to 255 at a speed of 500 and 50 passes, did not even cut through so totally confused.
What size laser would you recommend for cutting and do you have any idea where I can get it I looked on Banggood but failed to see anything
@RodneyB If the laser power is true 5W (e.g. EleksMaker 5.5W module) then you should be able to cut 3mm laser ply in 3 passes at around 200 feed rate. Cheap ply and MDF may not be possible as they use resins which will not cut easily.
The addition of air assist (e.g. ducted fan, aquarium air pump or air brush compressor) will greatly improve the cutting as it removes debris from the kerf and keeps the laser path clear.
@Zax Thank you, I will try and purchase laser ply and re try.