Trotec Laser Cutter

Trotec Laser Cutter

General Information

  • 3. Semester or higher
  • Laser introduction completed and passed
  1. Turn on the laser cutter and computer
  2. Unlock the machine with your ETH card
  3. Place the material onto the laser bed
  4. Pull down the protective cover and focus
  5. Import your PDF into Ruby
  6. Choose placement and material
  7. Cut
  8. Turn off the laser cutter and the computer after use

Cost: 20.- / h  (starts from login time!)
Area: 1000mm x 610mm
File: PDF, RGB colors, vector-based, no groups

Colors:

  • Cut = Red (RGB 255,0,0) (Hairline / 0.01pt / 0.01mm thick)
  • Engraved Line = Black (RGB 0,0,0) (Hairline / 0.01pt / 0.01mm thick)
  • Engraved Area = Blue (RGB 0,0,255)
  • Acrylic Glass (Plexiglas, PMMA) (0.5mm to 10mm)
  • Paper (up to 300g)
  • Corrugated Cardboard (0.5mm to 4mm)
  • Cardboard (0.5mm to 4mm)
  • Air-Ply (0.5mm to 2mm)
  • Poplar Plywood (3mm to 10mm)

  • PDF Export Guide for various CAD programs
  • Convert fonts to paths
  • Pay attention to closed paths (the laser is as accurate as the file)
  • No cut masks, no groupings, no compound paths
  • Try to void duplicate lines
  • No paths beyond or exactly at the edge of your file
  • Try to join lines into closed polylines
  • Try to avoid line segments smaller than ~0.5mm (can result in not being able to cut your file!)

Laser 2-6 HIL

  1. Unlock the machine with your ETH card at the entrance door
  2. Turn on the laser cutter by turning the key to the right (1)
  3. Place the material on the upper left corner of the laser bed and pull down the cover
  4. Move the laser head over the material with the navigation keys (2)
  5. Focus on to the material surface by pressing both AF-keys at the same time (3). For Laser 1, follow instructions below
  6. If you want to start your file at a specific spot drive there manually with the navigation keys (2)
  7. As soon the laser job started you can anytime stop the process with the “Pause/Play” key. (4)

Turn on

DSC_2986

Place material in the top left corner

DSC_3033

Place laser head over material

DSC_2984

Focus

Laser 1 HIL and Lasers at ONA Workshop

The Laser 1 and the Lasers at ONA workshop work basically the same as all the other laser cutters, only the laser focus must be differently.

  1. Move the laser-head over the material.
  2. Mount the distance gauge.
  3. Raise the laser bed incrementally until the distance gauge falls off.
  4. Store the distance gauge. The laser cutter is now in focus.

Ruby (Laser Software)

  • Open the laser software “Ruby”
  • Log in with the auto-filled credentials if necessary 
  • If the message “Job Control isn’t running. Do you want to switch to Ruby?” appears, accept it with “Yes”

Tab 1: Import (1) your PDF (2)

If “Error” appears check Troubleshoot

Tab 2: Delete the white area around your drawing (1) or skip with “create job”

Tab 3: The position of the laser (1) should be visible and can be used to position your file. Choose the material from the drop down menu (2). Then continue with “push to laser” (3).

Tab 4: Check the material settings and start the laser process (1).

Please clean your workspace and turn off machine and computer after you’ve finished cutting.

Troubleshoot

Check that there are

  • only necessary lines
  • no watermarks or hatches
  • only RGB colors
  • hairlines set to 0.01mm/0.01pt

To edit  (do this only if Ruby can’t load your file!) your file either

  • open it in Illustrator and switch to vector mode
  • or use the Adobe Acrobat Reader and switch to edit mode

How to fix hairlines in Adobe Acrobat Reader:
  1. Go to “Print Production”
  2. Choose “Fix Hairlines” 
  3. Set the target value to 0.01mm/0.01pt
  4. Save the file

If that does not work, try printing your file as a PDF in Acrobat Reader: 

  1. Click “Print file” or press “Ctrl”+”P” to open Adobe Print.
  2. In the Printer drop-down menu select “Adobe PDF”.
  3. Press “Print”.
  4. Wait until “Save PDF file as” window opens. Once open, select where you want to save your PDF (e.g. “Desktop”).
  5. Save PDF.
  6. Try importing the PDF into Ruby.

Check if

  • the material settings are correct 
  • autofocus is set correctly
  • your material is flat – even 1-2mm can make an enormous difference!

Don’t hesitate to get in touch with a staff member so the preset can be optimized and report the problem here: complaint form

In some cases the laser-job can be continued with the “Play” button. If this doesn’t work you’ll have to restart the machine and check your file in-depth. Often geometries with too many anchor points or very small line-segments (< 0.5mm) lead to this problem.

To solve this problem try to redraw the lines in question or repair them in your CAD software by rebuilding the curve with less control points.

Vacuum Former

Vacuum Former

  1. Unlock the machine with your ETH card
  2. Turn on the machine and heating elements
  3. Place mold on the lifting platform
  4. Install the material in the frame
  5. Heat up the material
  6. Lift the platform and turn on the vacuum pump
  7. Remove the part and turn the machine off
  • Cost: free
  • Frame small: 200x220mm, material: 230x260mm
  • Frame big: 230x430mm, material: 260x460mm

Regarding the mold:

  • no undercut on the mold
  • include taper angles of a few degrees
  • PS (Polystyren / Polystyrol)
  • PVC (Polyvinylchlorid)
  • PMMA (Polymethylmethacrylat (Plexiglas, Acrylglas))
  • PE (Polyethylen)
  • 0.3mm to 8mm thick

Material for the mold:

  • heat resistant material
  • metal
  • wood
  • foam (thermoset)

Tutorial

  1. Turn on the machine with your ETH card
  2. Turn the machine on with the main switch (1)
  3. Turn on the needed heating elements (2). Normally all elements are to be set to MAX.
  4. Activate the heating elements (3)
  1. Install the desired frame (small or large) and clamp it down (4)
  2. Insert your form in the center of the lifting platform (5)
  3. Insert the material and clamp it down (6)
  4. Slide the heating element over the material (7)
  5. Check the progress of the heating (varies with thickness and material), material should deform in order to be moldable.
  6. Slide the heating element (7) back, lift the platform with the lever to the left (8) and turn on the vacuum pump (9) shortly afterwards by pushing the switch up.
  7. Press the counterpressure button (10) for an easier removal later
  8. Loose the frame and remove your objects, turn off the heating elements and the machine with the main switch.

Troubleshooting

  • Drill holes where possible
  • Heat up the material even more
  • Reduce heat or heating time
  • Reduce the temperature and increase the time if you have thicker material
  • Use a mold release agent
  • Increase the taper angle
  • The material got too hot

Zünd 2

Zünd 2

General Information

  1. Unlock machine with ETH card and turn on the PC
  2. Open the template “Zünd_Template_Porthos” (Desktop) and import your file
  3. Cut: Z_CUT / Engrave: Z_ENGRAVE
  1.  

Cost: 30.- / h
Area: 1600mm x 1300mm

  • Paper
  • Cardboard max 3mm
  • Corrugated cardboard
  • Kappa Platten up to 10mm

Change tool

  • Blade to Pen:    2 1 1 4 Enter
  • Pen to Blade:    2 1 1 1 Enter

Oscillating blade (for Kappa-boards)

  1. Mount the oscillating blade in toolholder nr. 2
  2. Choose “tool right” in the cutting dialog within rhino

Tutorial

Startup

  1. Unlock your machine with the ETH card
  2. Turn on the computer
  3. Open the template “Zünd_Template_Porthos” (Desktop)
  4. Import your vector drawing (pdf, dxf) with the command “File” > “Import”
  5. Place the material on the machine. When placing your material, please note the orientation of the X- & Y-Axis.
  6. Cover up the area behind your material to ensure the vacuum power.

Cut

  1. Type “Z_CUT” into the command window
  2. Select your vectors. Confirm with enter
  3. Check settings
    1. Tool=left: blade
    2. VacuumWidth: as wide as necessary
    3. Speed: standard 15
  4. Confirm with enter
  5. Confirm “y” with enter to send the command to the plotter
  6. Press “online” (1) to start the task

Engrave

  1. Type “Z_ENGRAVE” into the command window
  2. Select your vectors. Confirm with enter
  3. Check settings
    1. VacuumWidth: as wide as necessary
    2. Speed: standard 10
    3. Material_Thickness: in mm
  4. Confirm with enter
  5. Confirm “y” with enter to send the command to the plotter
  6. Press “online” (1) to start the task

Draw

  1. Drive over the material with the navigation keys (2)
  2. Activate the pen tool (2 1 1 4) on the number board and press “enter”
  3. Lower the tool (3)
  4. Adjust height manually
  5. Lift the tool (3)
  6. Type “Z_CUT” into the command window
  7. Select your vectors. Confirm with enter
  8. Check settings
    1. Tool=pen
    2. VacuumWith: as wide as necessary
    3. Speed: Standard …
  9. Confirm with enter
  10. Confirm “y” with enter to send the command to the plotter
  11. Press “online” (1) to start the task

Turn off

  • Delete your files and folders
  • Turn off the computer
  • The plotter turns of as soon you are logged out

Troubleshoot

Pause and continue the task with “online”

  • Confirm with “ok”
  • Continue with “online”

Contact a Raplab-Employee

  • Press 3, 3, 1 to clear the buffer
  • Press “Enter” to continue
  • Re-send the plotting task
  • this is because your material may be too small and therefore fits loose on the vacuum surface. Cover up the area behind your material to solve this issue.

Zünd 1

Zünd 1

General Info

  • 3. Semester or higher
  • Zünd cutting plotter introduction completed and passed
  1. Unlock your machine with the ETH card and turn on the computer
  2. Turn on the machine with “F1”
  3. Confirm the error message with “OK”
  4. Import your vector drawing (pdf, dxf) into the template
  5. Cut: Z_CUT / Engrave: Z_ENGRAVE
  6. Turn the machine off with shift+stop
  1.  

Cost: 30.- / h
Area: 800mm x 1300mm

  • Paper
  • Cardboard max 3mm
  • Corrugated cardboard

Tutorial

Startup

  1. Unlock your machine with the ETH card
  2. Turn on the computer
  3. Turn on the machine by pressing F1 (1)
  4. Confirm the error message with “ESC”
  5. Open the template “Zünd_Template_Athos” (Desktop)
  6. Import your vector drawing (pdf, dxf) with the command “File” > “Import”
  7. Place the material on the machine. When placing your material, please note the orientation of the X- & Y-Axis.
  8. Cover up the area behind your material to ensure the vacuum power.

Cut

  1. Type “Z_CUT” into the command window
  2. Select your vectors. Confirm with enter
  3. Check settings
    • Tool=left: blade for cutting hard materials (cardboard)                                                                          Tool=right: blade for soft materials (paper, foamboards)
    • VacuumWidth: as wide as necessary
    • Speed: standard 50
  4. Confirm with enter
  5. Confirm “y” with enter to send the command to the plotter

Press “online” (2) to start the task

Engrave

  1. Type “Z_ENGRAVE” into the command window
  2. Select your vectors. Confirm with enter
  3. Check settings
    • VacuumWidth: as wide as necessary
    • Speed: standard 10
    • Material_Thickness: in mm
  4. Confirm with enter
  5. Confirm “y” with enter to send the command to the plotter
  6. Press “online” (2) to start the task

Turn off

  • Delete your files and folders
  • Turn off the computer
  • Turn off the plotter by pressing “shift” (3) +”Stop” (4)
  • confirm turning off the plotter with “Ja” by pushing the first button from the left below the screen

Troubleshoot

Pause and continue the task with “online”

  • Confirm with “ok”
  • Continue with “online”

Contact a Raplab-Employee

  • Click “F7” to delete the buffer
  • re-send the task to the machine
  • Turn off the machine with “shift”+”stop”
  • ensure you are logged in with your ETH card
  • Turn on the machine with “F1”
  • this is because your material may be too small and therefore fits loose on the vacuum surface. Cover up the area behind your material to solve this issue.

Cetus 3D Printer

Cetus 3D Printer

General Information

  • 3. Semester or higher
  • Self-study this 3D Print tutorial
  • Printer only running during office hours
  1. Unlock the printer with your ETH card
  2. Turn the printer on by pressing and holding the switch for 2 seconds
  3. Upload your stl file into the software “UP Studio”
  4. Check the orientation and postition of your part
  5. Choose print settings
  6. Check if sufficient material is on the spool
  7. Click “Print”

Check if the first layer sticks to the surface – if not abort the print and report it to a Raplab employee.

Cost: 1.- / h
Area: 180mm x 180mm
Height: 180mm

White PLA filament, 1.75mm, provided by the Raplab

Tutorial

  • Unlock the machine with your ETH card
  • Turn on the machine with the trigger switch by holding it for 2-3 seconds until the beep indicates that the initialization (calibration) of the printer is starting.
  • Open the Tiertime Software on the computer next to the 3D printers
  • Choose “up”
  • Import file

Choose your print settings

  • Layer thickness (1)
  • Infill (2)
  • Quality settings (3)
  • Support yes / no (4)
  • Extend print settings (5)
  • Check “Easy to peel” (6)
  • Further settings, position, scaling, edit support structure (7)
  • Preview print sequence (8)
  • Check print sequence (1)
  • Check print time (2)
  • Start the print or cancel with “Exit preview” (3)

Check the progress of the print from time to time. You can set a timer with the software-suggested duration to be right on time to pick it up.

Troubleshoot

Check if the power and usb cable is  connected to the  printer properly.

Report the malfunction to a staff-member and switch to an other printer.

The print surface needs to be cleaned and a calibration needs to be made. Please contact the Raplab Staff.