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Laser Cutting Guidelines

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LASER CUTTING PROCESS

  1. Fill out a laser cutting request envelope, enclose the file or file location, and submit it TO A TECH.
  2. All files must be submitted through the Rapid Prototyping server or a CD. Flash drives are no longer accepted.  Also, double check that the file name on your envelope matches the file in your folder EXACTLY, or we will not print it.  There will be no guessing on our part.
  3. Drop off your file and it will be ready for pick up after 5:00 pm the following day.


We will not do corrections to your file for you.  If there are any mistakes, you will be called and asked to fix the problems yourself.

LOCATION OF RAPID PROTOTYPING SERVER:
FOR PC
Start >type “run” in the search bar and hit [enter]
Then type   “ \\acswinserver”
(if prompted for name and password, use your name and password used to login to computers)
Look for Rapid Prototyping folder and select it.
Create a folder for yourself and copy files in to it.

FOR MAC
Go > connect to server > type  “smb://acswinserver”
(if prompted for name and password, use your name and password used to login to computers)
Look for Rapid Prototyping folder and select it.  
Create a folder for yourself and copy files in to it.

PRICING
The cost of Laser Cutting is $5 for the first minute and 50 cents for each additional minute. There is a cap of $35 for prints up to 3 hours, and a second cap of $70 for prints up to 6 hours.  For print jobs containing more than 10 files, and additional charge of $1 per file will be added to the total print job.  The balance is due at pick up, no exceptions! This payment should be paid to a shop technician in form of rapid prototyping cards (blue cards), purchased at the business office.

LASER CUTTING MODES
RASTER
This is where the machine goes back and forth like a normal printer to create the image.  This is used for files where there are solid shapes, as in photo engraving or objects with width. It is not used to go all the way through material, only for engraving.

VECTOR
This is where the machine follows the lines of the file exactly.  It is used for engraving or cutting, but can not create lines with thickness greater than the kerf (thickness of the laser).  

FILE SETUP
All files should be 2D only.  No extruded models will be accepted, because the machine cannot read them.  
We will not cut your print unless the following is met:

ILLUSTRATOR

  1. Vector cut strokes must have a line weight of .1 pts
  2. Document Setup is RGB and RGB colors are the specified 8 listed under “print information and tips”.
  3. Document should be formatted to your material size, with the origin (0,0) set to the upper left corner.  No files should exceed 32“ x 18”.
  4. Registration is exactly as you would like it printed (meaning your file should be placed where you want it to cut on your material in relation to the origin.)
  5. Vector cutting, vector engraving and raster engraving are set to separate colors. The printer cuts in the same order as the RGB colors are listed.  Keep this in mind when setting up your file.  You want your cuts to occur after your engraving, so assign these lines a color that is lower on the list than your engraving color.


RHINO & AUTOCAD- no raster engraving.  Only vector cuts will be done.

  1. File should contain a box that is the same size as your material. Position your cuts within the material box and verify that your file to be cut fits within this space.  


MATERIAL GUIDELINES
The maximum printing size is 32” x 18” (horizontal).  The laser cutter accepts most wood, paper or plastic material.  It is preferred that the material be flat to avoid distortion of the file during printing.  Also, there can be no raised parts from the rest of the piece to avoid collision with the print head.

ACEPTABLE MATERIALS FOR CUTTING
Plexi                         up to 1/2” (geometry permitting)
Plywood            up to 1/4”
Hardwood                     up to 3/8”
MDF                up to 1/4”
Foam                up to 3/8”
Paper
Acrylics/plastics
Vinyl

ACCEPTABLE MATERIALS FOR ENGRAVING
Same as cutting with the addition of marble, anodized aluminum, and glass  
*For other materials please inquire.
*NO RESIN or other toxic materials allowed.
*NO LEXAN

PRINTING INFORMATION AND TIPS
The laser printer runs off of 8 RGB colors.  Any lines not matching these colors will not be read.  Within each file, you can use up to 8 colors, and each color can be assigned a different setting, creating leveled effects.

Colors must match these RGB numbers exactly

COLOR   R   G   B
Black   0   0   0
Red   255   0   0
Green   0   255   0
Yellow   255   255   0
Blue   0   0   255
Magenta   255   0   255
Cyan   0   255   255
Orange   255   102   0


*Don’t be caught without enough Rapid Prototyping Cards (blue cards), the business office closes at 4:45 PM M-F. This is the only place and time to purchase them!!