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80W CO₂ Blue Laser Cutter

Tool Info

Certification Required

Do Not Hack

Owner: Pawprint Prototyping

80W Omtech Laser Cutter

Description

Probably the tool you're here for.

Our Chinese laser, manufactured by Omtech, features:

  • 80W output
  • 600 × 900 mm (24" × 35") working surface
  • A Ruida controller
  • Rotary axis attachment

Safety and Certification

Protective Equipment

  • Safety glasses: Polycarbonate, acrylic, or any prescription glasses will offer protection from IR light.
  • Water spray bottle: to put out small fires.

Hazards

  • Laser-cutting presents a risk of fire and burns.
  • Laser-cutting certain materials can release gases that are harmful to humans and may damge the machine.
  • The laser emits invisible infrared radiation that can damage your eyes.
  • The laser is powered by high-voltage, and presents an electrocution risk if the cabinet is open.

Prohibited Operations

  • Modifying or hacking the laser cutter and its accessories without board approval.
  • Bypassing interlocks or safety features.
  • Cutting materials that may harm humans or equipment.

Prohibited materials

The following materials should NEVER be placed into the laser cutter.

Material Reason
polycarbonate Melts instead of burns, releases poison gas
vinyl Melts instead of burns, releases poison gas
PVC Melts instead of burns, releases chlorine gas
Neoprene Sublimated vapors damage the optics
Moleskin notebooks Contains chlorine, releases poison gas
ABS Burning ABS releases hydrogen cyanide gas
self-laminated or glued Anything you laminated yourself or glued together is a fire hazard
low-grade plywood Excessive bowing can cause the gantry to catch on the wood being cut

Pre-flight checklist

Before every use

  1. Make sure that the machine and workspace are clutter-free. The laser cutter is not a table.
  2. Have a plan for putting out small fires without causing damage to the machine. A small spray bottle of tap water or rag for smothering is usually fine for this purpose. Verify a fire extinguisher is easily accessible in case things go wrong.
  3. Check that the auxiliary systems (chiller, air and exhaust) are properly connected and functional. The Air pump is internal to the machine, and controlled by software. The chiller and exhaust impeller should be plugged directly into the laser cutter, and should turn on when the machine is running.

Operation checklist

Operational Safety

  1. Ensure material to be cut is safe to use. See Consumable Material Reference for details.
  2. Never leave a laser cutter unattended when running a job
  3. Take care to select appropriate power/speeds settings to avoid combustion. Always start jobs with lowest power if unsure.

Basic Operation Checklist

Select an appropriate power and speed for the material you are cutting. Here are some good starting guidelines for various materials below. Some materials are highly variable, especially wood. Do some test cuts and engraves to dial in the right settings. More feeds and speeds can be found here

Engraving

Material Speed Power
Clear Acrylic 325 mm/s 18%
Wood 200 mm/s 19%
Glass 225 mm/s 18%
Leather 400 mm/s 16%
Faux Leather 425 mm/s 15%
Tile/Stones 145 mm/s 18%

Cutting

Material Thickness Speed Power
Cardboard 1/8" 50 mm/s 100%
Acrylic 1/16" 25 mm/s 18%
Acrylic 1/8" 12 mm/s 25%
Acrylic 1/4" 6 mm/s 35%
Arcylic 1/2" 4 mm/s 45%
Arylic 3/4" 3 mm/s 55%
Arcylic 1" 1 mm/s 60%
Birch wood 1/16" 25 mm/s 20%
Birch wood 1/8" 12 mm/s 25%
Birch wood 1/4" 7 mm/s 30%
Birch wood 1/2" 5 mm/s 35%
Birch wood 3/4" 4 mm/s 43%
Birch wood 1" 3 mm/s 47%

Set focal distance

Our laser has an automatic focus setting. Place the material under the Z-axis sensor, press Fn, and use the up/down arrow to highlight Auto Focus setting, and press Enter to set the Z-height. This will place the focus exactly at the top of the material, and set the machine Z-height to 0. Use this setting for engraving. For cutting, especially thick material, you will need to adjust the Z-height to the center of the material. However since the auto-focus sets the height of the bed to the surface, and won't let you back-drive the bed to Z < 0, you will need to place another piece of material of the same thickness before using the auto-focus, and then back-drive the bed down (3/2) × (material thickness).

Post-flight checklist

End of operation and clean-up

  1. Power down the machine
  2. Wipe surfaces
  3. Clean debris from inside as needed with shop vac.

Certified Members

Member Name Certified By Date
Rechner Fox - 2020-04-01
Kataze Skunk Rechner Fox 2021-12-15
Bokeh Kataze Skunk 2022-04-07
Mojake Kataze Skunk 2022-04-07
Amp Kataze Skunk 2022-04-07
ket Kataze Skunk 2022-04-07
Tigerpaw Kataze Skunk 2022-04-22
BrokenWing Rechner Fox 2022-05-27
Robin Rechner Fox 2022-05-27
Dulse Rechner Fox 2023-05-16
Geo Mojake 2023-06-13
Kay Geo 2023-07-29
Kilte Geo 2023-09-27
Z Rechner 2024-01-23

Maintenance

Tool History

Date Event Noted By
2022-03-30 Drained and purged water from cooler. There is some notable residue possibly from the silicone tubing connecting the chiller. Something to keep an eye on. Rechner
2022-05-26 Cleaned optics, confirmed laser beam alignment Kataze
2023-05-30 Cleaned optics, greased rails, and confirmed laser alignment. Rechner
2024-01-22 Drained and purged cooler water. We probably need to add biocide Rechner