Laser Cutter Printing Step-by-Step

From Fat Cat Fab Lab

See full details about Laser Cutting. This page is a step-by-step for printing. Also, you should not be using the Laser Cutter if you have not been certified on it yet (take the Laser Class).

An instructional video going over these steps is here: Fat Cat Fab Lab's Trotec Speedy 300 Laser Cutter Workflow Instructions

Adobe Illustrator

Document Setup

Also max width-height is 29"x17" and setting it in mm will make your life easier


Once you're ready to print, do File -> Print

Choose the right printer
In General, uncheck both of these
Turn off auto-rotate
Placement should be upper-left, do not scale, etc
Now we go into Printer Setup, but note your Document dimensions

Trotec Printer Setup

...and go to Preferences

Set the dimensions to match your document
Common inch-millimeter conversions
in mm more
6 152.4 AI default
10 254 easy
17 431.8 max height
29 736.6 max width
If you don't choose color, then Trotec will only see your Black mode. If you don't know what you're doing, set the other Process options as shown here.

*ALTERNATE* For greyscale photos, you should choose these settings instead. Since the Photo optimized setting does not send red for cutting, if you want it cut, you should choose a Cut Line option -- if you do not want it cut around the document, then choose None. See Trotec Photo Engraving Guide for more details

Lol, this is the "OK" button
Lol, it doesn't actually print -- just saves your settings

Back to Printing

With Document and Media dimensions matching, you are ready to really print!

Job Control

Now that you've sent your print job, time to VNC-connect to the laptop next to the Laser Cutter where the Job Control software is running.

From the upper-left of the Desktop, find the Job Control icon
Click "show all" if you do not see your job

Turn the Laser Cutter On

If you've gotten this far, you better have gotten your certification. See Laser_Cutting#Troubleshooting for debugging issues. If you haven't already, clean the lense before turning it on.

This is probably a good moment to place your material, and focus the laser.

Now that it's on you can connect to the Laser Cutter by clicking the USB icon.
Drag your job into the space, then click the "eye" icon
Refine the placement of your work relative to the laser dot/cursor, the upper left corner, or the rulers.
Choose the color mapping Material Template
...or edit/make a new one
Confirm your material is chosen and the right colors are on the left side. Click "Update" and verify that the times are roughly what you would expect -- watch out for any ZERO(0)s where you expect something drawn. If you see incorrect zeros it's likely related to your image file -- check the RGB values to match and any CUTTING lines should be 0.01mm, or the Job Control will not "see" them

Finally, check your material, placement, FOCUSED laser, fans one last time, and now click PLAY button

See Laser_Cutting#Troubleshooting for debugging issues.