Oakland Cork Coasters – Ace Guided Projects

This is a guided project designed the Ace Laser Cutter. This project is designed for users to gain confidence and comfort with the Ace Laser. Folks are welcome to keep the Coasters they produce or donate them back to Ace to be used as outreach swag and fundraising.  Ace Laser Certification is required. 

The Kit

  • 4, 4” rounded edge coasters
  • Placement Jig
  • DXF Files
  • Illustrator Design Files
  • SVG Files (note that layers will not be honored on import into laser soft)

[Photo of all the parts + Labled bag]

Download Digital Components

Instructions

Step 1: Get the DXF file

You can download the files including the DXF from the link above OR pull from the server at Member Files>Guilde Projects>Cork Coasters. There are 3 layers in the DXF Files:

  1. Etched art (engrave): (Pink)
  2. Faux etched (cut):  (Blue)
  3. Positioning:  (Red)
Design File With 3 “Layers” defined by stroke color

 

Step 2: Start-Up the laser – Follow all the startup instructions

  • Check the Filter type is right for your material type (acrylic). Change if needed. This project needs a Green Organics filter. (instructions)
  • Turn on the Main Switch (on the back wall)
  • Do a draw test. Change the filter if needed. (See wiki for instructions)
  • Turn on the green and red switches on the right side of laser (they light up)
  • Fob in at with your RFID fob on the laser box
  • Check that the air compressor (behind the laser) and water chiller (left side) and blower are on.
  • Report what works or issues on Slack

Step 3: Set up LaserSoft and Import the File

  • Open LaserSoft
    • Check that the parameters are set to default and match the screen shots below
      Factory Parameters
      Workspace. Make sure relative position is Upper Left.
      User Parameters
      Crafts

      Additional Features

  • Check that the computer can see the laser. In the middle of the LaserSoft screen at the bottom it should say “Connected”. (See this post about troubleshooting the connection)

    connected message

  • Import the GP-cork-coaster-designs.dxf bfile into LaserSoft
    • Choose Open import with these settings
      Open/Import

      Open Import details

  • Add the layer settings for cutting and etching
    • Double click on one of the rows in the Layer Parameter pallet to bring the layers dialog box up
    • Input these settings for the layers
      • Logo Etched: (Blue) – Cut at 55/12/11

        Faux Engrave (cut) – Blue

      • Logo parts faux etched (Pink) – Engrave at 800/.05/11.5

      • Cutting (Red) – Cut at 80/0/0 – This layer is for positioning and is required so all the art goes to the right spots on the jig.

        Positioning – Red

  • Download the art to the laser cutter
    • Choose Download under the layer menu

      Download button on the main screen

    • Check the settings. Make sure all the check marks match the screenshot below.

      Download dialog box with the correct checkmarks

    • Check the Re-Optimal Path settings. Click the 3 little dots to open the dialog box. It should look like the screen shot below.

      Path Optimization Dialog box

    • Click download once everything has been checked.

      Click on Download

  • You will hear a beep on the laser when it is done downloading
    • The screen on the laser confirms the file name, and shows a related graphic

    • Note the power settings don’t update until the job is running

Step 4: Set up the material and focus

      1. Zero the bed – Also know as adjusting the z axis – How to guide
      2. Position the jig on the bed and place the head with the red light over the top left and corner
      3. Run the head over to the top right corner, and while carefully holding the top left corner so it doesn’t move straighten the jig so the top right corner meetings the red light
      4. Place the magnets to hold it in place like the photo below! Test that it is straight by running the head back over to the top left corner. Once it is straight, with the head in the top left corner of the jig press Origin
        Magnet position and head at the correct Origin.

        Rough video of the jig set up process

      5. Gently position your coasters in the 4 spaces
      6. Using the focus tool on the etch setting, move the head to near but not over one of the coasters, close enough that you can use the focus tool

        The first part of focusing on the coasters

      7. Press Z- in small bumps until the head is focused on the coasters in the Etch setting

        Focus distance for etching/engraving on the coasters

      8. Verify positioning by “running the box”
        Run the box button

         

         

Step 5: Run the Job

Play Pause button that starts the job.
    1. Troubleshoot as need (see the binder)

Step 6: Shut down – See Shutdown checklist

    1. Break down and bag all your material
    2. Move the laser head to the very back of the laser
    3. Fob out of the fob box
    4. Turn off the laser (both red and green switches)
    5. Turn off the main switch
    6. Clean down the laser inside and out

Step 7: Finish up

  1. Return the Jig to the Coaster Project Display
  2. If donating the coasters return to the bag they came in and mark “donation” and your name. 

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