Laser cutting with the Trotec Speedy 300

Make sure your Illustrator file meets all the standards required for lasercutting. You can refresh your memory in our basic Lasercutting Manual.

Check in at our desk before proceeding to the lasercutting room. You should have your files ready for cutting on a USB stick. During your cutting work you are not allowed to leave the lasercutter room. Don't bring your friends to the lasercutting room, it is a working and not a meeting room. Make sure you know how to operate the machine before you decide to use it.

From the Illustrator 'File' menu, choose 'Print'.

In the 'Print' window make sure you have selected the Trotec Engraver v11.0.0 and click 'Setup'.

In the next window you click 'Voorkeursinstellingen/Preferences'.

This will lead you to the Trotec lasercutter settings. Under the tab 'Materiaalinstellingen' you will find a main list of materials you can use in the lasercutter. Make sure you choose the right preset in the top menu for your material, when in doubt ask help from our staff.

After you have chosen the main category of your material in the top menu, select the preset specifications (thickness) for your material. Ask help from our staff if you have doubts about choosing the right material. Don't experiment with other materials and settings unless you have tested them with our staff present. You can walk in anytime to make an appointment with our staff for testing or experimenting with specific materials at no charge.

Don't change any engraving settings as they can mess up the laser process. If all settings are correct, click the blue 'JC' to return to the printer dialog.

In the final print dialog you'll see a preview of your file as it will be cut. If the preview doesn't look good you might have to choose 'Trotec 700x400' or 'User defined paper' in the 'Media Size' menu. Click 'Print' to send your file to the Trotec lasercutter software.

If you did everything right the Trotec lasercutter software will open automatically. If the Trotec software window doesn't open, you can click its icon in the Windows application bar at the bottom of the screen.

If you did everything right your file should show up in the Trotec software window, in the list at the right of the screen. If you click your file once you will see a small preview under the list of files. Your cutting and engraving lines should already show up there. If anything is missing, probably the colour or stroke settings were not correct in your Illustrator file.

Double click your file in the list and it will jump to the 'cutting table' in the software window and positioned in the top left corner. Eventually you can click the 'WYSIWYG' button to see the actual drawing on the cutting table.

If you are the first person to use the Trotec lasercutter, or if it was turned off, you have to connect with the machine by clicking the 'connect' button. If the machine was on you will see a blue 'start' arrow there. Make sure to load your material into the machine before proceeding.

Now carefully open the cover of the Trotec Speedy 300 lasercutter and place your material in the top left corner of the machine. Take care not to damage the cutting bed or the lens unit of the machine. Damaged or dirty parts will result in poor cutting result and finally stop the machine from working properly. Ask help from our staff if you have doubts about placing your material. Never put more than one sheet in the machine and make sure the cutting bed is clean and no clutter from previous cuts is left. Your material should be perfectly flat on the cutting bed.

After placing your material you have to focus the laser beam precisely to get the correct cutting results. First you move the lens assembly somewhere above your material. You do this by using the four red buttons on the control panel on the right of the Trotec machine. Then you raise the table to focus the lens on your material. The red light beam is only used to focus and is not dangerous. You focus the lens by moving the cutting table up and down with the two black buttons on the control panel on the right of the Trotec machine. You will also need the focusing tool to do this.

We keep the focusing tool at all times on the small ridge on the left inside of the machine. Always put it back there after using it, if you lose the focusing tool the Trotec machine cannot be used anymore!

Take the focusing by the red screw handle to position it into the lens assembly. There is a small copper square on the inside which loosely fits a groove on the lens assembly.

Carefully position the focusing tool into the lens assembly and then move the cutting table upwards with the two black buttons on the control panel on the right of the Trotec machine. If the material almost touches the focusing tool, use only light touches on the button to move the table upwards. The focusing tool should just touch your material to have the correct setting for perfect cutting and engraving. If your material is not focused this will result in bad cutting or extensive burns on your material. If you have several files to cut in the same material you only have to focus once. If you have files to cut in different materials you have to focus for every material.

When your material is focused, make sure to remove the focusing tool and put it back on the small ridge on the left inside of the machine. You don't have to move the laser head to the start position, that will happen automatically when the machine starts cutting. Close the cover of the Trotec machine carefully and return to the computer to start the cutting process.

If you want to know how long it will take to cut your file you can click the 'Update' button in the 'Schatting' tab on the left side of the screen. The colour bars will tell you how long it will take to raster engrave (black), vector cut (red) and vector engrave (blue) your file.

If everything looks good, click the blue arrow to start cutting.

Do not open the cover of the machine while it is operating, when in doubt about proper cutting you can press the 'pauze' button on the control panel of the Trotec machine and ask help from our staff.

When the cutting is done, wait 30 seconds before opening the cover to make sure all exhaust gases are gone. Take out all your pieces and waste material, you can use the vacuum cleaner to remove small pieces but take care not to damage the cutting bed of the machine. It's a good idea to bring some paper tape to keep all small pieces together when taking them out of the machine. Also remind that very small pieces will fall through the honeycomb of the cutting bed and are lost forever.

When your file is done, select it in the Trotec software and delete it.

Put your waste material in the proper garbage containers and leave the lasercutter room tidy. Checkout at our desk and pay your bill.