Laser Cutter FAQs
General Laser FAQs:
A laser cutter is a digital fabrication instrument that uses a laser to cut & engrave through a variety of materials. The laser light bounces off a series of aligned mirrors video before being pointed downwards onto the work piece.
When used according to the operating and safety instructions within the owners manual, your laser tube can last 800-1,500 hours depending on the settings and whether you’re cutting or engraving. If you’re no longer able to cut through materials that you’ve been able to previously, or notice other changes in the out, it’s possible the laser tube needs to be changed.
The laser tube has been designed so that it can be self-serviced. To order a replacement tube, visit Shop.Dremel.com or call Customer Service at 1-844-437-6533. Instructions will be shipped with the replacement tube, and you can view this video for further details.
The resolution settings are 250DPI, 500 DPI and 1000DPI.
The bed size is 12x20, however, the area for engraving is 12x18.4.
- When engraving quality or cut penetration varies from left to right or front to back on the work piece.
- Anytime the laser tube is removed or replaced.
- Anytime the mirrors are removed or replaced.
- As part of the maintenance schedule, after every 20 hours of operation.
Parts that may need to be replaced over time are the laser tube, mirrors and lense. Routine maintenance can lengthen the life of these parts.
When used according to the operating and safety instructions within the owners manual, your laser tube can last 800-1,500 hours depending on the settings and whether you’re cutting or engraving. This part can be self-serviced and is available for purchase on Shop.Dremel.com or by contacting Customer Service at 1-844-437-6533.
Cutting and engraving is very fast, but largely depends on the size of the project, the material being used, and the settings.
- Turn the Laser Cutter off and then back on.
- If error codes are displayed, follow the prompts on the touch screen.
- Refer to the Troubleshooting Issues section of the Support page on DigiLab.Dremel.com
- Contact Customer Service at 1-844-437-6533.
Refer to the exhaust management section of the owners manual for detailed instructions. You may need to consult a local HVAC specialist. Ensure you are always complying with local codes and ordinances.
The life of the filters will vary depending on use. It is recommended to consult with the manufacturer of your filtration system for details.
Replacement filters can typically be purchased direct from the filtration system manufacturer or a local distributor.
Birch and walnut plywood, and acrylics can be purchased directly through Dremel at Shop.Dremel.com. If we do not have the materials you are looking for, ensure that purchased items are appropriate laser specific.
The Dremel LC40 comes with integrated print software which allows you to import your design file, modify the size and position of each object, and adjust the print settings (speed, power, etc.) before sending your job to the laser cutter. To access the software, refer to the owners manual or the quick start guide.
The Dremel software accepts both vector (SVG, PDF) and rastor image (JPEG, PDF, PNG) based files. A PDF can cut and engrave using a single file, however, this is the recommended method as the software may not correctly interpret the two components. Most designers use software such as Corel Draw or Adobe Illustrator to create files.
You can also use pictures that you’ve taken with a camera or shared images.Vector files are the preferred method to cut a material. Rastor images are optimal if you want to etch into the surface of a material with various levels of intensity. Be sure that you have the legal right to use all design files.
The Dremel LC40 Control Software is stored on a computer inside your laser cutter. This allows you to access the software without an internet connection, on a large variety of devices, through any web browser.
The Dremel LC40 Software has a library of materials to choose from that will recommend print settings for you. These settings have gone through extensive testing, but due to the natural variety in materials, you may need to adjust or create your own. You can do this by selecting “More“ from the materials menu.
“Grayscale“ takes your black and white image and assigns varying densities of dots to areas to visually create different shades of gray. Darker areas will have more dots, while lighter areas will have fewer dots.
You can add your own material, or adjust/copy materials that already exist by going to “More“ under the materials library. Never cut prohibited materials you don’t know are laser safe.
You can prepare multiple jobs by opening up the software in multiple browsers. You can also ready your next job once your job is running on the Laser Cutter, in the same workspace.
The best use for the camera is to help align files to existing objects. For example, if you line up ten blank coasters in the bed, then use the camera capture, an image will appear in your workspace that helps you to place artwork in the exact location you desire on those coasters, ensuring you don’t waste materials. Run a perimeter check to ensure you are in correct alignment.
You can also use the camera to create files from hand drawings by placing the drawing in your laser cutter, and then using “trace“ to create a file from that drawing. For best results, use a dark black market on white paper.
If you import cut files from a PDF where the source file was created in any of the Adobe programs, some hidden layers may show up. You can solve this issue by “printing“ to PDF rather than “exporting“ or by unchecking “create Acrobat layers from top layers.
Materials have a lot of variation depending on the actual species, the supplier, the environmental conditions and lots of other things. The material library should give you settings that are close to optimal, but you may need to adjust the settings up or down 5-10%. Also, make sure that your laser is aligned, and the laser head is focused,and that you have the correct material selected in the material library, as these could also cause inconsistent results.
If you export each of your files from the same workspace in your source file, then the software will place them directly on top of one another by default. If you happen to move one, or want more control, there is a location text entry box in the bottom left corner of the software that allows you to specify exactly where you would like each file to go. The easiest way to ensure they’re in the perfect spot is to copy and paste the location of one onto the other.
Once you’ve gotten your job ready to go, clicking “start“ will give you a print preview that shows the order in which your job will execute. To reorder, simply drag and drop the objects. You can also reorder the cut colors on the second tab within the print preview screen.
Score is very similar to cut in that the laser head needs a vector file so that it can trace the lines. However, score is meant to add emphasis to lines, without actually cutting through the material.
You do not need to know how to use design software since you can use a variety of file. However, having some knowledge of design software will give you more control over your laser.
You will need to have your computer and the laser cutter connected to the same network, but you do not need an internet connection to use your laser cutter. However, we recommend connecting your laser cutter to the internet in regular intervals to allow it to check for and download the most up to date software version.
At this time, you cannot send files directly to the Dremel LC40 Software. You will need to export your file as one of the compatible file types, and then drag it into the Dremel LC40 CSoftware.
Since the Laser Cutter needs extra space to move when engraving, the available engraving area is slightly smaller than the available cutting area (roughly 18.4 wide rather than 20 when engraving is set at full speed).
We test for compatibility with most popular browser versions to ensure all security and usability improvements are being utilized. You should be able to use the Dremel LC40 Software on older versions, but it’s possible not all functionality will be optimized.
It’s likely that you’ve lost your network connection, which means the laser cutter isn’t able to receive your job, or the SMART laser™ sensors have indicated that the laser cutter is not ready to begin a job. There are a number of SMART laser™ sensors built into your laser cutter to ensure that your laser cutter is running properly. If one or more of your icons are red, the laser cutter is detecting that either that system is not set up properly, or the sensor has broken. For more information, consult your owners manual.