We are happy with our Laser Cutter, especially once we hacked it a bit by:
- Adding a webcam inside to view the laser cutting safely from a screen, away from unwanted reflection that might cause damage to skin and/or eye-sight,
- Adding a switch to stop the laser when the front door is opened,
- Adding an Arduino with a temperature sensor (DS18B20) to monitor and beep when the cooling water is getting too high – very useful in summer time,
- Finding a software more appropriate than the software provided (a CorelDraw 13 in simplified Chinese) with the machine. Now the Laser Cutter is fully working from a Linux PC (software we use).
The new software found by one of our members is an interface on top of an other Open Source software for designing with vectors: Inkscape – very similar to Adobe Illustrator, but free to use on
- Raspberry Pi, …
With plenty of add-ons to easily create shapes such as:
Laser Cut Software
The Laser-cut software allows 3 types of cut and/or engraving within the same design by using 3 different colors:
- Red lines to indicate the paths to cut
- Blue lines to indicate vector engraving
- Black indicates engraving raster (this can be shapes, paths or images)
Like this you are always sure that the 3 steps of cuts and/or engraving will be exactly as you design it with a tiny tolerance of less than 0.01mm.
Halftone (gray-scale) images
In addition to red, blue and black you can also do grey-scale. However, gray-scale can be created by creating a halftone image (dithering) of the raster image. Below is an example of an image that was engraved with the half-toning option turned on.