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UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON : College of Built Environments LASER CUTTING TUTORIAL : Overview I Print from AutoCAD I Print from Illustrator

I Print from Photoshop I Laser Cut Process I Tips This segment of the tutorial is meant to assist you in printing to the VLS 4.60 Laser Cutters from AutoCAD. Due to individual user settings and defaults this guide may not cover all technical issues. If you run across a persistent problem see the tips section of the tutorial. If this does not resolve the issue seek assistance from a laser staff member. - Once you have created your CAD file you are ready to format it and set up the printing properties to send the file to the laser cutter. - The first step will be creating cut and etch layers that use the indexed colors. (The laser cutter will only vector cut layers that use the indexed colors) Do this by first opening the layer properties manager and creating two layers named CUT and ETCH. - Set the color for the CUT layer to index color 1 which is red. (1) Set the color for the ETCH layer to index color 5 which is blue. (2) - Next, change the lineweights for both of the newly created layers to 0.00 mm. Do this by clicking on the lineweight category (3) for each layer. - It is also recommended that you toggle layers that you toggle any layers off for print that you do not wish to laser cut. Click on the printer icon (4) in the layer manager to change this setting. This completes the layer setup. Click ok to exit the manager.
Image 3: Changing lineweights and print options

Image 1: Setting the Cut Layer to index RED

Image 2: Setting the Etch Layer to index BLUE

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UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON : College of Built Environments LASER CUTTING TUTORIAL : Overview I Print from AutoCAD I Print from Illustrator I Print from Photoshop I Laser Cut Process I Tips - Once new layers for cutting and etching have been created select the linework that you wish to cut and place it on the cut layer (5), and likewise for the etch layer (6). - The laser cutter will see every line that you draft in AutoCAD. This means that if you have two overlapping lines the laser will cut the same place twice compromising the final cut quality. To avoid this clean up your CAD file by using the overkill utility. Type OVERKILL into the command line. Select the objects you wish to clean up and press enter. When the overkill command box appears click ok.
** Overkill may not be installed on all computers. If this is the case either open your file on another machine or verify manually that your file is clean.

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Image 4: Set linework to appropriate cut/etch layers Image 5: Overkill command box

This completes the model space setup for printing to the laser cutter. Next, we need to set up the paper space. Click on a layout tab to switch views. - Open the Page Setup Manager to set the laser cutter as the current plotter. When the manager opens click on modify (7). When the Page Setup opens (image 7) select the very top VLS 4.60 (8). When selected a warning will pop-up pertaining to the paper size (image 8). Select OK and the layout will be sized to the correct 18x 24 size. Next, select the proper plot style table by clicking on the down arrow and select the VLS 4_60.ctb table. - Select OK to exit the page setup. Select Close to exit the page setup manager. - Back in paper space scale and locate your drawing just as you would if your were printing to a paper plotter and print the file.
Image 6: Page Setup Manager

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Image 8: Warning Screen

Image 5: Overkill command box Image 7: Page Setup

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