Use Your Resources

As many of you probably already know SIUC has a dflab (digital fabrication lab) on campus.  The lab includes a laser cutter and a C & C machine. Make sure you sign up, show up on time and have all material and files and money on your debit dawg ready before even coming to the laser cutter. There are a substantial amount of people who use the laser cutter so in order to optimize each person’s time these actions should all be done beforehand. There is a link to the laser cutter blog on the links page which has even more information about the dflab. However one of the most important things to do before going to the dflab to laser cut is to set up your AutoCAD laser cut template correctly.  You can download the laser template file from the dflab blog and i will work on getting the file accessible from this blog as well. After loading in your own AutoCAD file via copy/paste or importing or however you chose into the laser cut template there is a couple of things that you will need to do in order to make sure your file is ready to cut. First you will want to scale your file properly, refer to the instructions within the file itself there are several boxes that corespond with whatever scale you want. What you want to cut goes in that box. Second, after you set your scale, you will want to run the OVERKILL command by typing this into the command line. This will erase any overlapping lines so that the laser cutter does not cut lines that have already been cut. Third, you will want to assign any cut and/or score layers to your file. cut1 and cut2 layers are essentially the same thing except that any lines on the cut1 layer will be cut before anything on the cut2 layer. This becomes useful when cutting (for example) a circle out of a circle. You would want to set the inner circle to cut1 layer and the outer circle to cut2 layer. This will ensure the accuracy of what ever you are cutting. There are also 4 score layers to chose from: the lower the number, the lighter the score. Finally after double checking your file save it as an AutoCAD 2011 file type or lower. This is very important, anyone with AutoCAD 2012 will have to down-save there file because the program for the laser cutter will not read anything above 2011. That’s it! your ready to cut! these instructions will save you time and money so this is for your benefit.

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