1 Read This First - Safety Information
1.1 General Safety Information
- Always operate this machine indoors on a solid horizontal table or workbench.
- Do not expose this machine to rain or wet conditions.
- Keep children and bystanders away while operating this machine. It requires the supervision and assistance of an adult when children use this machine.
- Stay alert, watch what you are doing and use common sense when operating this machine. Do not use this machine while you are tired or under the influence of drugs, alcohol or medication.
- Do not reach inside the machine or touch the moving parts while the machine is still in operation. An injury may be caused by its moving parts.
- Do not leave the machine unattended while it is still on.
1.2 Laser Safety
- The laser tool is a class 3B laser. You are only allowed to operate the laser tool if you have a sufficient specialized and safety knowledge: You must know the physical properties as well as the biological effects of laser radiation, the legal bases and rules of technology, the laser classes and their dangers, the implementation of safety measures.
- Operate the machine with an enclosure covered and wear the Laser Safety Goggles.
- Never expose yourself to the laser beam. Proper use and care of the laser tool are essential to safe operation.
- Operate the laser tool when it is exhausted to the outdoors or through an air filter. The melting of some materials may release toxic fumes.
- Always unplug the machine before performing maintenance or modifications.
- Remove any reflective material from the work area underneath the laser module. Reflective material can cause uncontrolled scattered radiation.
2 Set Up for First Use
Read the product Quick Start Guide and Guide for Laser Engraving (https://snapmaker.com/product/snapmaker-original/downloads) to check the included parts, assemble the machine, and set up the machine for the first use. You can also watch the video tutorials on our website (https://support.snapmaker.com/hc/en-us/categories/360000327114-Snapmaker-Original) to learn how to use the machine.
3 Laser Engraving Workflow
4 Prepare Files
Design: You can draw with a pen, design a 2D image with graphic design software such as Inkscape and Adobe Illustrator, or simply select a picture from your smartphone.
Take a Photo: You can get a 2D image of scenes or objects in real life by taking a photo with your smartphone.
Download: You can find various beautiful images online from websites like pinterest.com and vectorstock.com.
5 Generate G-code
G-code is a programming language that the machine understands and is a series of commands that tells the machine what actions to perform - where to move, what speed to use, what temperatures to set, and much more. Before you start laser engraving, you need to download the software Snapmaker Luban from our website (https://snapmaker.com/product/snapmaker-original/downloads) and install it. And you need to generate the G-code file from the image you want to engrave.
5.1 Generating G-code Workflow
The workflow of G-code generating is:
Select the Laser G-code Generator -> Upload file (Or enter text by clicking T) -> Configure
the parameters in Editor -> Configure the parameters in Process -> Generate G-code.
Note 1: Make sure you have selected the correct machine model Original in the top left corner.
Note 2: You can upload multiple files to different modes to engrave them in the same G-code file.
Note 3: Left click the image to modify the parameters, and right click it to pop up the operation menu.
Note 4: Auto Preview is enabled by default, which shows the dynamic preview after you modify the parameters. When Auto Preview is disabled, you need to click Preview to check the current status.
5.2 Engraving Mode
B&W: The engraved image will be in black and white without any grey color.
Greyscale: The engraved image will be in different shades of grey depending on its original color.
Vector: This effect is used for engraving vector graphics. The engraved image will be in black and white without any grey color.
Text: You can select the font and enter the text as you need. You can also upload your own fonts.
Note: If you're using a 1600mW laser module purchased separately, the Vector and Text modes both can be used for engraving and cutting. When laser cutting, you can set the Multi-pass and Power settings to a desirable level based on the materials you use.
5.3 Parameters in B&W Mode
Some parameters in B&W mode are listed below to help you familiarize with their meanings. You can learn about all the parameters by reading the prompts, which will appear when you hover your cursor over the tags in our software.
Invert: Inverts black to white and vise versa.
B&W: Set the proportion of the black color based on the original color of the image. The bigger this value is, the bigger the proportion of the black color will be.
5.4 Parameters in Greyscale Mode
Some parameters in Greyscale mode are listed below to help you familiarize with their meanings. You can learn about all the parameters by reading the prompts, which will appear when you hover your cursor over the tags in our software.
Contrast: The difference between the lightest color and the darkest color. The contrast is more obvious when this value is bigger.
Brightness: The engraved picture is brighter when this value is bigger.
White Clip: Set the threshold to turn the color that is not pure white into pure white. 0 means pure black and 255 means pure white and each of the colors in between is assigned a specific number. If White Clip is set to 88, colors whose number is larger than 88 will be turned into pure white (255).
Algorithm: Choose an algorithm for image processing. See the effect of different Algorithms below.
6 Fix Material
1. Place the material.
2. Fix the material to the engraving platform.
Caution: Make sure the fixtures will not collide with any parts of the machine.
Tips: You can also fix materials using other tools such as tapes.
7 Connect to Computer
1. Turn on the machine.
2. Connect your computer to the machine using the provided USB cable.
3. Enter Workspace in the software. Refresh the Serial Port list by clicking in the Connection section. Click the drop-down button and select the serial port of the machine, then click Connect.
Note: If you can't find the port, unplug the USB cable and try again. You may need to install the driver at:
8 Set Work Origin and Run Boundary
1. Enter Laser G-code Generator , then click Load G-code to Workspace.
2. Set a small value (e.g. 5%) for Laser Power, then turn on the laser. You can set the Laser Power at about 0.7% if you're using a 1600mW laser module purchased separately.
Caution: Before you turn on the laser, make sure you and any viewers have put on your laser safety goggles.
Note: It is recommended to use the laser engraver with an enclosure covered.
3. Find out where the engraving will be by setting the work origin. The work origin corresponds to the (0, 0) coordinate origin in the software. For example, if the center of the image corresponds to the coordinate origin in the software, you can click X-/X+/Y-/Y+ to move the laser spot over the center of the material.
Note: We use another machine Snapmaker 2.0 A150 as an example in above figure.
4. Place the calibration card under the laser spot.
5. By clicking Z-/Z+, keep adjusting the height of the laser module until the laser spot is smaller than the black dot on the calibration card. Click Set Work Origin.
6. Click Run Boundary to check if the work origin is proper. If not, reset the work origin and run boundary again.
9 Transfer G-code to Machine and Start Engraving
You can use the USB cable or the USB flash drive to transfer the G-code to machine and start engraving.
Option 1: Online Engraving
If you prefer online engraving, you just need to click the Run button in the software. In this way, the computer must be connected to the machine throughout the process.
Note: You can adjust Work Speed and Laser Power during the engraving progress.
Option 2: Offline Engraving
1. If you prefer offline engraving, please disconnect to the Serial Port and unplug the USB cable.
2. Enter Laser G-code Generator , then click Export G-code to file. The extension of the exported G-code file is ".nc" by default. Save it to the USB flash drive.
3. Insert the USB flash drive into the controller of the machine.
4. Tap Files on the touchscreen. Select the G-code file and tap Start to start engraving.
10 Remove Finished Work
1. When the engraving process completes, tap Controls -> Jog Mode on the touchscreen.
2. Move the laser module and the engraving platform to a proper position, then remove the fixtures and the finished work.