Full Spectrum Laser
5th Generation Hobby Laser from Full Spectrum Lasers in Nevada.
20 x 12 cutting area.
Laser Cut Wood, Acrylic, Paper, Cardboard, etc. Does not cut metal, poly-carbonate or vinyl.
Laser Engrave the above plus glass, stone, tile and some metals (probably need ceramark or similar).
Uses proprietary software called RetinaEngrave 3D which acts as a print driver enabling almost any software to be used to create your cut/engrave jobs.
Download the software from: https://www.fslaser.com/RetinaEngrave or get it off the flash drive. Use the 1.0 version. The 3.0 version is not compatible with this laser.
Cutting and engraving settings are controlled by the color of the lines in the source document and are set in RE3D after you send the print job.
Important safety information.
Before cutting anything, make sure you know what it is made from and consult this list to see if it is safe to cut.
- MAKE SURE THE VENT GATE IS SET TO OPEN WHILE OPERATING
- The lid must be closed and the water and air pumps must be running
- Everything is turned on from the green power strip and then you turn the big red knob on top until it pops up to start the laser
You will need to download and install the proprietary software. The software is RetinaEngrave3d. It appears as a printer on your PC when it is running.
Download the software from: https://www.fslaser.com/RetinaEngrave or there is a red flash drive with the laser cutter that has the software on it.
The first thing to do is turn on the power strip under the laser printer. This powers up the air pump for the air assist feature and water pump for cooling the laser tube. There is a separate control for the exhaust fan that is connected to both laser cutters.
Next rotate the red knob on top of the laser as shown by the arrows. It pop up a little and the laser will begin to boot up. When the boot cycle is complete the screen display should look like this. The IP address will be 10.1.10.252.
The bottom right corner is a status message. In this case LOff means that the laser is off.
A message showing "NLid" means that the lid is open. The laser will not run if the lid is open.
A message showing "NWtr" means that the cooling water is not flowing. The pump may not be plugged in, or it is not working. The sensor might not be working or the water input and output are reversed.
There is an aluminum slug that is used to set the distance between the lens assembly and the surface of your material.
There are two basic modes of operation, Raster Engraving and Vector Cutting.
Raster Engraving burns an image into the surface of your material using a grid of dots.
Vector Cutting cuts into the material using vector lines. At low power Vector Cutting does not cut all the way through the material and is another form of engraving. Vector cutting is done at high power and low speed. Vector Engraving is low power at high speed.
There is a honey comb grid which is required during Vector Cutting operations and actually helps protect the lens of the laser from getting hit by reflected laser light from the bottom of the machine. If you are only engraving you do not have to have it there but only remove it if you need to get it out of the way for thicker material.
I have taped scrap pieces of plastic to the bottom side of the honeycomb to lift it off the bottom of the machine. This helps with ventilating the smoke out of the machine.
I also find it helps to put some spacers under the material you are cutting to raise it up off of the honeycomb a bit so that your cut out pieces to drop free. This especially helps when cutting acrylic.
Resources and Additional Info
- The version of the laser at fox.build does not have the direct USB connection shown in this video.
- The material test function shown in the video was removed from the current version of RetinaEngrave.
- The same basic steps would apply to importing from almost any graphics software.