Epilog Fusion Edge 24

Equipment Information: Epilog Fusion Edge 24

Description

Epilog Fusion Edge 24 allows users to design flying-optics-based CO2 and laser systems that engrave many different materials, including acrylic, plastic, wood, rubber, and fabric. Specifically, the Fusion Edge 24 features a 24” x 24” x 10” (610 x 610 x 254 mm) engraving area and is available in 30, 40, 50, 60, and 80-watt configurations. It also has an IRIS Camera system that enables users to see a live image of the engraving table while operating. This allows users to accurately position their artwork in the Fusion Edge 24 for precise cuts.   

Safety and Operating Precautions

Here are some of the many important safety precautions individuals must be aware of before operating this equipment. For a detailed list of all safety measures and operation details, read the Fusion Edge Manual link below.

  1. Do not disassemble the machine or remove any of its protective covers while the unit is plugged in.  
  2. Do not attempt to defeat the door interlocks. Do not view directly into the beam of the Laser Diode Pointer (Red Dot Pointer).  
  3. Do not operate the Laser Diode Pointer (Red Dot Pointer) without the machine’s focus lens in place. If the unfocused beam strikes a reflective surface, it could be directed out of the cabinet.  
  4. Use of controls or adjustments or performance of procedures other than those specified herein may result in hazardous radiation exposure.  
  5. Make sure the machine, blower, and extractor are on.
  6. Never leave the machine while it is running.
  7. Pause the machine if you smell or see excessive smoke, vapor, or flames. 
  8. Before operating the machine, know where the blanket and fire extinguisher are and be familiar with them.  

For more information about safety precautions, Click here

Digital Operation

Setting up Adobe Illustrator for the laser

If you are using Adobe Illustrator, you will need to use the following settings when printing to the Software Suite.

Dashboard Settings

For more information on how to use the dashboard to operate the Epilog Laser, Click Here

Quick Start Guide

Equipment Materials Information

Here are some of the common materials used for the Epilog Laser in the Makerspace. For a complete list and detailed information on how to use all compatible materials for the Laser, Click Here.

Acrylic

Choosing the Right Type of Acrylic

There are two types of acrylics and each is suitable for different applications. Cast acrylic sheets and objects are made from a liquid acrylic that is poured into molds that can be set into various shapes and sizes. This is the type of acrylic used for the awards you see on the market. Cast acrylic is ideal for engraving because it turns a frosty white color when engraved. While it can be cut with a laser, it will not give you flame-polished edges.

The second type of acrylic that you will use with your laser is formed into sheets by a machine and is called extruded acrylic. It is formed through a higher-volume manufacturing technique, so it is typically less expensive than cast, and it reacts very differently with the laser. Extruded acrylic will cut cleanly and smoothly and will have a flame-polished edge when laser cut. But when it is engraved, instead of a frosted look you will have a clear engraving.

Plastic

Plastic Engraving/cutting

There are two types of available engraving plastics: rotary plastics and laserable plastics. Rotary plastics are designed for rotary engraving systems that use a mechanical spinning bit to remove material. Therefore, the depth of the top layer or “cap sheet” was designed to make it easy to rotary engrave. Cap sheet thickness was approximately .010 inches (0.254 mm) thick and laser engraving was nearly impossible because by the time you applied enough power to get through the cap sheet the laser melted and deformed the plastic.

Laserable plastics have been developed with a thinner cap sheet that is .002” to .003” (0.051 mm to 0.076 mm) thick, providing much better engraving and cutting characteristics. These plastics are commonly referred to as micro laminates; micro surfaced, or simply laser engraveable plastics. These plastics are generally very easy to engrave with a laser since they all have similar characteristics.

Because there is such a broad range of plastics it is necessary to experiment to determine if a particular type of plastic is laser compatible. Different color plastics, even if they are from the same manufacturer, will have unique speed and power settings. Use the guidelines in this manual as a starting point when determining the correct speed and power settings. If you do not get acceptable initial results with the recommended speed and power settings, start experimenting by first changing only the power setting. If adjusting the power setting does not work, start over and adjust only the speed setting. Once you have acceptable results, record those settings for that particular plastic so that you do not have to repeat the experimentation process.

Material Settings

To view the Fusion Edge Suggested Materials Settings (CO2), Click Here.

Keep in mind…
  • These are only suggestions: Every type of material will react differently with the laser, even from one plastic to the next. Use these settings as your starting point then adjust one variable at a time until you achieve the result you desire. Settings for any material are a matter of personal preference. Not every material that can be run at high speed should be run at high speed. A better mark can often be achieved by slowing your laser and giving the laser longer to react to your material.
  • Test your material: If you have a small area of the material you won’t be using, or an extra item, take advantage of this area to test out your settings by engraving a small square or cutting a small circle. You can fine tune your settings in these areas.
  • Similar materials use similar settings: When you are working with a material you aren’t familiar with, think about a similar material and what settings you would use with that product. Most anodized aluminums will react well with similar settings, as will most plastics.
  • When in doubt, start low: Remember, you can always re-run your job as long as you don’t move it in the machine. Let’s say you’re running a photograph in a one-of-a-kind wood plaque. Start with a lower power setting, look at the engraving, then run the project a second time at high speed and lower power a second time to add a little more depth if needed.
  • Run only one part of the file: If running a job on a new material, you can always just select one piece of the engraving, like a piece of text, and run that part first to make sure your settings are perfect before running the whole file.

Equipment Specifications

For a complete Epilog Laser Specifications guide. Click Here.

Epilog Fusion Edge Full Manual

Helpful Learning Resources