CO2 Material Compatibility

Engrave and Cut

Wood

Acrylic

Wood

Leather

Paper

Cloth

Matte Board

Rubber & Silicone

Fabric

Engrave Only

Marble & Stone

Ceramic

Coated Metals

Glass

* CO2 lasers will mark bare metals when coated with a metal marking solution.

Stainless Steel

Bare Metals

Titanium

Brass

Epilog Fusion Pro Control Panel

Pressing the Go/Stop button during a running job will stop the lens carriage and the laser beam will be shut off. If the Go/Stop button is pressed during raster engraving mode, the lens carriage will pause on either the far left or far right of the engraving line that is in process. If the Go/Stop button is pressed while in vector cutting mode, the lens carriage will stop at the end of a line segment or at the next line node location.

Reset Key
• Pressing the Reset key will move the carriage back to its Home Position. Press the Reset key after you have moved the carriage when in Jog mode.
• You may also press this key if you want to start a job over after pausing it with the Go/Stop button. Reset does not erase the job from the laser systems memory; rather it will stop the engraving job in process and send the carriage back to the Home Position.

Focus
The Focus function allows you to manually set the table to the correct height for engraving while using the Focus Gauge. With Focus highlighted, use the Joystick to move the table up or down. The display will show a digital readout of the table position. Press once to enable the Focus feature and the icon will turn green. Press again to exit this feature.

Pointer
The Pointer key is a toggle switch that turns the laser system’s Red Dot Pointer on and off.

Jog
The Jog function allows you to move the laser head around the table with the use of the Joystick. To make it easier to use, turn on the Red Dot Pointer for a visual indicator of where the carriage is moving. The carriage can be moved in X, Y or diagonally. The display will show a digital readout of the carriage position. This function is useful for bringing the focus gauge to any object on the table to ensure it’s focused properly.

Trace
The Trace function allows you to preview the placement of your artwork on your work piece before you run the job. To use, turn on the Red Dot Pointer, select your job from the Job Menu, and press the Trace key. The laser head will begin tracing the entire outline of your job repeatedly. To stop tracing, press the Trace key again.

Access the Jog Menu by pressing the Jog key, which will turn green when active. The Jog Menu allows you to adjust the current X and Y axis positions of the laser head. You may change the current position of the laser head either using the Joystick, or by entering precise coordinates under “Move To”.

Auto Focus

The Auto Focus button is in the center of the Nudge arrows. When you have jogged the lens carriage above your material, press the Auto Focus button to use the plunger Auto Focus. The table will rise until the material touches the plunger, then set the table to the correct height. Your job should now be in focus.

Park Axis

Park Axis returns the laser head to the default home position in the upper left corner of the table. To change the default park position

Epilog Laser Dashboard Basic Function

Laser Cut Line

  1. To automatically designate a path as a vector cut, set the line thickness to a 0.1pt thickness or less. To set the stroke thickness, select the outlined graphics item and view the properties tab on the right-hand side of the screen.

Send Artwork to Laser Software

  1. In Illustrator click File > Print when you’re ready to send your artwork to the Software Suite

Epilog Engraver Printer

Scale

  1. Edit: You can click on the file and move it wherever you would like on the table.
    Reset: Reset the entire file back to its original status when printed to the Dashboard. This will also reset all laser parameters such as speed and power settings
  2. Name: Set your file name.

Layout

1.

Engraving Setting

  1. Import current material settings by clicking the folder with the down arrow. Select between the Engrave and Vector tabs, then choose your material from the list.
  2. Process Type: Choose if you want the process to be “Off” (ignored by the laser), “Engrave”, or “Vector”.
    Setting the process to Engrave will engrave all graphics and lines, regardless of line width. Setting the process to Vector will ignore any raster graphics and only cut all vector lines in the process.
  3. Speed
    Determines the travel speed of the carriage and is adjustable in 1% increments from 1 to 100%. The slower the speed, the deeper the engraving or cutting. Speed settings are heavily dependent on the hardness and the thickness of the material being engraved or cut, with harder materials requiring slower speeds for deeper engraving/cutting.
  4. Power
    Determines the amount of laser energy that is delivered to the piece being cut and is adjustable in increments from 1 to 100%. The higher the power, the deeper the engraving/cutting.

Load Material Library Item – Engrave

  1. A box will appear asking you to select the settings you want to load into this process. Select your settings and click “Import”.
    The material settings should load on to that process and be ready to print to the laser.

Vector/Cutting Setting

Load Material Library Item – Vector

1.

Group / Ungroup

  1. Group / Ungroup: The file will initially appear grouped. If you want to move individual sections of the file, with the graphic selected click the ungroup icon several times until all items are ungrouped.

Selection

  1. After you have ungrouped your artwork, select a portion of your artwork you want to separate into its own process and select “+ Selection”. In this example we have moved the text into a separate process from the other graphics, letting us adjust the speed and power settings for just that portion of the engraving.

Print / Job Manager

1.

Epilog Laser Dashboard Advanced Function

Jobs

Once the Job Manager is open, click the Jobs tab. All print jobs sent to the Job Manager from the Dashboard will be displayed in the Uncategorized Jobs folder by default. Printed jobs that are not sent to the Job Manager can be found in the Temporary Jobs folder. Click on your job to highlight it. You can now Print, Edit, Preview, Move or Delete this job using the available icons.

Materials Setting

The Material Settings Tab allows you to save and import settings for individual processes. If you frequently use the same settings for engraving or cutting, this feature allows you to import those settings into a single process quickly.

Boundary

  1. Boundary: This is the working boundary the laser will recognize. It will ignore any graphics outside
    this boundary area.

Advanced Engraving Settings

  1. Export your new material settings by clicking the folder with the up arrow. Add a settings name and add it to an existing folder.
  2. Resolution Set your print resolution anywhere from 75 to 1200 DPI. For the best engraving results, use a resolution equal to the resolution in the raster images within your project setup. We recommend using a resolution of 400-500 for most standard engraving jobs. Use 600 DPI for jobs requiring finer detail. The resolution setting in the print driver will affect the engraving time (there are twice as many engraved lines at 600 DPI as at 300 DPI) and the quality.
  3. Dithering: The dithering drop-down will appear for Engrave processes, and Vector Sort for Vector processes
  4. Cycles: How many times to repeat this process.
  5. Direction: This feature applies to engraving only and allows you to engrave your project either from the top-down or the bottom-up direction. In standard top-down engraving there can be a large amount of engraving debris generated, especially on materials such as plastic, wood and rubber. As the debris moves toward the exhaust plenum, some of it collects in the area that has just been engraved. Bottom-up engraving prevents the debris from collecting in the freshly engraved spaces.

Ordering Processes

  1. In the Processes section of the Dashboard, you may rearrange the order in which each process runs on the laser. The order of the processes in the list is the order that they will be completed by the laser. You can change the order of the processes by clicking and dragging them up and down in the list. In this example we are engraving and cutting a control panel board. The three topmost processes will engrave first, and the job will finish with the vector processes
  2. The process order will always begin with any engraving processes, then follow with your vector processes. If you attempt to move a vector process above an engraving process, it will automatically go back to its previous position below all the engraving processes. This is to ensure that the engraving processes are completed while the piece is as flat as possible. Once cut through, pieces may shift as they are cut out of the item, providing a misaligned engraving.

Advanced Vector/Cutting Settings – Frequency

  1. The frequency setting is only active on vector processes, and controls the number of laser pulses that the laser fires per inch of travel. The frequency is set in the dashboard and can be adjusted from 1 to 100%. A lower frequency number will have the effect of less heat because fewer pulses are being used to

Vector Sorting

You can determine the cutting order of vector lines directly from the Epilog Job Manager.

You can choose from three different vector sorting options:

  1. None: Vector line cutting order is determined by the order they were created.
  2. Inside/Out: All internal vector paths in the file will be process prior to the external vector paths. For
    example, if cutting the letter O, the inner oval will be cut before the outer oval.
  3. Optimized: The laser will process the vector lines looking for the next closest node for quicker
    vectoring.

Manual Focus

This photo shows the Manual Focus Gauge that is used to determine the correct distance from the focus lens to the top of your material. This gauge is included with your system.

Place the object to be cut or engraved anywhere on the table of the machine. Select the Jog button on the touch screen and use the Joystick to bring the focus gauge to the object. Deselect the Jog button, then select the Focus button on the touch screen and move the Joystick up or down to move the table appropriately until your material just touches the bottom of the gauge. The speed at which the table rises or lowers can be controlled by applying varying pressure upwards or downwards on the Joystick.

You may also fine-tune the table height in the Focus Menu. Once the focus position has been established, flip the gauge back up into its locked position. Press the Focus button to leave the menu and then press the Reset key to bring the laser head back to its Home Position.

WARNING: Do not leave the Manual Focus Gauge down when running jobs or when using Auto Focus!

If your material has a taper or curve, pick an intermediate point between the highest and lowest points being engraved and focus on that point. In general, the area of the material being engraved needs to be relatively flat. If the area being engraved differs in height by more than about an .125” (3 mm), the image will begin to look “fuzzy” or out of focus.

Air Assist

The Air Assist feature on the Fusion Pro Laser is used to keep combustible gases away from the cutting surface and to reduce flare-ups of more flammable materials as you cut through it, such as wood and acrylic.

The Air Assist directs a constant stream of compressed air across the material surface at the point of burn removing the heat and combustible gases from the work surface. The constant air stream helps reduce charring and scorching associated with materials, such as wood, rubber, and acrylic. The Fusion Pro systems also include an air compressor within the machine.

The Fusion Pro systems have two types of Air Assist:

• Cone: This feature directs air through the cone shaped part of the assembly, and permanently remains on while running any job to help keep the lenses clean.

Sweep: This feature directs air through the Air Assist tube to the side of the cone. This feature has the option to be turned on or off by the switch directly on top of it. When the switch is pointing outward toward the front of the machine, the Sweep Air Assist is ON. When it is pointing toward the right side of the machine and adjacent to the lens tube, the Sweep Air Assist is OFF.

Both types of Air Assist should always be activated during vector cutting operations to reduce the risk of fire! For more information, see “FIRE WARNING” on page 1 of the manual.

Media Size

Resolution / DPI

Print quality is commonly referred to as Resolution and is one of the variables that determine image quality. Resolution is expressed in dots per inch (DPI) and is determined by the number of lines or dots that are engraved for every inch of movement. Each horizontal line is referred to as a raster line. The higher the resolution setting, the finer the detail that can be achieved. Keep in mind that engraving resolution is only one factor in determining image quality. The quality of the artwork being sent to the laser can have a bigger influence on the look of the final product than the resolution. If low quality artwork is being used, even the highest resolution will not improve it. Also keep in mind that image quality is subjective. 300 DPI may be just fine for some images and some customers, while 600 DPI is the absolute minimum for others.

75 – 200 DPI
These resolution values are typically used for non-production purposes where you want to experiment
with image location, or if you want to quickly produce a rough draft. Low resolution settings are also
useful when engraving products that you don’t want to remove too much material from while engraving,
such as fabric.

300 DPI
300 DPI is useful when engraving materials such as glass, marble, plastic and other items that don’t
benefit from the engraved dots being close together.

400 DPI
This resolution value is ideal for many applications. It combines very good image quality with fast
engraving times. Many users like 400 DPI for all of their work.

600 DPI
When really fine detail or overall excellent results are required, most users choose 600 DPI.

1200 DPI
This resolution is used for projects that require the best engraving quality possible, or if engraving
extremely small fonts. Although it’s seldom used because, under normal circumstances, most people
cannot visually discern the difference between 1200 and 600 DPI. There are some users that appreciate
this high level of quality and are willing to take twice as long to produce an image at 1200 DPI as it would
take them at 600 DPI.

Image Dithering

Dithering defines how the dot patterns will be engraved in raster images that contain grayscale graphics, blends, or color images. The Dashboard offers six different dithering patterns to enhance your engraving projects. The default mode is Standard. This mode can be used for all images including photographs. Dithering is used only for raster engraving and has no effect on vector cut lines. Laser engraved photographs on wood usually require a third-party software package to produce a good image that is suitable for the laser. Epilog recommends PhotoLaser Plus for this application. Users find it an invaluable piece of software that is easy to use and will produce much better looking images when working with wood. Please contact your Epilog representative to learn more about this software package.

What is Dithering?

The best way to show dithering is to look at the exact same photo engraved in Standard mode and Stucki mode. Both photos were engraved at 300 DPI. With the two different dithering patterns you achieve a very different result, with a more structured pattern for the Standard mode, while the Stucki mode results in a more random pattern that looks more natural and pleasing to the eye.

Dithering is a great way to enhance your engraved products, but it is very material dependent. A dithering pattern that looks good on marble, might look very different when engraved on plastic. Give yourself some time to experiment with the different dithering patterns. It’s easy to do and once you have a feel for it, you will be able to use it with confidence.

Clipart Modes
• Standard: This is the default mode and will be used for
most engraving jobs that include text and clipart at 600
DPI.
• None: This option works well for color mapped jobs or
when artwork is in CMYK color space (useful for artwork in
PDF format

 

Photograph Modes:
• Floyd-Steinberg: Produces an almost wave-like pattern
to an image. This works well for some photos containing
a great deal of detail. Photos with more monotone
swatches of color may not be as pleasing as Jarvis or
Stucki modes.
• Jarvis: Many users find this mode good for engraving
photographs at 300 DPI. This mode produces a very nice
looking pattern on almost all photos.
• Stucki: This mode produces results that are only
marginally different than the Jarvis dithering pattern. It is
also very good for engraving photographs at 300 DPI. The
differences between Jarvis and Stucki are very subtle.
• Bayer: This mode is an efficient and widely used
halftoning technique. It is easily distinguished by its
noticeable crosshatch patterns. Bayer (ordered) dithering
is more suitable for line-art graphics.

 

Experiment with the different dithering patterns to determine which effect is most pleasing. It is not mandatory that you use the clipart modes with only clipart images or photograph modes with all photographs. Many users prefer one of the photograph modes for many clipart images, and one of the clipart modes for photographs. The choice is entirely up to you and will take some experimentation.

Epilog Laser Rim-Style Rotary

Rotary Attachment Installation

1. Lower the engraving table far enough so the Rotary Attachment will not interfere with the lens carriage

An important note: Turn off the power to the engraver. It’s important that the laser system is turned off before installing (or removing) the Rotary Attachment. The Fusion Pro laser system will not recognize the Rotary Attachment until the system is rebooted, and you could damage the electronics if the rotary is installed while the laser system is powered on.

2. Place the Rotary Attachment in the upper left corner of the table so that the baseplate is positioned against the sides of the left and top rulers. The rotary rests on the table against the rulers and does not need to be locked in place.

3. With the Fusion Pro powered off, mate the cable connector to the plug located at the right side of the cabinet as shown in the photo.

4. Once the Rotary Attachment cable is connected, you can power on the laser system. The Fusion Pro senses that the Rotary has been installed. During machine initialization the lens carriage will find its new Home Position over the center of the Rotary Attachment, as shown below.

Rim-Drive Rotary Setup

The wheels on the left are the drive wheels which spin the cylinder. The wheels on the right are for support. The right-side wheels are mounted on a scissor jack so they can be raised or lowered to level the top surface of your cylinder with the X-beam. The scissor jack can be moved left and right to accommodate cylinders of different lengths.

 

Rotate the knob to lift or lower the scissor jack.

Squeeze the tabs to move the scissor jack left and right.

In most cases you will want to load your cylinder with the larger diameter on the left (drive wheel side). The scissor jack is used to elevate the right side of your cylinder so that the top surface is horizontal. Load your cylinder onto the Rotary Attachment so that it is just touching the black bumper. Using the clamp to hold the glass in place is optional. Some odd shaped glasses rotate better if they are clamped to the drive wheels, but most glasses and other cylindrical objects do not require clamping.

This photo shows the clamp holding a glass against the drive wheels. Use the thumbscrews to adjust the clamp in and out.

Use the scissor jack to raise the right side of the cylinder so that the engraving/cutting surface is horizontal. The photos below show the same flashlight at a severe angle to horizontal. If your cylinder is not horizontal to the X-beam the laser will lose focus as the carriage head moves across the flashlight. This causes the engraving quality on the right-hand side to suffer dramatically.

Many glasses, like this one, do not require the use of the clamp. The clamp is used mostly for hard to rotate cylinders or very lightweight objects that need more than just gravity to hold them in place.

  1. On the Advanced tab, you can change settings that will affect the entire job.
  2. Centering Point: This feature allows you to define the center of your artwork as the primary reference point (Home Position) of your engraving or cutting.
  3. Set the width of your page to the length of the glass you are engraving.
  4. Set the height of your page (in the Y direction) to the circumference of the glass you are engraving. Use a flexible tape measurer to find the circumference of the glass at its largest diameter.

Centering Point

Pressing this button tells the laser where you want the center of your artwork to be. While jogging the laser head across the table, use the red dot pointer to help identify the center point of your engraving. The Centering Point feature is used with Center-Engraving enabled jobs. To return to the Centering Point you have previously set, long-press the Centering Point button and the laser head will return to that point

When using Center-Center, the overall size of your work piece and the upper-left corner reference point are not used. With Center-Center engraving, the important starting points are the size of your artwork and the available space for it on your work piece. With Center-Center you’re interested in positioning the center of your artwork to a specific point on your work piece, no matter where your work piece is on the laser table.

With the Center-Center option you can place your artwork on almost any size of page and almost anywhere on that page. At the laser using the touch screen, you are able to jog the laser head to your work piece on the table with the red dot pointer turned on, and set the center point wherever you want.

Measure the area you have available for engraving.

  1. In the drop-down box next to Centering Point, select Center-Center.
  2. Print the job to the laser.
  3. Make sure your laser is focused to the work piece.
  4. Jog the laser head to your work piece on the table with the red dot pointer turned on, and press the button under Centering Point to set your center point.
  5. Back at the Job Menu, select the job and press the Trace button with the Red Dot Pointer on to check the outline of your artwork. The laser head will continue outlining the artwork until you press the Trace button again.
  6. Once you are happy with the position of your artwork, select the job and press the Go/Stop button to start the job.
  7. While Center-Center is the most common use for the Center Engraving features, you can also use Center-Left, Center-Top, Center-Bottom, Center-Right or Custom. Depending on the object you are engraving, these options may be easier to find than the center point of the engraving area.

Editing Job Settings at the Machine

1. Print a job to the Pro
2. Long press on the job and the Speed and Power values will come up.
3. Press the job again and the Speed and Power boxes will come up at the bottom of the screen
4. Highlight the one you want to change and another dialog box will come up at the bottom of the screen.
5. Delete the number in the box and then insert the new value(s).
6. Press the Save icon to save the change. If you exit this screen without pressing the Save icon, your changes will not be saved.

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