K40 Laser

I bought one of these for roughly $400 to learn more about laser cutters after having rebuilt a Full Spectrum Laser. You must also buy an air assist if you want to cut anything properly. I suggest getting it as cheap as possible and use light-object for all upgrades. You must also buy a pair of laser safety glasses to safely operate around.

I almost never run this thing regularly so below I am only listing the set-up steps for my own usage. If you’d like to learn more about lasers see VLS.60 or Epilog tool pages.

Machine Preparation Checklist

Check Grounding on outlet and K40.
Prime Pump w/ 3 Gallons Distilled Water.
Vector SVG, can have normal color conventions.
Install CorelDraw & CorelLaser
Open in CorelLaser (less buggy)
Check Alignment w/ Test fire.
Exhaust On

First run

Much of this material is thanks to k40laser.se.

Open CorelLaser. Use the template, it has one engraving layer and one cutting layer. When CorelLaser is installed you will find the menu below. Click on the green pen icon.

Laser Diagram

Control settings so its identical to this screen.

Laser Diagram

Most important setting is the mainboard, you may need to change this later if your machine operates very slow (a first sign of wrong mainboard selected) You can find information about which board you have on the controller board in your machine.

Laser Diagram

Next setting is to check your hardware device ID, you can find this on the controller board, se image below

Laser Diagram

Laser Diagram

Check out the other settings and make sure you have the same on your settings.

Laser Diagram

You are now ready to start your first test with the machine Start with the “rectangle tool” in corel, make a box with the size of your choice, i made a 54x40mm box.

Laser Diagram

Select the box as shown in the picture, and in the top menu you see a line width set to “hairline”. Change this to 0.001 and hit enter.

Laser Diagram

You are now ready for your first cut test.

Select CUT in the corel menu, the icon marked here

Laser Diagram

Click OK on the data setting, we did this in a earlier step. Make sure the settings are still there.

Now you have this setup box (click to expand)

Laser Diagram

Settings

  • Company and model is just the data about your machine.
  • Rotate: if you need to rotate or flip your design for mirrored cut/engravings.
  • Style: Cutting, engraving and marking. For this test we choose CUTTING.
  • Inside first is a good option if you make parts, the machine will cut the inner parts first and then the outer, preventing the part to fall down without the inner holes are cut.
  • Speed: I have a 3mm acrylic piece in my machine, you may have to test the speed and the power on your machine when testing your cut.
  • I would suggest 12mA power and 10mm/sec to start with.

  • Method: If you have combined engraving and cut in the same file, you can choose here.
  • In the template before, we split engraving and cut in two different layers, this will help you to run the engraving first, and cut later.
  • Pixel: set this to 1 step, and Repeat to 1 times

You are now ready to hit STARTING

Test a similar design a few times to learn how power and speed relates on your machine, this is different on most K40 and you cannot use the same settings someone else has. You need to find your optimal combo.