Number 03 – RDWorks Learning Lab 005 – Cutting first program

The Top Ten RDWorks Learning Lab Videos

These are the top ten RDWorks Learning Lab Videos ranked by average number of views per month. In this Video Russ demonstrates RDWorks Cutting Your First Program.


  • Look at different plastics you can and cannot cut
  • Hammer test to identify safe ones
  • Places to go to find out about material hazards
  • How to edit parameters on the machine
  • How to run your first program
RDWorks Cutting Your First Program
RDWorks Cutting Your First Program
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RDWorks Cutting Your First Program Transcript

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RDWorks Cutting Your First Program Transcript

0:00welcome again to our D Works Learning

0:01Lab and today we’re going to be down in

0:04the workshop you’ve loaded your program

0:07in now but you want to cut something

0:09what are you going to cut well some

0:13materials you can cut lots of materials

0:16will cut some materials you shouldn’t

0:19cut because they produce dangerous fumes

0:21or they will produce a surah

0:23btlestickboys in your machine so there

0:32are lots of there’s lots of information

0:34out there on the internet about cutting

0:36these materials I can’t go into it here

0:39because it’s far too complicated but

0:41things like printed circuit board stay

0:45away from it this floor tile which has

0:48got PVC in it anything with vinyl or PVC

0:51don’t go anywhere near it it produces

0:54deadly fumes and you don’t want to cut

0:56it polycarbonate acrylic is good

1:02cardboard and MDF well yeah produce lots

1:07of films and it will produce smelly

1:08smelly fumes that will last a long while

1:11inside your machine you may or may not

1:13want to cut those yeah it cuts

1:15reasonably well ptg mmm go and do your

1:20own research so basically you need to be

1:24sure that you know what you’re cutting

1:25because some things or they may look the

1:29same but they’re not the same and I’m

1:31now going to give you a simple example

1:33of that now we have here on the floor

1:35five pieces of clear thin material

1:40they’re all different materials so how

1:43do we tell them apart

1:44some are better for laser cutting than

1:46others well this one here I know is

1:49polycarbonate yeah you can cut it it’s

1:51not advisable to cut anything over a

1:54thin film they use this stuff for bus

2:01shelters and riot shields and you can

RDWorks Cutting Your First Program Transcript (Cont…)

2:05see why it’s extremely strong and

2:07durable now this material here is a

2:10slightly thicker material

2:11it’s something called a copolyester it’s

2:14commonly known as PE TG and it’s the

2:17sort of thing that’s used in fizzy pop

2:20bottle it can soften nice and easily and

2:21it can be blow molded into bottles as

2:27you can see that again is pretty tough

2:29and it has to be if it’s going to be

2:31used in fizzy pop bottles now this next

2:34piece of material here is again PE TG

2:37but it’s thinner exactly the same

2:44properties it doesn’t smash it doesn’t

2:47crack now what about this material here

2:51the fact that that smash is so easily

2:53tells me it is cast acrylic that’s a

2:57nice safe material to cut and finally if

3:01I tap it gently you’ll see that it does

3:04mark but then it breaks quite easily so

3:09this is still acrylic but it’s

3:12manufactured in a different way the

3:14first one was cast acrylic this one is

3:17extruded acrylic it’s slightly tougher

3:20and it’s got more flex to it now it

3:22might seem a fairly crude test but it

3:25tells you very quickly what materials

3:27you’re working with now there are a few

3:29good websites around this one in

3:31particular which gives a good 6 income

3:34resource of things that you need to be

3:36careful of with materials for example as

3:39a heading here which says never cut

3:40these materials and then you’ve got

3:42another section here which says cutting

3:44cutting but with cautions and etching

3:48again with cautions so this website is

3:52well worth a visit and you can study it

3:55at length right let’s have a little bit

3:58of a look at the machine itself and see

RDWorks Cutting Your First Program Transcript (Cont…)

4:01how we can now run this test I’ve now

4:07got a piece of clear acrylic here and

4:10I’m going to probably run this program

4:13twice so what I’m going to do is with my

4:15knife I’m going to put a score at roster

4:19and I’m going to remove a plastic film

4:24from one side and we’ll use that for the

4:29first test right although we’ve got our

4:34file in memory it’s not exactly ready to

4:38run yet so if we press file again which

4:42will find that it’s probably sitting

4:44here and it’s now available to us here

4:47if we press ENTER again it now appears

4:53on here we’ve got our two layer

4:56parameters shown here if we press ENTER

5:01again we bring the cursor across to

5:07these two layer parameters where we can

5:10change we can choose for example between

5:13either of these two layers to edit to

5:16the layer so we press ENTER to edit the

5:19layer and here the layer is available

5:22for us to enter now we’ve got minimum

5:25power one minimum power – we know that 2

5:28is not available to us so we’re only

5:30going to mess around with minimum power

5:321 and maximum power 1 and to get to

5:35these you don’t use the down arrows you

5:38use the zu key so we’re going to move

5:41from at the moment if you take a look up

5:43here we’ve got the layer color active

5:46and if we change that we can go to black

5:49or red so now we can come down with the

5:54zu key to the first option and then is

6:00repress digadz we then get the

RDWorks Cutting Your First Program Transcript (Cont…)

6:02opportunity to change these if we wish

6:05and we can do that with the arrow keys

6:07change the numbers and then we can just

6:10select every one of these windows with

6:14the Z u key and when we finished we just

6:17press Enter set up success enter don’t


6:25so we know do file again and here’s our

6:31file that we’re going to run now one

6:33thing I like to do before a start is to

6:36do what they call a track so we’ll come

6:40down to track and I’ll press enter in a

6:46minute but I’ll show you what will

6:49happen on the machine now bear in mind

6:53I’ve got nothing on no leyser

6:55nothing at all all I’ve got is the

6:57machine power on at the moment so we can

7:00press enter hmm so that’s a big waste of

7:10material we can either move the material

7:13to suit where the laser is moving and

7:16that may not always be possible but

7:18let’s stay with that simple option at

7:20this point in time track enter again

7:28and it does stop at the top left hand

7:31corner so we can in fact move that down

7:36to about there and we’re now ready to

7:41run our program accept the fact we

7:43haven’t got the Machine switched on so

7:45let’s go through that routine you know

7:47first of all switching on the water pump

7:50lots of air going through the laser we

7:54wait for the air bubbles to clear and

7:58there we go we can hear that they’re

7:59virtually cleared now will now turn the

RDWorks Cutting Your First Program Transcript (Cont…)

8:02lace on I shall now turn the extractor

8:10fan on

8:16and on my machine here I’ve got control

8:21of the air pressure that flows through

8:23the head here the air assist so I’m

8:26going to turn the air assist on

8:29pressure gauge

8:32my compressor you may be a turn-on in

8:34the back

8:37I’ve got something like about maybe half

8:39a psi of pressure in there

8:46so we’re all ready to run now

8:49we just come down to

8:55and we’ll move this up to run and then I

8:59should just press Enter

9:02right here we go in

9:19I’m gonna press pause for a second

9:22now the reason I’ve moved the camera is

9:24I want you to look just here

9:27yeah there’s like a white halo down

9:30there now that’s the acrylic when the

9:33when the laser beam hits the acrylic it

9:35boils off like Steam and this is like a

9:38recon den site that’s sitting down the

9:41side here it’s a powdery condensate I

9:43will now turn off the air

9:50so I’ll press the pause star

9:55now you see we’re producing a lot more


10:01but you’ll notice that we’re not

RDWorks Cutting Your First Program Transcript (Cont…)


10:24now we can see here two things first of

10:26all when I turned the air off all of a

10:30sudden it changed its characteristic

10:33look Eternia powdery

10:36residue on the surface


10:41it reeked and enters on the surface and

10:43makes a bit of a mess so it’s a

10:46trade-off and the other thing that we

10:49found is that we haven’t got enough

10:50power here to cut through these items

10:54so we need to go and modify the power or

10:58decrease the speed which is probably the

11:01sensible thing to do

11:04and will come into the menu here and

11:08we’ll press Enter

11:11and the one that we want to change is

11:14the cut speed which is the black one

11:17so we press Enter

11:20and at the moment we’ve got that running

11:21at 15 millimeters a second I think we’ll

11:26drop that down so we need to come down

11:28with zi jue and we need to reduce that

11:30speed to maybe maybe we’ll take it down

11:33to ten so we’ll move this left hand

11:36arrow key and it’s gone under the one

11:39will move it with the right hand arrow

11:42key and it’s gone under the five now we

11:45can reduce the five

11:48ten there we go and now we can just

11:51press ENTER fo we can now just press

11:53ENTER I think and we should have done

11:54all the modifications we don’t need to

11:56change anything else

11:59setup success okay so we’re now ready to

RDWorks Cutting Your First Program Transcript (Cont…)



12:11run I should just press these press the

12:14enter button in a second when I get you

12:16back on

12:22and I think this time what we’ll do

12:26would turn this round

12:29and we’ll have a girl cutting through

12:31the protective film

12:39turn hair on the game

12:41they resist because I don’t want to

12:43damage my leg

12:44what they’re passing through the most

13:14so it still hasn’t dropped out because

13:16we haven’t got enough power there or

13:17this protective film on the surface here

13:19is absorbing

13:22more of the engine I expect so let’s

13:25take the film off with the front and the

13:27back run it again the one thing I didn’t

13:30check was the focus

13:33it does look at the focuses and that may

13:36well be the cause of the problem there

13:37we go that’s the correct focus now

13:45that’s a good reason why you should set

13:47your focus correctly and as our end

13:49result we’ve got a lovely crystal clear

13:51edge the surface is covered in this

13:57debris which will just wash off to be

14:01honest but there’s our first test piece

RDWorks Cutting Your First Program Transcript (Cont…)

14:03with a few mistakes that I’ve made

14:04hopefully you won’t step into the same


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