- FSL Muse 2D Vision Desktop CO2 Laser Cutter 45w
- Certification required: YES
- Consumable Material Reference
FSL Muse 2D Vision Desktop CO2 Laser Cutter 45w #
owner: Andrew K
Certification required: YES #
- Engraving Area: 20″ x 12″ (508mm x 305mm)
- Z-Height: 2.5″
- Laser Classification: Class 3
- Resolution: Up to 1000 dpi
- Operation Modes: Precision Raster, Vector or Combined Modes
Copied from the official user manual.
- Wipe down the walls the machine with a clean rag.
- Use optical grade lens wipes to clean both sides of the beam combiner, all mirror surfaces, the focus lens, and the tube aperture. Optic surfaces may need to cleaned more often if cutting materials produce excessive residue (possibly daily).
- Clean fallen debris from the catch tray of the machine. Less excess material will reduce fire risk, and provide for better exhausting.
- Always keep rails, motors and moving parts free from excess material as it can obscure movement and cause damage.
- Check rail lubrication. When the laser arrives, you should be able to visibly see the lubricant on the X and Y rails. These rails will not need to be re-lubricated often, but check monthly to be sure that the rails are properly lubricated and aren’t grinding or catching.
- Check your fume extractor filters. Depending on your output and the materials being cut, your fume extractor filters may need to be replaced as often as every month (or sooner).
- Change water in cooling system. This will keep your tube safe from unwanted debris, mold or evaporation.
- A chiller system is enclosed and will stay relatively clean and undisturbed, but it is good practice to check and change the water as needed.
- Check for wear on belts. Well lubricated belts should last, however, eventually they may wear and crack and need replacement.
Consumable Material Reference #
This section is adapted without permission from Pumping Station: One’s wiki. Some dimensions and capabilities may differ.
Prohibited Materials #
- PVC (Poly Vinyl Chloride): Also known as “vinyl” “pleather” or “artificial leather.” Most adhesive vinyl shelf paper (e.g. Con-Tact Paper) also is PVC. Emits pure chlorine gas when cut! Don’t ever cut this material as it will ruin the optics, cause the metal of the machine to corrode, and ruin the motion control system.
- Polycarbonate: Also known as “Lexan.” Polycarbonate is also often found as flat, sheet material. The case cover window on some laser cutters is made of Polycarbonate because polycarbonate strongly absorbs infrared radiation! This is the frequency of light the laser cutter uses to cut materials, so it is very ineffective at cutting polycarbonate. Polycarbonate can also emit flame and chlorine gas when cut, making it a poor choice for laser cutting.
- ABS: ABS does not cut well in a laser cutter. It tends to melt rather than vaporize, and has a higher chance of catching on fire and leaving behind melted gooey deposits on the vector cutting grid. It also does not engrave well (again, tends to melt). Finally, ABS emits cyanide when cut.
- HDPE: “milk bottle” plastic. It melts. It gets gooey. It catches on fire. Don’t use it.
- PolyStyrene Foam: It catches fire, it melts, and only thin pieces cut. This is the #1 material that causes laser fires!!!
- Fiberglass: It’s a mix of two materials that can’t be cut. Glass (etch, no cut) and epoxy resin (fumes)
- Coated Carbon Fiber: Again, it’s a mix of two materials. Thin carbon fiber mat can be cut, with some fraying. However, once coated with epoxy it will emit noxious fumes.
Safe Materials #
The laser can cut or etch. The materials that the laser can cut are things like wood, paper, cork, and some kinds of plastics. Etching can be done on almost anything: wood, cardboard, aluminum, stainless steel, plastic, marble, stone, tile, and glass.
- Wood: Many woods up to 1/4″ thick. Composite woods like plywood contain glue, and may not laser cut as well as solid wood. Engineered woods like MDF are okay to use but may experience a higher amount of charring when cut. Be very careful about cutting oily woods, or very resinous woods as they also may catch fire.
- Paper: Paper cuts very very well on the laser cutter, and also very quickly. Thin paper and single layer card stock and cardboard are perfectly OK. Thicker cardboard, carton, and other papers also cut very well but need to be watched to make sure they don’t catch fire.
- Cork: cuts nicely, but the quality of the cut depends on the thickness and quality of the cork. Engineered cork has a lot of glue in it, and may not cut as well. Cork thicker than 1/4″ should be avoided.
- Acrylic (also known as Lucite, Plexiglas, PMMA): cuts extremely well on the laser cutter, leaving a beautifully polished edge. Mirrored acrylic can also be cut but with the mirror pointing down away from the laser head. With care, acrylic material up to 1/4″ thick can be cut on the laser cutter.
- Delrin (POM) in thin sheets does cut. Delrin comes in a number of shore strengths (hardness) and the harder delrin tends to work better. Great for gears!
- Kapton tape (Polyimide): Works well, in thin sheets and strips like tape. 1/16″ thick is about as thick as you can cut reliably.
- Mylar: Works well if it’s thin. Once you get too far past 1/16″ thick mylar has a tendency to warp, bubble, and curl. Gold coated mylar will not work.
- Solid Styrene: Smokes a lot when cut, but can be cut. Keep it thin (1/16″)
- Depron foam: Used a lot for hobby, RC aircraft, architectural models, and toys. 1/4″ cuts nicely, with a smooth edge. Must be constantly monitored when cutting.
- Gator foam: foam core gets burned and eaten away compared to the top and bottom hard paper shell. Not a fantastic thing to cut, but it can be cut if watched.
- Cloth (leather, suede, felt, hemp, cotton, polyester, but NEVER vinyl or pleather– see above): They all cut well. Leather is very hard to cut, but can be if it’s thinner than a belt (call it 1/8″). Also lasered leather smells like death.
- Magnetic Sheet: Cuts beautifully
- NON-CHLORINE Rubber: Fine for cutting.
- Teflon (PTFE): thin sheets
- Carbon fiber: mats/weave that has not yet had epoxy applied can be cut, very slowly. You must not cut carbon fiber that has been coated!!
- EVA foam: cuts well, at least up to 1cm thick. If you cut it in multiple passes it can warp though.
All the above can be etched, in some cases very deeply. In addition, you can etch:
- Glass: (green seems to work best) looks sandblasted. Round or cylindrical items can be etched with the use of the rotary attachment.
- Ceramic tile:
- Anodized aluminum: ( vaporizes the anodization away )
- Painted/coated metals: ( vaporizes the paint away )
- Stone: Marble, Granite, Soapstone, Onyx. Gets a white “textured” look when etched
There’s an expensive coating called ‘cermark’. This marking compound costs $100 for a small bottle, and must be diluted with ethanol and applied to metal (not ceramics or stone) before being etched to leave behind a permanent dark black mark. It’s called “Thermark” now, and it costs about $60 for a can that covers either 900 or 1200 square inches.
Troubleshooting the laser #
Local resources for material: #
- TAP Plastic – NEM members have a discount
- Rockler Woodworking – NEM members have a discount
- Tandy Leather