Spirit GE Laser Cutter

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Spirit GE Laser Cutter

Technical specifications

  • Cutting area 812 mm (31.968 inches) and 460 mm (18.110 inches). millimeters
  • Cutting power max. 30 Watt.

CAM

  • 2D Printer driver from most CAD or ilustration software
  • From PDF

Tools

  • Tools here

Materials and configurations

Suppliers

For a supplier list take a look at this table maintained by de Fab Lab BARCELONA

Acrylic / Metacrilato

Thickness Speed Power PPI Enhanced Vector Air assist

1.75mm	  14.6	75%	max     on		on
2mm	  13	75%	max	on		on
2.75mm	  11	75%	max	on		on
3mm	  9	75%	max	on		on
3.5mm	  8	75%	max	on		on
5mm	  2.5	35%		on		on
10mm	  0.6	35%	max	off		on

Neoprene / Neopreno

Thickness Speed Power PPI Enhanced Vector Air assist

 3mm	20	50%	400	off		on
 3mm	100	10%	400	off		on

Plywood / Contrachapado

Thickness Speed Power PPI Enhanced Vector Air assist

 1.20mm   12	60%	500	off		on
 2.5mm	   12	100%	500	off		on
 3mm	   8.6	100%	500	off		on
 4mm	7.6	100%	500	off		on

MDF Thickness Speed Power PPI Enhanced Vector Air assist

 3mm	8	100%	600	off		on
 4mm	4	100%	600	off		on

Masonite

Thickness Speed Power PPI Enhanced Vector Air assist

 3mm     3.8	100%	500	off		on

Felt / Fiestro

Thickness Speed Power PPI Enhanced Vector Air assist

 4mm	19	100%	200	off		on
 10mm	4	100%	200	off		on

Box Cardboard / Cartón

Thickness Speed Power PPI Enhanced Vector Air assist

   4mm	   20	100	400	off		on

Paper / Papel

Cut

Thickness Speed Power PPI Enhanced Vector Air assist

200gr	100	30	400	off	 off	on

Engrave

Thickness Speed Power PPI Enhanced Vector Air assist

200gr	  100	10	400	off	 off	on

Skuba Fabric

Thickness Speed Power PPI Enhanced Vector Air assist

 1mm	  25	35	100	off	 off	on

Iron Adhesive Fabric

Thickness Speed Power PPI Enhanced Vector Air assist

         40	25	400     off	 off	on

Machine work flow

Spirit GE Laser Cutting Control screen
Spirit GE Laser Cutting Machine


The LaserPro Spirit GE Print Driver

With the LaserPro Spirit GE print driver successfully installed, you will need to adjust the printer and page size default settings before you can begin editing and completing jobs. By doing so, you will be setting the work area in your graphics software to match the LaserPro Spirit GE’s worktable area.

NOTE Please make sure Spirit GE is set to the default printer before proceeding to the page and layout setup. Ensure that the LaserPro Spirit GE has been selected as the DEFAULT PRINTER. You can do so by going into your Windows Control Panel : Printers and Faxes.

If LaserPro Spirit GE is not selected as DEFAULT PRINTER, you may set it up through the graphics software as well. The following is taking Corel Draw as example of how to set up LaserPro Spirit GE as the Printer. 1) From the primary menu, click FILE : PRINT SETUP. 2) From the navigation bar Name, click Spirit GE : OK

Page Setup and Orientation

The first thing you must do before working with the LaserPro Spirit GE Print Driver will be to make sure the page and layout settings are properly configured within your graphics software. You will need to access and edit the Page Setup or Layout page of your graphics software to set your graphics software’s page layout to match the LaserPro Spirit GE’s work table’s dimensions and orientation. From your graphic software’s Page Setup page:

Set the page orientation in the graphics software to Landscape mode.
Set page size horizontal length to 812 mm (31.968 inches) and vertical height to 460 mm (18.110

inches). Corel Draw Example (Page Setup and Orientation)

Spirit GE User Manual

The following is an example of how to set the Page Setup and Orientation in the graphics software. CorelDraw is the designated graphics software used for this example. For other graphics software, you will need to access the corresponding Page Setup page. 3) From the primary menu 4) From the navigation bar on the left 5) Ensure that NORMAL PAPER and LANDSCAPE are selected. 6) Ensure the Paper Width and Height dimensions match the LaserPro Spirit GE’s work table dimensions of 812 mm (31.968 inches) and 460 mm (18.110 inches). 7) Click OK to complete the paper size adjustment. TIP Instead of manually selecting the Landscape and setting the Paper Width and Height, you can simply click the Set From Printer function and CorelDraw will automatically set the proper orientation and dimensions based on LaserPro Spirit GE’s work table. (You MUST have the Spirit GE set as the default printer prior to doing this.)

Color Management

LaserPro driver uses pen color settings to control laser engraver engraving and cutting parameters. In addition to having your Page Setup and Orientation properly set in your graphics software, you will also need to make sure Color Management is DISABLED prior to working with the LaserPro Spirit GE Print Driver. If you do not properly From your graphic software’s Color Management page: . Disable Color Management or set Color Management to Off. Corel Draw Example (Color Management) The following is an example of how to properly disable Color Management in the graphics software. CorelDraw is the designated graphics software used for this example. For other graphics software, you will need to access the corresponding Color Management page. 1) From the primary menu, click TOOLS : COLOR MANAGEMENT and CorelDraw’s Color Management will appear. 2) Under the Style pull down menu, select COLOR MANAGEMENT OFF. 3) Click OK to complete the color management adjustments. 5.2.3 Using the LaserPro Spirit GE Print Driver Now after you have properly set the Page and Layout and Color Management of your graphics software, you are ready to configure the details of your actual job through the LaserPro Spirit GE Print


Driver. The LaserPro Spirit GE print driver allows you to adjust your engraving / cutting options. After you have setup your image, design, or text to be engraved in your software application, you can access the LaserPro Spirit GE print driver by going to FILE : PRINT : PROPERTIES. Note For this screenshot example, CorelDraw was used as the software application. The LaserPro Spirit GE Print Driver consists of seven primary sections (pages) in which you will be able to choose various engraving / cutting options and settings: . Option Page . Pen Page . Advance Page . Paper Page . Language Page . Raster Page (appears only in Black & White Mode) . Stamp Page (appears only in Stamp Mode)


TIP The following sections describe the specific functions for each of the settings found in the LaserPro Spirit GE Print Driver. If you are new to laser engraving, it is recommended that you first familiar yourself with the general principals of the laser process in Section 6, especially the Vector Cutting and Raster Engraving concepts. This will make it easier to understand the various descriptions and terminology used in this section.

LaserPro Spirit GE Print Driver >> Option Page

Mode Setting (OPTION PAGE) [DEFAULT SETTING: Black & White] You can select four primary mode settings, depending on your application or results you would like to achieve. Black & White: Select this mode when using clipart images or drawings with several colors, shades of gray, or many outlines. This mode outputs in a method similar to that of a black and white laser printer.

The entire selected image will be engraved using a single set of power & speed settings (the black pen from the PEN menu. Please refer to the next section of the manual for details regarding the PEN functions). The LaserPro Spirit GE print driver will interpret colored and shaded areas as different shades of gray by producing a halftone effect while engraving. Instead of engraving only solid lines, gray/halftone areas will be a collection of dots with varying density. The resolution and depth of these halftone areas can be adjusted with the DPI setting found on the Options page. Please note that selecting the Black & White mode will add a new Raster page to the menu. The Black & White mode dithering settings can be changed from the Raster page. (Please refer to the Raster section below for details). Experiment with different dithering settings to attain the desired results. TIP The Black & White mode interprets the processed image by the varying colors and shades. For the best results, we suggest you convert the image to a grayscale image with your graphics software prior to engraving in the Black & White mode.

NOTE Selecting the Black & White mode will enable the Raster page on the LaserPro Spirit GE Print Driver, allowing you to adjust advanced stamp-related settings. Manual Color Fill: Select this mode when you would like to designate specific power and speed settings and link them to certain colors of your image. The LaserPro Spirit GE print driver allows a maximum of 16 pen parameters to be set. 3D Mode: Select this mode to attain a sculptured 3D effect on your engraving. By using images that have a range of gray areas, the LaserPro Spirit GE print driver can manipulate the image to give it added depth, by linking the laser power (depth of engraving) to specific colors. The settings can be adjusted through the DPI setting (Option page) and PPI, power and speed settings (Pen page). Stamp Mode: Select this mode to when you would like to engrave stamps. The stamp mode is one of the more dynamic functions of the LaserPro Spirit GE. Due to the unique engraving nature when engraving a stamp, the stamp production requires different operational steps than most engraving or cutting operations. NOTE Selecting the Stamp mode will enable the Stamp page on the Spirit GE Print Driver, allowing you to adjust advanced stamp-related settings. DPI (Option Page) [DEFAULT SETTING: 500] DPI (dots-per-inch) represents the number of times the laser will fire over a one-inch path. This setting determines the image resolution and quality when performing raster engraving functions. Higher DPI settings result in cleaner and deeper engravings, but require a more time to complete. Lower DPI settings result in coarser and shallower engravings, but require less time to complete. The LaserPro Spirit GE offers 8 DPI options: 125, 250, 300, 380, 500, 600, 760, and 1000, experiment with different settings to get your desired effect.


Below is a chart for your convenience detailing the Set DPI (your input setting) vs. Actual DPI (your output results). Set DPI 125 250 300 * 380 500 600 * 760 1000 Actual DPI 127 254 381 381 508 762 762 1016 NOTE* Outputting a full-table (34” x 18”) job using 300 or 600 DPI will result in a truncation error; this is due to the large differences in set DPI vs. actual DPI output for those two particular DPI settings. Therefore, when processing a 34” x 18” job using 300 DPI, we recommend you move to the next higher DPI setting of 380. Similarly, for a 34” x 18” job using 600 DPI, we recommend you use 760 DPI. Mirror (Option Page) [DEFAULT SETTING: Unselected] Checking this box will automatically engrave your image with a mirrored effect. This setting will flip the image along the Y-axis from left to right and vice-versa. TIP When engraving a stamp, via the stamp mode, the stamp image needs to be engraved in reverse (mirrored) for the final stamp to be correctly laid out. Invert (Option Page) [DEFAULT SETTING: Unselected] Checking this box automatically inverts / reverses the color of your image (the white areas become black and vice versa). The Invert option is not available in disabled with Manual Color File mode selected. TIP Invert mode is useful when creating a stamp in Stamp Mode, as inverting your normal image will set the negative space to be engraved out, with the remaining positive space (your stamp design) protruding out. Mirror Effect Invert Effect


Print Immediately (Option Page) [DEFAULT SETTING: Unselected] Checking this will instruct the LaserPro Spirit GE to immediately begin the laser engraving process, when you select Print from your graphic software program. If Print Immediately is not checked, then selecting Print will transfer the job file to the LaserPro Spirit GE system and will need to be initialized from the LaserPro Spirit GE control panel. SmartACT (Option Page) [DEFAULT SETTING: Unselected] SmartACT is reduces the amount of time it takes to process a job, by eliminating unnecessary travel of the laser carriage at the expense of some quality. Usually the quality loss is minimal, but will depend on the image or design you are working with; please take some time to experiment with your particular design to determine whether the tradeoff is acceptable. TIP There is a greater performance gain when enabling SmartACT for designs that are vertically longer than they are horizontally wide, as the SmartACT optimization modifies the movement of the X-axis of the laser carriage. File Function (Option Page): The file function section allows you to manage various laser parameters. This section is useful when performing repeat jobs on a variety of objects, allowing you to save your frequently used laser parameters and load them in the future. 􀂃 History File: This section contains a list of the recent files you have recently created and worked with, please note that. 􀂃 SAVE: This function will save the current print driver parameter settings to a file and location on your computer of your selection. (Saved parameter setting files will be tagged with the .H2O extension) 􀂃 LOAD: This function allows you load a previously saved print driver parameters. 􀂃 ORIGINAL: This function will load the print driver’s original factory parameter settings. 􀂃 SAVE TO DEFAULT: This function allows you to save your current print driver parameters as the default startup settings. 􀂃 DELETE: This function will delete the file you select from the History File section. Please note the delete function only removes the file from the history file section, it does not remove the .H2O file from your hard drive, if you wish to completely remove the file from your hard disk, and you will have to manually delete the file from your operating system.) NOTE If you are using Windows 2000 or XP as your operating system, then make sure you log in with an administrator or administrator-rights account in order to properly save laser parameter settings.


Spirit GE Print Driver >> Pen Page

The LaserPro Spirit GE incorporates the use of 16 different colors to represent 16 different laser power and speed settings when cutting and engraving. These colors are referred to as “Pens”. Think of each pen as a designated laser setting, rather than as a color. As an example, a black and white image will use only one power and speed laser setting (Black). An image that is made up of black, red and blue colors will be processed using the laser settings designated for each particular color. In order to utilize up to 16 different pens (laser parameter settings), make sure your graphics software can recognize and utilizes the 16 pen colors designated by the Spirit GE print driver. If you would like to specify your own colors to designate to a particular laser setting, then all you have to do is to double-click on that particular pen color from the pen menu and a color manager window will open where you can select “define custom colors” to define your own color (shown in the picture below). This is useful when your image is composed of colors that are not part of the pen menu’s default color selection, and instead of modifying your image, you simply would like to assign the laser settings based on the existing colors based on your current image.

NOTE The Spirit GE print driver cannot store more than 16 pen colors or different laser parameter settings per file. Speed (Pen Page) [DEFAULT SETTING: 50] The speed slider controls the laser’s speed during operation (engraving speed) with a range setting from 0.1 – 100%. The Spirit GE’s maximum laser processing speed is 60 inches per second, therefore a setting of 100% speed is equivalent to 60 inches per second and a 10% speed setting would be equivalent to 6 inches per second. Keep in mind, this is the speed the laser moves at when cutting or engraving straight lines. The machine will automatically slow down when processing curves. TIP Cutting / engraving depth and quality are determined by a combination of power and speed. Slower speeds at higher power will produce deeper cuts and engravings, whereas higher speeds at lower power will produce more shallow cuts and engravings.

Power (Pen Page) [DEFAULT SETTING: 50] The power slider controls the laser’s power during operation (engraving power) with a range setting from 1 – 100%. The percentage setting represents the power for each laser pulse fired. TIP Cutting / engraving depth and quality are determined by a combination of power and speed. Higher power and slower speeds will produce deeper cuts and engravings, whereas lower power and higher speeds will produce more shallow cuts and engravings. PPI (Pen Page) [DEFAULT SETTING: 400] PPI (pulses-per-inch) represents the number of times the laser pulses (fires) per linear inch, exclusive for vector cutting. Higher PPI settings will generate deeper, overlapping laser pulses, resulting in cleaner cuts. Lower PPI settings (lower than 150) will result in the individual laser pulses being spread apart, resulting in a perforated effect (similar to the perforation in the paper between mailing stamps). If you drag the PPI slider to the furthest right (maximum), the value will change to X. This completely disables the PPI control and continuously fires the laser non-stop, without pulsing. Think of setting PPI to X as being equivalent to turning a water facet on with the water continuously flowing out. This also disables the power ramp functionality, which automatically controls the PPI depending on the speed of the laser carriage (such as vector cutting around the corner of a square). TIP For Vector Engraving jobs, we recommend a PPI setting > 150 For Vector Cutting jobs, we recommend a PPI setting of > 400 Raster / Vector (Pen Page) [DEFAULT SETTING: Selected] Checking the Raster checkbox will process only the raster functions for the areas of your design that correspond to that particular “pen” color. Checking the Vector checkbox will process the vector functions for the areas of your design that correspond to that particular “pen” color. As an example: a particular “pen” color may be assigned to areas in your design containing color fills (raster engraving) and very thin lines (vector cutting). By checking / unchecking the Raster and Vector will force the driver to process / ignore the color fills / thin lines. - 63 - Spirit GE User Manual Vector Checked Vector Unchecked Raster Checked Processes both Vector and Raster functions for that particular color Processes only the Raster functions for that particular color (Vector functions ignored) Raster Unchecked Processes only the Vector functions for that particular color (Raster functions ignored) Does not process Vector or Raster functions for that particular color Air (Pen Page) [DEFAULT SETTING: Unselected] This checkbox controls the SmartAIR air-assist function (if you have the optional air compressor installed). By selecting a pen color and checking this box will enable the SmartAIR air-assist function for that particular pen color. As an example, if you are performing a combination of both surface raster engraving job and deep vector cutting on a material such as acrylic, you may want to enable the SmartAIR air-assist for the vector cutting sections to get the cleanest cuts. To do this, you would simply need to select the pen color that you have assigned to the sections to be cut and select the Air checkbox for those particular pen color. Auto Focus (Pen Page) [DEFAULT SETTING: Unselected] This checkbox sets the Auto Focus for that particular job. With the Auto Focus button checked, the Spirit GE will automatically initialize the auto focus procedure before starting the job. This will ensure the focal distance is properly set based on the particular material you are working with and the focal lens you have installed.

Spirit GE Print Driver >> Advance Page

Scaling (Advance Page) [DEFAULT SETTING: 0] In some cases you may find a slight output inaccuracy in the actual output compared to what you have set in the computer. This margin of error or offset is extremely small (approximately 1/300). What this means that there may be a 1-unit offset for every 300 unit increments. As an example, if you engrave a 300mm straight line, it may end up measuring only 299mm or 301mm in the final output. In this case, you will want to set the scaling setting to +1 / 1000 or -1 / 1000, respectively to compensate. A general rule of thumb is for every 300 unit increment, you will want to adjust the slider by +1 if the final output is 1 unit increment shorter or -1 if the final output is 1 unit increment longer than your graphic design setting. Position Modes (Advance Page) [DEFAULT SETTING: Home] These selections allow you to control the positioning of the laser head after each job completion and before the next subsequent job. 􀂃 Home: Resets the positioning of the laser head to the ‘home position’ (upper-right) before and after each job. - 65 - Spirit GE User Manual 􀂃 Without Home: The laser head will start the next job based on its position from its graphic application software setting, from the last position of the previous job. Upon completion of the current job, the laser head will remain at the last position of the previous job. 􀂃 Relative: This mode sets the current laser head position to correspond to the origin (top left) position of the graphic software. Therefore, the laser head will process the job from its current position relative to its setting in the graphics software. 􀂃 Center: Sets the current position of the laser head as the center point for your subsequent job. As an example, if the subsequent job is to vector cut a circle and you have the Position Mode set to Center, then the Spirit GE will vector cut a circle around the initial position of the laser head. TIP It is highly recommended you enable the red dot laser pointer when setting / adjusting the Position Modes, as this makes accurate positioning of your laser carriage for your particular jobs much easier. Image Output Direction (Advance Page) [DEFAULT SETTING: Top To Bottom] These selections allow you to control the direction in which the system processes an engraved image. 􀂃 Top To Bottom: Selecting this will force the system to process the current task by moving the laser carriage from the top to the bottom of the image (rear end to front end of the work table). 􀂃 Bottom To Top: Selecting this will force the system to process the current task by moving the laser carriage from the bottom to the top of the image (front end to rear end of the work table) (Normally, the LaserPro Spirit GE engraves from left to right, top to bottom. Selecting Bottom Up will force the machine to start from the bottom and work its way to the rear of the working table. TIP In situations where the material you will be working with may produce a lot of dust byproducts and you are utilizing the optional air extraction system, it is recommended you select the Bottom To Top image output direction option. This will minimize the amount of dust byproducts lodged in the engraved sections as the air extraction system is vented from the rear of the machine, the same direction as the image is processed. Border (Advance Page) [DEFAULT SETTING: Unselected] In cases where you are working with a negative image (negative outline areas of your image are engraved, rather than the positive areas), you may wish to include a border around your image. To properly add a border, you will first need to Invert your design from the Option Page, then check Use Border and specify a value for the thickness of the border you would like to add to your design.

This mode is useful for engraving rubber stamps, as it allows you to create the outline around your stamp image. NOTE If you wish to use the Border and Cluster function simultaneously, then the Border Thickness value must be less than the Distance value specified in the Cluster setting. Vector Function (Advance Page) [DEFAULT SETTING: Normal] 􀂃 Normal: This selection will not apply any special advanced vector function to your job. This is the default Vector Function setting. 􀂃 All Raster Output: This selection will instruct the print driver to process your entire image as a raster engraving. Any vector lines within the image will be treated as raster data and outputted as a raster engraving, similar to a dot-matrix printer. 􀂃 Vector Sorting: When performing a vector cutting job in which your image has one vector cut area enclosing within another vector cut area, select the vector sorting mode. This mode will automatically instruct the print driver to process the inside vector image and moving outwards. If you try to process a vector image that has multiple layers without using this mode, what may occur is the laser engraver may process the outer vector cutting first, and any inner vector cutting will not be possible as your centerpiece material may have dropped to the cutting table. This setting will always automatically direct the laser to cut from the inner most vector shape and move outwards. 􀂃 Optimization Sorting: This is a setting that will minimize your process time. When selected, the print driver will analyze your image and automatically determine the most efficient processing path to process your image. Use Cluster (Advance Page) [DEFAULT SETTING: Unselected] This setting allows you to change how the Spirit GE interprets and processes individual / independent areas of an image in order to minimize job-processing times. The Cluster function is only applicable when multiple areas of an image are broken down and isolated from each other (areas not touching each other, blank space in-between). Another condition that must be met for the Cluster function is that these individual areas of your design must have some X-axis overlap, meaning that they should be somewhat side-by-side with empty space between them. The distance value can be set by the user and represents the limit or cutoff point in which side-by-side objects will be processed in Cluster mode or not. If the distance between side-by-side objects is greater than the set distance value, then the individual areas will be processed in Cluster mode. Conversely, if the distance between side-by-side objects is lesser than the set distance value, then the individual areas will be processed normally (not via Cluster mode). An example of an image that would benefit from the Cluster function would be: 2 squares to be engraved, side-by-side on the X-axis with a 20 cm gap in between them. In this scenario, you would want to enable the Cluster setting and set the distance to a value less than 20. By doing so, the laser will completely process one square and “leap-frog” to the second square, rather than processing both squares simultaneously. The result: you shorten the processing time by minimizing the unnecessary travel distance the laser head needs to make across the X-axis in between squares, if they were to be processed simultaneously.

NOTE If you wish to use the Border and Cluster function simultaneously, then the Border Thickness value must be less than the Distance value specified in the Cluster setting. Enhanced Vector Mode (Advance Page) [DEFAULT SETTING: Unselected] This setting allows you to improve the cutting quality at the expense of speed. Your engraving speed will be dropped 50%, to maximize the cutting power. We recommend you enable this function when cutting thicker materials.

Spirit GE Print Driver >> Paper Page

Paper Size (Paper Page) The paper size represents your total work area. Ensure that the paper size is never set greater than the Spirit GE’s worktable area of 25” x 18” (640mm x 460mm) or 29” x 20” (740mm x 460mm) with the Extend option checked. The X value represents the length and the Y value represents the width. NOTE When using the optional rotary attachment system and with the Rotary Fixture option checked, the X value represents the length of your working piece. The Y value will be changed to Diameter, which represents the diameter of your working piece (at the position you wish to engrave). Unit (Paper Page) [DEFAULT SETTING: Metric (mm)] Here you can set your preferred measurement standard in which you would like use with the Spirit GE print driver. You can choose between metric or imperial standards. Image Tuning (Paper Page) [DEFAULT SETTING: 0]

In the event that you are processing extremely fine and detailed designs requiring near-microscopic edge-to-edge precision, you will need to adjust the image tuning setting. To adjust this setting, we recommend you engrave a small black square design as a sample and apply a magnifying glass to the engraved results. When you look at your engraved test square under a magnifying glass, you may notice the edges of your square may be slightly offset, with every consecutive engraved even or odd line protruding past the square’s ideal edge. This occurrence may occur on the left or right side of the square and can be compensated for by the image tuning setting. In the diagram below, the arrows refer to the direction the laser head is moving to generate that engraved line. If the first and every other line protrude to the left of the square’s ideal edge, you will want to set the image tuning to a negative value. If the first and every other consecutive line protrude to the right of the square’s ideal edge, you will want to set the image tuning to a positive value. The further the protruding lines are from the square’s ideal edge, the larger you will need to set the Image Tuning value to compensate. The following is an example of how having the proper image tuning is important when engraving fine, small, intricate text. The following two pictures show engraved text magnified with no image tuning (left picture) and image tuning enabled (right picture). Extend (Paper Page) [DEFAULT SETTING: Unselected] If you are processing a very large area requiring the maximum worktable area, you will want to enable this mode. Enabling this mode will extend the Spirit GE’s maximum work area to 38” x 18” (960mm x 460mm), from the default 32” x 18” (812 mm x 460mm). This function is enabled at the expense of Square’s Left Edge Square’s Right Edge - 70 - Spirit GE User Manual some quality, usually on the left and right edges of your full-size engraving. Usually the quality loss is minimal and may not be apparent, depending on your design. NOTE With the Extend function enabled, the following functions are disabled: 3D Mode (Option Page), Stamp Mode (Option Page), SmartACT (Option Page), Disable Skip White (Advance), Auto Focus (Pen Page), and Rotary Fixture (Paper Page). Dual Head (Paper Page) [DEFAULT SETTING: Unselected] NOTE This option is only to be used with the Dual-Head optional accessory properly set up. For instructions on how to set up the Dual Head, please refer to Chapter VII of this manual. This function allows you to process two identical jobs at the same time through the employment of a secondary laser carriage. With the dual-head optional accessory properly set up: 1) Check the Dual-Head function to enable it. The X (width) value of the paper size will shrink from 64cm to 37cm, to accommodate for simultaneous jobs. The Y (height) value remains the same. 2) Simply lay out your work on a maximum page size of 31cm x 46cm. Prepare your work as if you were making only a single piece, the laser system and dual-head will automatically take care of the duplication process. Rotary Fixture (Paper Page) [DEFAULT SETTING: Unselected] NOTE This option is only to be used with the Rotary Attachment optional accessory properly set up. For instructions on how to set up the Rotary Attachment, please refer to Chapter VII of this manual. You will need to select the option when processing a job with the optional rotary attachment system to engrave on rounded or cylindrical objects. When you have your material and rotary attachment properly set up: 1) Check the Rotary Fixture function and notice the change in the Paper Size fields. Under Paper Size, the X value represents the length of your work piece. Enter the length of your work piece in this field. 2) Under Paper Size, the Diameter value represents the diameter of your working piece (at the position you wish to engrave). Enter the diameter of your work piece in this field. Again, remember the proper diameter value would be the diameter location, at the point of engraving on your work piece. 3) Under Rotary Parameter, the Offset value represents distance from the open end of your work piece to the base of the padded rubber wheel. This value will be displayed on the Spirit’s LCD panel. Enter the proper offset value in this field. Uninstall Driver (Paper Page) Select this to uninstall the Spirit GE print driver. You will then need to restart your computer to complete the process.

Spirit GE Print Driver >> Language Page

This page allows you specify the language displayed by the Spirit GE Print Driver. Current language options allow for: English, Spanish, French, And Chinese (Simplified, Traditional), Japanese, and German. - 72 - Spirit GE User Manual 5.2.3.6 Spirit GE Print Driver >> Raster Page NOTE The Raster Page is only available when Black & White Mode Setting is selected from the Option Page, this page offers a number of advanced Raster Engraving output options. Contrast (Raster Page) [DEFAULT SETTING: 0] A quick and easy way to immediately adjust the contrast of an engraved image. Moving the slider to the Dark setting will increase the contrast levels of the engraved output, whereas moving the slider to the Light setting will decrease the contrast levels of the engraved output. TIP There are other ways to adjust an engraved image’s contrast such as: adjust the power / speed settings or simply adjusting the contrast of the image in software with the graphic software application. - 73 - Spirit GE User Manual Halftone (Raster Page) [DEFAULT SETTING: Dithering] This option controls the way a raster-engraved image is processed. The “digital image to engraved output” process can be processed via two methods: Dithering or Error Diffusion. Each offer additional output options yielding different output effects, style, and quality. 􀂃 Dithering: Interprets and outputs the raster engraving via the dithering method. This mode will allow you to select the Pattern Type and Dithering Matrix, and Enhanced Dithering. o Pattern Type: Dot, Bayer, Corner, 45 Degree [DEFAULT SETTING: Dot] Each pattern type uses a different shape and arrangement of dots to compose the shading effect of a raster image. The following diagram is an example of the raster effects when using the different pattern types. Dot Bayer Corner o Dithering Matrix: Variable depending on the Pattern Type selected. [DEFAULT SETTING: 8x8] This controls the resolution (dot size) and the number of dots the image is broken down into for the dithering process. As an example, selecting 2 x 2 will shade with a 5-grade halftone, where as an 8 x 8 Dithering Matrix will dither with a 65-grade halftone. The following diagram is an example of the raster effects when using the different dithering matrices. 2 x 2 Dithering 8 x 8 Dithering 2 x 2 (Enhance Dithering) 8 x 8 (Enhance Dithering) - 74 - Spirit GE User Manual o Enhance Dithering [DEFAULT SETTING: Unselected] Selecting this will produce a finer dithering output. 􀂃 Error Diffusion (Raster Page): Interprets and outputs the raster engraving via the error diffusion method. This mode will allow you to select from three diffusion types: Floyd, Stucki, and Jarvis. o Diffusion Type: Floyd, Stucki, Jarvis [DEFAULT SETTING: Floyd] Each diffusion type presents the shade of image as different spread halftones instead of dots to compose a raster image. The following diagram is an example of the raster effects when using the different diffusion types. Floyd Stucki Jarvis TIP There is no “correct” or “best” setting when using the Raster options. The most appropriate settings will be based on a variety of factors: your design, the material you are engraving on, the results you wish to achieve, etc. Please take some time to experiment with the multitude of raster options to get the one you feel is the best for your piece. This is where much of the fun in engraving is….experimentation! - 75 - Spirit GE User Manual 5.2.3.7 Spirit GE Print Driver >> Stamp Page Producing stamps require different operational steps than your standard engraving or cutting jobs. The Stamp page offers dynamic options allowing you to customize your stamp production process. NOTE The Stamp page will only appear and be accessible when you have selected the Stamp Mode from the Option Page. TIP Functions located on the other pages that are useful when making a stamp: Set Shoulder, Pitch, Border, Invert, and Mirror. Pitch (Stamp Page) Your stamp will be a reversed image composed of engraved depressions and ridges. Think of these ridges as the “contact sections” of the stamp. If the ridges of these contact sections are too thin, they may break. The Pitch setting allows you to increase the width of the ridge base, hence creating more stable “contact sections” and longer lasting stamp. The pitch value setting allows you to adjust the base width of Base of ridge (Pitch) Slope of ridge (Shoulder Level) Ridge: “Contact section” of the stamp the ridge. Broad pitch gives the maximum amount of support for each ridge. Experiment with different pitch value settings in order to produce the stamp that is best suited for your application. Adjustment Bar / Power Level (Stamp Page) Another important aspect of creating a stamp is setting the slope level of the shoulder. The shoulder is the section from the “contact section” of the stamp to its base. This function allows you to adjust the slope for the shoulder sections of your stamp. By sliding the sliders or directly input of power levels, you will be able to change the slope of the shoulder. NOTE The visual representations of the Pitch and Shoulder Levels in the Spirit GE driver are an exaggerated representation to allow for easy visual guidance and precise input. Remember we are working with distances less than 1 mm here.

Engraving and Cutting Techniques

Raster Engraving

A laser engraver can process text, scanned image, digital picture, or design by “laser firing” grids / dots of individual pixels into a raster image. Think of this as simply “printing” your job onto any particular material. An example of a raster engraved piece would be a photo engraving on tile, as shown in the picture below.

Vector Cutting

A laser engraver can process text, design, and images composed of lines through continuous-firing of the laser to cut out various shapes. When performing vector cutting operations, imagine the laser head as a pair of scissors cutting out the lines specified in your design. An example of a vector cut piece would be a customized dining mat, as shown in the picture below.

The Spirit GE Print Driver determines which sections should be raster engraved or vector cut based on the outline width of that particular area or section of the design. In order to prep a particular section for vector cutting, you will need to set that object’s fill color to white and set its outline thickness between 0.001” (0.025mm) to 0.004” (0.1mm) via the graphics software. Below is an example of how to prep an area (in this case, we will use a section of text) for vector cutting. CorelDraw will be used as the selected graphics software. 1) With the text function, create a string of characters and select those characters by clicking on the text. 2) Change the text fill color of the selected characters to white by left clicking on the white color from the CorelDraw Color Palette (located on the right hand side of the screen). 3) Change the outline color of the selected characters outline by right clicking on the desired color from the CorelDraw Color Palette. 4) Change the selected characters outline thickness to the thinnest width by right clicking on the selected text 􀃆 select <Properties> 􀃆 Click on the <Outline> tab and change the Width to its thinnest dimension. Click on “OK” to apply the changes. 5) Now your string of characters has been properly designated as an area to be vector cut. Simply “print” your job (output the file to the Spirit) and watch as your string of characters is vector cut.

Vector and Raster

In some cases, you will want to process both raster engraving and vector cutting tasks within a single project. For example, if you wanted to engrave a design onto a particular material and then cut a particular shape around that engraving. The picture below is an example of an engraving on a piece of cork, which has then been cut out with a square shape: In these situations when there are raster engraving and vector cutting operations on a single project, the LaserPro Spirit GE driver will interpret between raster sections and vector sections by the types of lines and line widths of your design. Areas of your design with line widths set between 0.001” (0.025mm), 0.004” (0.1mm) will be designate for vector cutting, and the other areas will be designated for raster engraving.

3D Tips

When doing 3D sample on LaserPro Spirit GE, acrylic or MDF wood are ideal materials for the purpose. For acrylic the suggested PWR is 100%, SPD around 30% (depends on how deep you want to cut). (REVISE THIS SECTION WITH MORE SUBSTANTIAL DETAILS, INSTEAD OF GENERALITIES) The perfect image for 3D is like those shown below. When image is ready, choose 3D Effect as the output mode in the driver. Sometimes, some material (WHAT SORT OF MATERIALS?) shows better effect if you run the job with 2nd pass with laser out-of-focus. Especially with acrylic, the 2nd pass will smooth out the surface. For engraving wood, as it burns easily and leaves blackened surface after the 1st pass, it is necessary to run the 2nd pass to remove the burned surface. To do that, simply fill the image with black color as the mask (see below) and Run the black mask image with PWR 100% and SPD100%.

Important commands

Structure:

External links