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Large Format Lasers

Rabbit DL-XX-9060 80w

 80w CO₂ Laser with Lightburn Control Software

Tool Tutorial

The Setup, Operation, and Cleanup Checklists of this guide are what instructors use to ensure that you can use the equipment according to community expectations.

A laser cutter is used to mark, engrave, or cut a wide variety of materials. They work a lot like printers do, where you send a graphic to print. Instead of ink, the laser uses heat to transfer the image onto the material.

Usage Highlights

Large Format Laser Clearance or Class Equivalent Required Before Use

==== SAFETY ==== ==== CARE ==== ==== CLEANUP ====
1. Check that your material is safe to use1. Avoid collisions with the lens carriage 1. Vacuum the interior
2. Listen for the exhaust when the laser powers on 2. Mirrored acrylic must be reflective side down 2. Recycle waste in scrap bins
3. Stay by the laser while it’s running 3. Submit a maintenance request when needed.3. Empty bins when full

Personal Protective        Equipment

Face Masks & Cleaning Kits are required at all times during the Pandemic


Tool Anatomy



  1. Lid - Absorbs the laser radiation and must be closed when running a job
  2. Exhaust - Allows for the efficient removal of fumes and particulate
  3. Maintenance Tag - Manually tracks the usability status with Green/Yellow/Red cards
  4. Lens Carriage - Houses the mirror, lens, and air assist
  5. Cutting Bed - 1200 x 900mm (~47” x 35”) Consists of a removable, magnetic honeycomb tray. Seated properly, it should feel stable & secure
  6. Emergency Stop - Reserved for emergencies. To deactivate and reset, you must twist the spring-loaded knob.
  7. Power Switch - Key switch turns the machine on and off
  8. Control Panel - LCD interface with commands to operate the laser


  1. Jog X-axis and Y-axis
  2. Adjust Z-Axis
  3. Exit Menu/Return to main screen
  4. Select menu item
  5. Set Job Origin
  6. Trace the footprint of a job to check its size and placement
  7. Reset machine, Abort Job
  8. Pulse the laser to mark its precise location
  9. Adjust speed (mm/sec)
  10. Adjust power (0-100%) for the areas the laser approaches a node/edge
  11. Adjust power (0-100%) for the areas where the laser is mid-cut/mid line
  12. Retrieve file sent to the machine (job queue)
  13. Start job, pause job, resume job

Tool Safety


==== FIRE ==== ==== TOXIC FUMES ==== ==== LENS COLLISION ====
Listen for the exhaust. It should automatically  turn on with the laserBe mindful of the safety of your cutting material Load material with care
Vacuum beneath the cutting bed to prevent flammable build-up Avoid chlorinated plastics and other prohibited material on the list Be mindful when moving the cutting bed to vacuum
Avoid foam and other prohibited material Off-gassing dangerous fumes like chlorine and cyanide is always a concernEnsure material is flat and will not collide with the lens carriage during operation
Always pause the laser if you need to step away from the machine


==== MATERIAL ==== ==== DANGER ====
Chlorinated plastics (PVC, vinyl, artificial leather, Moleskine notebooks, polymer clay/Sculpey)Emits chlorine gas
Polycarbonate/Lexan Cuts poorly, absorbs laser, discolors, may catch fire
ABS Emits cyanide gas, melts, bursts into flame
HDPE (milk bottle plastic) Catches fire & melts
Polypropylene foam (foam core, Styrofoam) Catches fire
Fiberglass Emits dangerous fumes
Coated carbon fiber Emits dangerous fumes
Pressure treated wood Emits dangerous fumes
Galvanized metal Emits dangerous fumes
Mirrored surfaces, including uncoated metal Will not cut, reflects laser beam


==== MATERIALS ==== ==== CUT ======== ETCH ======== MATERIALS ==== ==== CUT ======== ETCH ====
Solid wood X X Mylar sheet X X
Plywood X X Organic Fabrics X X
MDF & LDF (fiberboard) X X Leather & suede X X
Paper, cardstock, cardboard X X Non-chlorinated rubber X X
Cork X X Glass X
Acrylic X X Ceramic tile X
Mirrored Acrylic

(reflective side down)
X X Stone X
Delrin sheet X X Anodized & surface-treated metals X

Initial Setup


Rastered data is an image that is made of pixels. Much like an inkjet printer, the laser will scan the artwork on a scale from black to white. The laser will vary the number of dots it fires depending on the tone of each pixel.

Common file formats like .jpeg, .gif, and .png are all rastered data.

Vectored data is made of paths that form lines and shapes. They contain mathematical data that allows the laser to trace the path like following coordinates on a map. This allows the laser to cut or score a line as well as etch a filled shape.

Common file formats like .ai, .dxf, and .svg are all vectored data.


- Power on the laser
- Import your file into Lightburn
- Set the job origin in Lightburn
- Check the layer mode
- Adjust the speed and power settings
- Send your file to the Laser


Lightburn accepts a range of file formats.

Supported vector files:

.ai .pdf .dxf .svg .lbrn

Supported image files:

.jpg .jpeg .png .tif .tiff .bmp

Print Import your file into Lightburn.

Set the job origin.

Check the layer mode:

fill—fills a vector shape to etch

line—traces along a vector line

images—will only etch and optimize for a rastered photo

Adjust the speed and power settings.

Send the file to the laser, keeping the

filename “LIGHTBRN”. This saves over old job files and helps maintain a manageable memory in the machine’s job queue.


==== MATERIAL ======== THICKNESS ======== POWER (%) ======== SPEED (MM/S) ====
Bass Wood 1/8“ 50 15
Balsa Wood 1/8” 50 45
Birch Plywood 3/16” 70 10
Acrylic 1/4“ 55 12
Leather 1/16” 70 12


==== MATERIAL ==== ==== POWER (%) ======== SPEED (MM/S) ======== DPI ====
Acrylic 55 300 391
Anodized Aluminum 25 325 391
Cermark 50 300 362
Granite 85 150 299
Glass 12 350 462
Leather 45 325 299
Powder Coated Metal25 325 299
Romark 12 325 254
Wood 14 350 300

Basic Operation


- Listen for the exhaust to ensure that it is on
- Check that your material is safe to cut
- Load material
- Focus the lens on your material
- Set the origin on the laser
- Check the footprint of your job
- Start your file
- Monitor the machine until the job is complete and cleanup



 Select  on the control panel

Use  to align the lens carriage

 to the focus gauge

Select  to return to the main menu



Use     to jog

the lens carriage to the desired location

Optional:   to verify the exact location

Select   to set

Select   to check the footprint

(framing can also be managed from Lightburn control)



- Power off the Laser
- Reset any modified computer settings to default
- Vacuum the interior so material does not build up beneath the honeycomb
- Note any maintenance needs or concerns on the tag and at
- Recycle waste in the single-stream scrap bins
- Empty the bin when full


There are two black scrap bins reserved for laser waste. Maintaining these is a shared, communal responsibility.

When you notice the scrap bins are full, it’s time to take it to the dumpster out back. Feel free to enlist a helping hand.

If you notice valuable material while emptying the bins, use your judgement to selectively save a few pieces or take it home for your personal use.


  1. Update the physical Maintenance Tag at the machine
  • Green can be used without issue
  • Yellow can be used with caution
  • Red cannot be used without hazard to either the user or the equipment
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Record issues at This notifies our staff and volunteer maintenance crew of any issues



==== Common Issues ==== ==== Possible Causes ==== ==== Resolutions ====
Cut does not go through the material The speed is too fast or the power is too low Use a scrap piece of the same material to make a series of tests with incremental adjustments until you find the sweet spot
The lens or mirror is fogged Alert the staff or volunteer on duty to the issue
Slop in the frame

The origin in Lightburn is not set appropriately Adjust the origin point in Lightburn
The artwork is too large for the cutting bed: 1200 x 900mm (~47 x 35”)Adjust the overall artwork size
Burn marks on the back of the materialHot debris is scorching the edges of the cut lines Lay a sheet of paper beneath the material and the bed or line it with a laser-safe vinyl free tape

Special Setups

Register your material on the cutting bed using magnets or tape when doing a production run.

Use the front pass-through door for extra long pieces.

Use surface treatments like Cermark  or paint to etch designs onto metal surfaces.

Additional Resources

Staff Use


If you are part of the maintenance group please log on to the #maintenance channel of our Discord server to:

  • Perform a Maintenance Action
  • Request a Maintenance Purchase
  • Review complete Maintenance Logs for each machine
  • Generally chit-chat about maintenance
=== Hippocratic Oath ===

* Start with the Manual
* Ask questions
* Do no harm
* Know your limits
* Document your actions
tools/imported/large_format_laser_tool_tutorial.txt · Last modified: 2023/02/19 21:43 by jeffbearer