Epilog 30w Mini 24 Laser Engraver

From Pumping Station One

Epilog 30w Mini 24 Laser Engraver Area: CNC https://wiki.pumpingstationone.org/wiki/Epilog_30w_Mini_24_Laser_Engraver

Epilog 30w Mini 24 Laser Engraver
Epilog fired the laser.jpg
Owner/Loaner PS:One
Make/Model Mini 24
Arrival Date 6/29/2011
Usability no
Contact CNC Area Host
Where CNC room against northwest wall
Authorization Needed yes
Hackable no
Estimated Value $15,000
Host Area CNC


The Epilog is broken and won't be repaired anytime real soon. February 1, 2018.

Due to the Epilog being moved, there are new procedures for getting it operational. Currently, the air assist switch is dangling from a board to the left of the laser. The air assist no longer hisses as a solenoid has been installed to prevent leakage during inactivity. The vent switch is on the left of the Boss laser, labeled as such. The other switch is for the Boss chiller and should not be touched for use of the Epilog.

The Epilog uses the inline exhaust fan through the roof, the switch for that is wired into a box on an orange extension cord; the fume extractor is not currently being used with the laser. You must use air assist (compressed air) and the exhaust fan whenever you use the laser. This information is now outdated and will be revised as the CNC room is finalized. Skynaya (talk) 19:42, 24 January 2017 (CST)

Epilog/Epilog service notes - please note any service, repairs, or adjustments you make to the machine.

Usage Policy

The laser cutter is easily one of the most used machines at PS1. Due to this demand we request the cooperation of all members to share the laser cutter and associated computer. First and foremost, the practice "being excellent" should be observed at all times; respect yourself, other members, and the equipment. This is a usage policy so that everyone can use the laser:

  • Any user not actively test cutting or cutting will cede the computer and laser to the next person waiting in line, as soon as that waiting user notifies the current computer user. If you are still designing your file, please do so on another computer. Artastic (another PC upstairs) in the Crafts Area also has a copy of Adobe Illustrator.
  • If someone is waiting in line to use the laser, no active test cut or cut series shall be longer than 1 hour. No jobs will be allowed to start that overrun the 1 hour time limit when a new user is waiting.
  • In the case that your last cut is longer than the 1 hour time limit, and a waiting user presents themselves after the cut has started, the cut job shall be allowed to finish and the waiting user will be allowed to set up their file in their own user account, during the cutting period.
  • Continuous cutting shall not exceed 3 consecutive hours without a half hour break for the laser to cool. If a new user arrives before or during the cooling period the current user shall cede the laser to the next user, and the next user will wait for the cooling period to finish and the cooling period shall not count towards the 1 hours limit should another user present themselves.
  • Waiting users shall notify the current user verbally that they are waiting and where they will be waiting until it is their turn. If multiple users are waiting, the next waiting user must start their test cutting or cut job within 10 minutes of being notified of a laser opening. The current user will keep a record of who is waiting, where they will be, and notify subsequent users of the status of the queue. The current user will find the next waiting user and verbally inform them that the laser is available.

Additional Ways to be Excellent

  • Have your artwork and your materials prepared and ready ahead of time. Artastic (another PC upstairs) in the Crafts Area has a copy of Adobe Illustrator.
  • Allow people to start setting up their job after your last cut starts running. If you're concerned about a last minute adjustment, you can use Window's switch user feature to keep your file available.
  • If there is someone waiting, get their phone number to text them, if possible. Texting allows you to give them a heads up so they can start setting up their job without you leaving the laser are. (Leaving the laser running unattended is against the rules.) It also spares you from having to physically track down the other user.

Table Saw Note!

Items that have been cut on the laser cutter have the potential to set off the SawStop table saw safety brake. This will make the saw unusable until the SawStop cartridge is replaced, which costs ~ $75! It typically happens if there is an excess of carbon char on the edges.

Before use the SawStop to cut anything from the laser cutter please test the piece on the edge of the blade when the blade is not turning and see if it activates a red light on the display. How do you do this.

  1. Turn on the main power switch to the Sawstop.
  2. DO NOT TURN ON THE BLADE. THE BLADE must not be moving.
  3. Check and see if the green light is on the front of the saw.
  4. Slide the piece you want to cut up to and contact the blade.
  5. Look at the lights on the front of the SawStop. If it is green you should be OK to proceed. If its red. DO NOT CUT. IT WILL TRIGGER THE BRAKE.

You can try to sand off the char and repeat steps 1-5 or use another method to cut these pieces.

Top Eight Epilog Laser Tips

  • Don't use the autofocus, because it could burn out a motor.
  • Don't cut materials that will ignite or emit dangerous fumes (any chlorinated plastic like PVC, for example). See section below.
  • Always use the exhaust fan/always use the air assist on vector cuts.
  • You must stay with the job; don't walk away. Things could catch on fire, that would suck.
  • Sometimes it's a pain to get the right driver working.
  • Do not attempt to service the machine yourself unless you've cleared it with the CNC Area Host
  • Do not touch any settings in the Config menu on the machine itself
  • Do not touch any settings in the Maint menu on the machine itself except you may use Maint/1/Return Home to reset the cutting head to the machine's default origin (<.015" inside the top left corner as of 8/8/15)
  • This should be obvious, but do not press hard or put heavy objects in the cutter. Abusing the bed supports WILL bend them and make the bed impossible to level.


Authorization for the laser is not viral, meaning you must seek out a recommended authorizer. There are fairly frequent authorizations. Currently (as of Jan 2016) SOME authorizations will appear on the calendar, but are not planned much more than 2 weeks in advance. See below for list of authorized users and link to authorized trainers. Post on the Google Group email list; look for a recent thread about laser authorizations and post there.

Recommended Authorizers (these people can authorize you)

The laser cutter now has recommended authorizers. Recommended authorizers will periodically conduct authorization sessions for PS:1 members wishing to use the laser engraver. These sessions will be announced on the members' listserv as early as is practicable. A recommended authorizer can follow the instructions on Laser Engraver Certification to enable logins to the laser engraver computer.

General Info

This machine: http://www.epiloglaser.com/mini24_overview.htm

Manual for this machine: http://www.epiloglaser.com/downloads/pdf/mini_helix_4.22.10.pdf

Settings for various materials

Laser Cutter Instructions and Workflow

Cleaning the optics: http://www.epiloglaser.com/tl_clean_optics.htm

Inkscape for newbies: http://blog.ponoko.com/2008/01/21/how-to-inkscape-for-ponoko-newbies-trace-an-image/

Experiment with Laser settings to find the lowest possible power and highest possible speed to get clean vector cuts. The new optics and tube (as of December 2014) can cut many organic materials with a minimum of charring.


Always turn on the exhaust fan using the switch located in the silver box to the left of the Boss laser, labeled "VENT".

Air assist

Turn on the air assist by flipping the switch dangling from the board behind the laser. (This need to be updated when the laser installation is complete Skynaya (talk) 19:42, 24 January 2017 (CST) )

Air assist is used for vector cutting to have nice traces and avoid your material to burn. However some people like to have it disabled for raster jobs.

Turn air assist off when you've finished and you don't need it while doing your settings.

Check the regulator for accumulated water from time to time. Place a container (and maybe some paper towels) under the regulator and vent accumulated water from the bottom using the small petcock. If too much water accumulates in the regulator, it may flow through the air hose and into the machine, spraying onto the bed/material.

Finishing up

Leave the machine running as you pack up - the laser tube is air cooled by fans. Leaving the fans running after your job is done will help cool it off and make it last longer. The last thing to do before you walk away from the machine is to turn it off.

Please leave the machine and the surrounding area cleaner than you found it by emptying the crumb tray below the cutting table, picking up cutouts, and vacuuming up any acrylic dust you made. While you're waiting on the laser is a good time to grab a shop vac and clean the vicinity.


Under construction.

If you click print on the computer but the file does not load onto the laser cutter, select the correct driver from the print dialog box (do not select a grayed out driver, select the one that is status "Ready"). If that won't work, try unplugging the red USB cord on the back of the computer and plugging it back in. It was probably unplugged or not making contact well enough.

Laser Materials

Suitable materials for lasering are on the Laser Materials page. In general the Epilog can cut up to 1/4" thick materials successfully. No laser owned by PS1 can cut metals.

Strategies and techniques

See main article, Epilog techniques.

Epilog Laser settings for various materials.

General references

incredible box maker, with holes and text: http://www.makercase.com/

parametric python box generator: http://www.festi.info/boxes.py/

parametric pdf box creator: http://boxmaker.rahulbotics.com/

parametric svg box creator: http://www.giplt.nl/svg/ (load > construction category > better box)

Ladyada's info on the proper application of laser beams: http://www.ladyada.net/wiki/laserinfo/equipment

Information on materials that can and can't be cut: http://www.pololu.com/docs/0J24/3

paramateric living hinge generator: http://www.ashanan.com/hinges/ (code at: https://github.com/ashanan/hinges)

python svg library written by Toba: https://github.com/eastein/svgcuts

parametric flexbox generator: http://flexbox.herokuapp.com/

http://blog.makezine.com/archive/2008/08/how-to-lasercut-custom-bo.html - Laser cut boxes

PS:One Logo

Kerf measurement technique

Short list of laser designs on Thingiverse

All laser cutter things on Thingiverse
http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2321 - Theo Janssen
http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2073 - Drill gauge
http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1521 - Gyroscope
http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1203 - 608 bearing wrapper + face
http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:952 - Small box
http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:53 - planetary gears
http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:5265 - Peristaltic pump
http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:5076 - Wire spool holder

Software Compatibility

Note: this indicates success in using this software with the printer driver, not general capabilities about the software itself.

Software type Manufacturer File extensions Raster (engraving) Vector (cutting) Other notes
CorelDraw Corel cbr yes yes not available on machine
Illustrator CC Adobe ai, eps, svg, pdf yes yes available on machine
Photoshop CC Adobe psd, eps, pdf yes yes available on machine
Inkscape Open Source yes yes (only if printed from PDF) save as PDF (vectors should be stroked .01mm), then print from Acrobat. works for bitmap and vector.

Notes on Software Compatibility

Adobe Illustrator and the epilog drivers don't always work great together. If you're experiencing any of the following, there is a simple fix:

  1. Job runs, but it's an empty run. Laser head moves once then completes, even though raster vs vector is correctly configured and stokes are set to 0.072pt.
  2. Updating the media size in the epilog print driver does not update the size in Illustrator's print dialog, unless you reopen settings and press 'OK' in epilog again another time or two.
  3. Open pressing print in Illustrator, you get a message about "nothing to print in selected layers" or similar.
  4. Media size entered in epilog driver is read as the reverse by Illustrator (e.g. 24x12 is seen as 12x24 by Illustrator)

It seems epilog's driver doesn't play nicely with Illustrator, and Illustrator interfaces with the print driver a lot because it micromanages a lot of things. If your document is saved as a .AI with PDF compatibility, simply right-click your AI file and open with Adobe Reader instead of Adobe Illustrator, and print from there.

Adobe Reader has a much more "dumbed down" print dialog that just works with Epilog's driver. You don't have to resave your .AI as .PDF, as Adobe Reader can read .AI files saved in compatibility mode (that's the default).

Rotary Attachment

NB: Always return the machine back to the default configuration with a cutting bed after use.

Installing Attachment

Do not attempt to install the rotary attachment without ensuring that the cutting head AND autofocus plunger will clear it. It is extremely easy to damage the autofocus plunger and/or crash the head in the Y dimension, which will burn the motor out and make a lot of people sad.

  1. Turn machine on
  2. Disable X/Y
  3. Open front cover
  4. Lower bed almost to the bottom of the machine while still allowing the catch tray to be removed
  6. Flip up rulers and remove cutting bed
  7. Remove slide out catch tray
  8. Install the attachment locating it in the 3 holes in the bottom of the bed DO NOT CONNECT PLUG YET
  9. Make sure the Y axis will clear the top of the attachment, if it will not turn the machine on and lower the bed further making sure to turn it off afterwards
  10. Connect the attachment cable to the connector in the back of the bed
  11. Turn the machine on - the machine will zero home over the top of the attachment

Reverse steps to uninstall.

Usage notes

  • 0,0 is TOP LEFT
  • Y axis is wrapped around the piece
  • Set Y size to circumference of piece - measure with soft tape or string/ribbon/etc
  • Make sure to set print size in driver to same as art board in illustrator

Known issues

Can't login

The trust relationship between this workstation and the primary domain failed

I was authorized a long time ago

You need to

  1. Be a Current Member
  2. Have a https://members.pumpingstationone.org account
  3. Talk to a recommended authorizer, The area host, or email [email protected]

You may be asked to get reauthorized.

List of Currently Authorized Users

If you are authorized and remember who authorized you, go ahead and add yourself. The thing that really matters is if you are enabled by virtue of being a "Epilog Laser authorized person" in your user/member account. Having your name on this list does not automatically enable you to log in on the machine that is connected to the Epilog.

Qualified Member Trained By
Nat Zorach Will McShane
Anthony Sontag Elizabeth
Will McShane Danger Committee
Eric Stein Will McShane
Patrick Schless Will McShane
Laurie Rich Steve
Tom Forajter Will McShane
Colin Parsons Patrick Swayze (RIP)
Andrew Camardella Colin Parsons
Dan Locks Colin Parsons
Mahmoud Al-Qudsi Colin Parsons
Lauren Conroy Colin Parsons
Jesse Seay Colin Parsons
Sai Yamanoor Colin Parsons
Hef Colin Parsons
Adam Talsma Colin Parsons
Josh Cooper Colin Parsons
Bryan Rosendale Colin Parsons
Kevin Caughlin Colin Parsons
Nathan Becka Colin Parsons
Stephen Kamykowski Colin Parsons
Jesse Seay Colin Parsons
Bart Dring Colin Parsons
Mike Morarity Colin Parsons
Tony Dipaolo Colin Parsons
Adrew An Colin Parsons
Dean Anderson Colin Parsons
Francesca Slade Colin Parsons
David Fell Colin Parsons
Ron Olson Colin Parsons
Jay Pee Elizabeth
Peter Borah Elizabeth
April Elizabeth
Ray Doeksen Elizabeth
Jason Shanfield Will McShane
Elizabeth Koprucki Will McShane
George Shaw Will McShane
Andrew Kos Elizabeth Koprucki
Derek Bever Elizabeth Koprucki
Jason Araujo Derek Bever
Adam Glick Ray Doeksen
Nathan Ellis Jason Shanfield
Rob Riggs (Colorado Rob) Elizabeth
Arturo Duarte Elizabeth Koprucki
James Porter Elizabeth Koprucki
Ryan Kelly Elizabeth Koprucki
Sloan Lavery William McShane
Casey Olson Jason Shanfield
Spenser Gilliland Elizabeth Koprucki
Jeff McBride Elizabeth Koprucki
David Morton Elizabeth Koprucki
Thomas Wright Elizabeth Koprucki
Touly Phiachantharath Elizabeth Koprucki
Robert Grossman Elizabeth Koprucki
Eddie Muela Elizabeth Koprucki
Rachel Wallis Elizabeth Koprucki
Nick Halderman Elizabeth Koprucki
Eric Beauchamp Jason Shanfield
Aaron Mintz Elizabeth Koprucki
Matt Makris Elizabeth Koprucki
Roger Moore Elizabeth Koprucki
Michael Leinartas Elizabeth Koprucki
Solomon Hursey Elizabeth Kopruki
Darold Higa Elizabeth Koprucki
Curtiss Cooke Elizabeth Koprucki
Dubi Kaufmann Elizabeth Koprucki
Maria Miller Derek Bever
Andrew Sowa Elizabeth Koprucki
Mike Kislovsky Will McShane
Kyle Bieneman Will McShane
Michael Solheim Elizabeth Koprucki
Tim Geiser Elizabeth Koprucki
Lucas Goossen Elizabeth Koprucki
Alec Weege Jason Shanfield
Arjun Wadnerkar Jason Shanfield
Kevin Pulver Ray Doeksen
David Butler Ray Doeksen
Mike Mandrea Elizabeth Koprucki
Davis Mazariegos Elizabeth Koprucki
John Farmer Elizabeth Koprucki
Knute Martell Elizabeth Koprucki
Leon Grossman Jason Shanfield
Tina C Elizabeth Koprucki
Benjamin Miller Jason Shanfield
Ryan Taylor Jason Shanfield
Joe Wallace Jason Shanfield
Ryan Neuman Elizabeth Koprucki
Scott Little Ray Doeksen
Scott Drane Ray Doeksen
Will Garza Ray Doeksen
Mike Jones Ray Doeksen
Bryan Sills Ray Doeksen
Mike Patton Ray Doeksen
James Huber Jason Shanfield
Doorman Dave Elizabeth Koprucki
Simon Pyle Jason Shanfield
Kurt Ziegel Lyn Cole
Ralph Brendler Jonathan Bisson
Robert Caruso Ray Doeksen
(Raj) Joseph Perera Ray Doeksen
Jonathan Bisson Elizabeth Koprucki
Burton Kent Elizabeth Koprucki
Erik Wessing Ray Doeksen
Matt Crump Ray Doeksen
Eugene Liolumovich Ray Doeksen
Avner Shanan Ray Doeksen
Chinzorig Davaatseren Ray Doeksen
Temuulen Erdenekhvv Ray Doeksen
Krista Benson Ray Doeksen --Rdoeksen (talk) 16:09, 28 August 2015 (CDT)
Bradley Jiminez Ray Doeksen --Rdoeksen (talk) 16:09, 28 August 2015 (CDT)
James Baker Ray Doeksen
Hunter Koerner Ray Doeksen
Tricia Scully Ray Doeksen
Danika Faiola --Rdoeksen (talk) 21:34, 9 September 2015 (CDT) Ray Doeksen
Jim Hartmann Ray Doeksen
Jonathan Levine Ray Doeksen
Keith Hultman Khoi Nguyen
Julia Padvoiskis Ray Doeksen
Erik Funkhouser Ray Doeksen
Steve Kuenstler Elizabeth Koprucki
Shane Kanter 10/18/2015 Ray Doeksen
Andy Larkin 10/20/2015 Ray Doeksen
David Gutowsky Ray Doeksen
Nicholas Hawley Ray Doeksen
Kevin Mitchell Ray Doeksen
David Rubman 11/23/2105 Ray Doeksen
Jeff Smykil Ray Doeksen
Samuel Sion Ron Olson
David O'Brien --Rdoeksen (talk) 22:37, 21 December 2015 (CST) Ray Doeksen
Greg Kudlacz Ray Doeksen
Daya Alexander Ray Doeksen
Andrew Dalesandro Ray Doeksen
An Phan Jonathan Bisson
Connor Sullivan Tom Judge 1/22/16
Brian Zable Ray Doeksen
Joe Iklov Ray Doeksen
Ashley Matrisciano Ray Doeksen
Juan Ramos Ray Doeksen
Jacob Collins Burton Kent
Joseph Dowling Burton Kent
Matt Keith Burton Kent
Eugene Shockey Funke Burton Kent
Donald Wells Ray Doeksen 8/29/2016
McTavish McArdle Ray Doeksen 2016-08-29
Ryan Kapp Ray Doeksen
Sky Nova Ray Doeksen
Candice Son Burton Kent
Rhonda Jackson Burton Kent
Carlos Flores Burton Kent
Idris Raja Burton Kent
Ryan Fiebing Burton Kent
Christian Tsu-Raun Burton Kent
Danny Blanchard Burton Kent
Leo Rodman Burton Kent
Nick Puglisi Burton Kent
Revant Ohri Burton Kent
Daniel Conrad Burton Kent
Mark Haughey Ray Doeksen
Marianna Belmares Andrew Camardella
Jonathan Komperaa Burton Kent
John McDonald Burton Kent
Jeff Saltzmann Burton Kent
Miles Aurbek Burton Kent
Ian Stubbs Burton Kent
Michael Siles Burton Kent
Arlene Bueno Burton Kent
Stephan Martone Burton Kent
Ashish Jasani Burton Kent
Lyn Cole Colin Parsons
Aaron Canlock Burton Kent
Chris Ruhland Burton Kent
Logan Price Burton Kent
Eileen Madden Burton Kent
Keith Schwartzenberg Burton Kent
Chris Ruhland Burton Kent
Tom Burtonwood Ray Doeksen
Katherine Adamski Burton Kent
Brian Eaton Burton Kent
Scott Condren Burton Kent
Paul McClay Burton Kent
Brian Adamson Burton Kent
Madeline Sibon Ray Doeksen
Sam Chen Ray Doeksen
Jeremy Shaw Ray Doeksen
Andrew Vaughan Burton Kent
Matt Grunstad Ray Doeksen
Sam Yi Burton Kent 7/29/17
Andrew Wingate Burton Kent
Brady Soule Joe Juhnke
Sam Dreyer Joe Juhnke / Sky Nova