Tool Location

Laser Cutters

Tool Type

Software

Additional Information

Overview

JobControl is the software that interfaces directly with the laser. JobControl sets the position, power, speed, and all other settings before each laser job.

How To Use This Tool

Setup
  • A file is sent to the laser by printing the file while selecting Trotec Engraver as the printer. Print settings can be selected during the printing process.
  • Using the standard settings in the Favorites tab works best in most cases. Advanced settings can be accessed in the Print tab.
  • Consult the user's manual for more information on the advanced print settings
Operation*
  1. Files printed to the Trotec Engraver are listed in the job queue on the right side of JobControl. Jobs can be individually selected and dragged onto the workspace.
  2. Click the USB button on the bottom right to connect to the laser. A cross hair cursor should show up in the workscape corresponding to the lasers position.
  3. Position the laser in a corner or the center of the material in the laser cabinet. In JobControl, a job’s corner or center can be snapped to the position of the laser cursor.
  4. The laser can now be moved around the material while watching JobControl to ensure that the job is positioned correctly on the material.
  5. Next material settings can be configured by clicking the {material settings} button. Unique settings can be assigned to up to 16 predefined colors. The colors in the job must match the exact RGB values that JobControl is expecting. These colors can be found by consulting the user manual.
  6. For each color in the job, select the correct process mode: cut, engrave or positioning. Assign appropriate power and speed settings. Note that, in general, engrave settings have mid-high power and speed while cut settings tend to have much higher power and much lower speeds. Engraving will typically only require a single pass, whereas cutting may take several passes to completely cut through the material.
  7. Once the job is positioned and the material settings are configured, begin the job by clicking the start button in the bottom right corner of JobControl

Notes:

  • In general, Air Assist should always be left on and Z-Offset set to zero.
  • It is good practice to preview the job to ensure that it will be printed correctly. Any job in the workspace can be previewed by clicking the WYSIWYG button (the “eye” button).
Basic Troubleshooting

Cannot connect to laser engraver:

  • Check the connection of the white USB cable that connects the laser to the computer. Restart JobControl. Power cycle the laser engraver. If problem persists consult a PI.

Job shows up empty or cut off:

  • Return to Inkscape. Reposition the job so that it is inside the top and left of the page. A job can overflow the right and bottom of the job, but anything above or the left will be cut off in printing.

“Cannot position any more jobs on this plate”

  • If the job doesn’t fit in the page on inkscape, go to File, Document Properties, Resize page to content, Resize page to Drawing or Selection.
  • This usually indicates a transparent or partially transparent object. Return to Inkscape select all objects. Open the fill and stroke toolbox. Set opacity to 100%.

Job is not listed in Job Queue:

  • Go to the bottom of the Job queue. Click on the Filter button and select no Filter.
  • If the problem persists and other jobs don’t appear when you upload them, consult a PI.
Advanced Troubleshooting*

Marking job position:

  • One useful technique is the ability to mark the position of a job. The laser cursor can be used to position a job, but once the cursor is moved away that position is easily lost. This can be solved by marking the job position with the {crosshair} button. When a marker is added to a job, a small cursor is added at the top corner of the selected job.

You can also remove or reposition this marker by double clicking it.

  • For example - if a job was run, but the user decides to add something else to it. The user must then return to Inkscape to make some modifications.

The Inkscape file can be modified by changing the color of any portion that had already run. The new geometry can be added with the original color. The modified job can then be printed to JobControl. The new job can then be snapped to the marker saving the original position.

Job has a ridiculously high time estimate or none at all:

  • Go back to your file in Inkscape and double check that the opacity is set to 100%, that the file you sent was the vector file, and that your fill and stroke is correctly set and reprint.

If the file is grouped, try ungrouping all of the layers, copy and paste the file to a new Inkscape window and reprint.

References:

 Trotec Laser. Operation Manual: Trotec JobControl X. [online]. Available at: http://techshoptips.com/files/Trotec-Laser-JobControl-Manual-EN.pdf  [Accessed 7 Jul. 2018]

Author Information

Article was written by Reed Morris and edited by Jeff Park.

Last Updated: August 12 2018.

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