Tool Location

Laser Cutters

Tool Type

Subtractive

Additional Information

Overview

The Trotec Speedy 400, known as Goji, uses a precisely calibrated laser to quickly engrave, cut, or mark a variety of materials including wood, plastics, and metal. The Trotec Speedy 400 is very similar in terms of specs and functionality to the Speedy 300s (Elderberry/Fig), with the main difference being their sizes.

Capabilities

Cut Area

The maximum cutting area of this tool is 39"x24".

Cut Kerf

The kerf of this laser is between ~0.005-0.010in (depending on lens, material, settings). 

Max Material Thickness

This laser can only cut through materials which are 0.5" thick or thinner (depending on lens, material, settings). 

Materials

Laser cutters can cut and etch a wide variety of metals including: wood, paper, cardboard, acrylic, and most fabrics. However, because lasers are literally igniting the materials, it is unsafe to cut things which release hazardous chemicals when burned. The list of materials that we do not allow on our lasers includes: PVC, polycarbonate, teflon, carbon fiber, and vinyl.

For more information, and to see a full list and explanation of the materials allowed on our laser cutters, please read our article on laserable materials.

PPE

No PPE is specifically required for this tool.

Note that some laser systems require special filtering safety glasses. This is not needed for the Speedy 300 or Speedy 400 because the lid serves as a filter for harmful light waves.

Safety Features *

E-stops:

  • The E-Stop for Goji is located on the top of the machine near the ON/OFF key. (include image)
  • There is also an emergency stop wired into the lid of the laser cutter. If at any point you need to immediately stop the laser, slightly lift the lid and the laser will stop firing. (This will cancel the job in process.)

When to use the E-Stop:

  • If the material in the laser bed catches on fire. (Brief tongues of flame are acceptable, but if the flame is constant throughout the cut, the cut must be stopped.)
  • If the smoke from the material is building up in the machine and not being evacuated through the ventilation system.

Example Work

Wavy Wooden Lampshade

Layered cuts like this are very popular for creating depth and elegant 3d objects!

Paper Wedding Invitations

The person who made this video indicates that a 100W laser is made in the video, but says that a 60W laser would be ideal. Goji is a 120W laser.

Simple Robots

A cool simple robot kit made out plywood, screws, and electronics.

How To Use This Tool

Setup
  1. Turn on the exhaust system. Open the exhaust valve for the laser.
  2. Turn Startup Key on the Control Panel clockwise to the ON position
  3. Close the lid of the laser and allow it to perform its homing sequence. The laser will beep when this is complete. The laser is now ready for use.
Operation *
    1. Once the laser has finished homing, open the cover and place the material into the laser cabinet. Material can be squared against the edges of the honeycomb bed.
    2. Focus the laser by maneuvering the laser head above the material. Identify which lens is being used (red, blue, or black) and select the matching positioner. Hang the positioner from the lip on the right side of the laser head. Raise the laser bed until it just barely knocks the positioner off the ledge. The laser is now focused.

    {lens and positioner}, {positioner hung}

    1. Open the job file in Inkscape on the computer connected to the laser. Ensure that the dimensions are correct for the material selected. Print the prepared file and select the Trotec Engraver as the printer (this will launch JobControl). Connect the laser to Jobcontrol. Use the laser head to position to the job on the material. Set the power and speed for each cut and engrave in the job. Click Start to run the job.
    2. Monitor the job while it runs. If there is excessive flaming or a fire starts, immediately stop the job.
Clean-Up
  • Remove all material from the laser cabinet. Any excess material can be thrown away or donated to the scrap pile.
  • Occasionally the aluminum grid table will need to be removed and the table underneath vacuumed of debris. Otherwise if enough debris accumulates, it may catch on fire during operation. In order to do so, push down on the 4 pins on the left and right of the table. (These pins should pop up if done correctly.) Then simply remove the table and vacuum the debris. To put the table back on, place it properly and push the pins down.
  • If the studio is closing or is closed, shut down the laser, computer, and exhaust system.

Note: If engraving metal, take care to not touch it immediately after the job is finished. The metal will be hot from the engraving and needs to cool before removing from the laser.

Basic Troubleshooting

Laser won’t fire/very weak

There are a few reasons why the laser won’t fire.
  • The first thing to check is the lens. The lens in the laser head can become clouded with smoke and debris. If the lens is clouded, it can weaken the laser. Ask a PI to clean the lens for you. 
  • The second common reason that would prevent the laser from firing is overheating. If the laser is overheating check the cooling fans for blockage. Turn the laser off and allow it to cool for about 10min before powering it up again.
    • The cooling fans are situated on top of the laser generator behind the lid.

General File Troubleshooting Tips

A number of problems can stem from formatting issues in the job graphic, particularly if the file was imported into Inkscape [link to Inkscape Page]. A good strategy when troubleshooting is to make the file as “simple” as possible. Ungroup any groups. Combine all objects with the same fill and stroke into a single path entity using tools like: Union, Difference, Combine, etc as appropriate (All found in the Path Menu). Convert any objects to paths (Path > Object to Path).

Job that show 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.

Job shows up as a solid black box

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%. Reprint.
  • If problem persists, Return to Inkscape. Select each object individually. Invert selection (Edit > Invert Selection). Delete any “invisible” objects this reveals. Reprint.

Cut lines won’t cut

Return to Inkscape. Ensure that the color of the cutlines matches perfectly with one of the 16 JobControl colors (The color bar at the bottom of the program has the 16 trotec colors). Reprint.

Font is different on the laser

This happens when the font originally selected is not installed on the computer that runs the laser. This problem can be most easily worked around by returning to the original computer. Make a copy of the file for backup. Open the file. Convert the text to a path (Path > Object to Path). This will convert the text to a shape. Note that the text cannot be edited as text anymore (this is why the backup was created).

References:

[Speedy 400]. (n.d.). Retrieved July 8, 2018, from: https://www.troteclaser.com/fileadmin/content/360/Speedy400/TRO_Speedy400_DTA_.23.png

Laser Engravers and Cutters | Speedy Series of Trotec Laser. (n.d.). Retrieved July 7, 2018, from: https://www.troteclaser.com/en-us/laser-machines/laser-engravers-speedy-series/

Materials not suited for laser processing. (n.d.). Retrieved July 7, 2018, from: https://www.troteclaser.com/en/knowledge/faqs/unsuitable-materials-laser-processing/

Author Information

Article was written by Ritesh Bhatt, and edited by Reed Morris and Jeff Park.

Last Updated: August 12 2018.

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