The Zing 24 is a laser engraving machine capable of laser cutting and engraving stock up to 12"x24".
It is capable of three operations:
- Raster engraving will allow you to mark the surface with lines and images as if you were printing to a printer. The machine is capable of using raster engraving to do simple images, bas relief, and other techniques.
- Vector cutting will allow you to cut material with fine accuracy. Intricate shapes, like jig-saw puzzles, gears, boxes with jointery, etc can be done with vector cutting.
- Vector etching allows you to make fine markings on the surface of the material. It works just like vector cutting, but with a lower power setting so that it does not cut all the way through the material.
When using the laser cutter, consider the following steps:
- Material. Is the material appropriate / safe?
- Air. Are the extractor and air curtain running?
- Ventilation, Is the fan on, and the baffle set to exhaust air outside?
- Fit. Does the job fit on the cutter?
- Focus. Is the head focussed and ready to cut?
The Zing 24 is a powerful piece of equipment which uses intense heat to destroy material in a controlled manner to cut, etch, or engrave it. If misused, it can start fires, release dangerous fumes, or otherwise damage the tool, the space, or injure or kill the user. Treat it with respect, treat it with caution. The following policy is intended to prevent the unsafe misuse of the Zing 24, and minimize the risk of danger to the machine and the space.
- No one is allowed to use the Zing 24 without first being trained. There is a List of Certified Users for reference.
- No cutting/engraving of materials that have not been approved for laser cutting.
- The Zing 24 must be supervised at all times when it is in use. Supervision must be sufficient to notice and react to a dangerous fire within the machine, so working on a project in the other room isn't sufficient.
The Zing 24 can vector cut most thin organic materials, as long as heating those materials does not release dangerous fumes, cause it to melt instead of cut, or present a large flammability hazard.
The Zing 24 can raster engrave or vector etch some materials it can't cut, because it is capable of heating the surface and causing changes there.
Some materials which can't be engraved/etched normally may be able to be given a surface treatment with an etching material (like Cerdec) which will allow it to be engraved.
|Wood||Yes||Yes||Yes||Zing 24 Manual|
|Acrylic||Yes||Yes||Yes||Zing 24 Manual|
|Anodized Aluminum||NO||Yes||Yes||Zing 24 Manual|
|Painted Brass||NO||Yes||Yes||Zing 24 Manual|
|Corian or Avonite||Yes||Yes||Yes||Zing 24 Manual|
|Delrin Seals||Yes||Yes||Yes||Zing 24 Manual|
|Glass||NO||Yes||Yes||Zing 24 Manual|
|Laserable Plastic||Yes||Yes||Yes||Zing 24 Manual|
|Leather||Yes||Yes||Yes||Zing 24 Manual|
|Marble||NO||Yes||Yes||Zing 24 Manual|
|Mat Board||Yes||Yes||Yes||Zing 24 Manual|
|Melamine||NO||Yes||Yes||Zing 24 Manual|
|Polyester Fabric||Yes||Yes||Yes||Pumping Station One, Epilog website|
|Paper||Yes||Yes||Yes||Pumping Station One|
|Cork||Yes||Yes||Yes||Pumping Station One|
|Kaptom Tape||Yes||Yes||Yes||Pumping Station One|
|Mylar||Yes||Yes||Yes||Pumping Station One|
|Solid Styrene||Yes||Yes||Yes||Pumping Station One|
|Suede||Yes||Yes||Yes||Pumping Station One|
|Felt (at least 95% wool)||Yes||Yes||Yes||Pumping Station One|
|Hemp cloth||Yes||Yes||Yes||Pumping Station One|
|Cotton cloth||Yes||Yes||Yes||Pumping Station One|
|Magnetic Sheet||Yes||Yes||Yes||Pumping Station One|
|Rubber (Non-chlorine containing)||Yes||Yes||Yes||Pumping Station One|
|Teflon, PTFE||Yes||Yes||Yes||Pumping Station One|
|Unepoxied Carbon Fiber||Yes||Yes||Yes||Pumping Station One|
|Ceramic Tile||NO||Yes||Yes||Pumping Station One|
|Stone||NO||Yes||Yes||Pumping Station One|
Please check the specific Wiki page for the material you are interested in for settings and other notes. Angry red missing links above mean we haven't experimented with the material ourselves and don't have good settings and notes to check. If you wish to use these materials, please search the references for starting points, and create the missing page with your notes.
Some materials are too hazardous or too ineffective for us to work with.
|PVC and other chlorine containing plastics|| Burning PVC releases chlorine gas, which will etch the optics of the machine.
Cutting or engraving PVC or other chlorine containing plastics will VOID THE WARRANTY.
I know the hackerspace/makerspace mantra is void your warranty, but don't do it.
|Uncoated Metals||The laser will just bounce right off of them and won't cut or engrave. It may also reflect the laser places we don't want it to go.||Epilog|
|Polycarbonate/Lexan||Doesn't cut well, melts, flames, not good.||Pumping Station One|
|ABS||Melts, releases cyanide gas.||Pumping Station One|
|HDPE (milk bottle plastic)||Melts, catches fire||Pumping Station One|
|Polystyrene Foam (Styrofoam)||FLAMMABLE!||Pumping Station One|
|Fiberglass||Glass can't be cut, epoxy resin releases fumes||Pumping Station One|
|Coated Carbon Fiber||The epoxy resin is a fume hazard||Pumping Station One.|
List of Certified Users
|User||Trained By||Trained Date|
|Buddha Buck||John from Epilog||2014-06-05|
|Mark Zifchock||John from Epilog||2014-06-05|
|Chris Westling||John from Epilog||2014-06-05|
|Dirk Swart||John from Epilog||2014-06-05|
|Xanthe Matychak||Mark Zifchock||2014-06-12|
|Ken Rother||Mark Zifchock||2014-06-12|
|Bez Thomas||Mark Zifchock||2014-06-12|
|Victor Aprea||Dirk Swart||2014-06-18|
|Jonah Wanagel||Dirk Swart||2014-06-18|
|Sean Kennedy||Dirk Swart||2014-06-18|
|Marty White||Dirk Swart||2014-06-18|
|Dick Crepeau||Dirk Swart||2014-06-18|
|Jose Gonzalez||Dirk Swart||2014-06-18|
|Norm Scott||Dirk Swart||2014-06-18 Not yet a member.|
|Mike Wheeler||Dirk Swart||2014-06-18|
The compressor should be on while the laser cutter is running.
The servo-controlled fan switch does not work. Current practice is to visually check the position of the flue to which it is connected, and manually move the flue to the appropriate position. Open vents the room, closed vents the laser. 3/19/2017
Two switches are located to the left of the laser cutter. The one labelled FAN ON controls a blower fan that exhausts air to the outside. The plywood box (LASER/ROOM) controls a servo that flips a baffle in the external air duct. The servo was originally installed by Aaron Zufall.
- When using the laser cutter, flip the first to FAN ON, and the plywood one to LASER and the laser exhaust will be expelled outside.
- If the laser cutter is off and you want extra ventilation for the room, set the first switch to FAN ON, and the second to ROOM.
If engraving or cutting material is running into issues, either the cuts not being able to cut through effectively or engraving that looks too course, the height of the bed can be adjusted to find the optimal position for the material to hit the laser beam.
There is a small spring loaded arm on the carriage near where the final mirror assembly is. Disenganging one side of the spring loaded arm so that it drops down and then adjusting the height of the bed so that there's a small amount of tension on the small spring loaded arm will help in determining the optimal height of the table.
The table itself can be adjusted by hitting the "X/Y" button to disengage the motors and positioning the carriage by hand. Once the carriage is repositioned, make sure to reposition the "home" position, turning on the laser pointer if need be to help determine where the beam would hit.
Once adjusting the height, make sure to relock the small spring loaded arm.
Maintenance and Troubleshooting
First, read the documentation. Second, call Zing technical support, who are nice and helpful. Third, see below for documentation on common issues we've encountered.
Here are links to two common maintenance tasks:
Cleaning optics sensors
Misalignment issues can be caused by dirty optical sensors. See [here] for troubleshooting details.
Check with Xanthe re the cleaning process. Don't ever use the shop vac on the machine. Do use compressed air.
Cleaning the Carriage
Poor quality engraving - specifically grainy edges and an uneven "woodgrain" type effect when engraving can be remedied by servicing the carriage. Elliot Wells posted videos that covers the process.