The lasercutter we have at Waag is a BRM Original Laser Machine with a height-adjustable work surface of about 110 cm by 150 cm. The fume extractor is a BOFA AD Oracle.

To test your material it’s easiest to have a material reference library and work from there, like the one we have here. I don’t have the template file that was used to create these examples, but this one is a good alternative. It is usually enough to do a few tests with some cubes, ellipses and/or lines (depending on what kind of job you want to do) in the corner of your material.

The software for this machine is lasercut5.3, and apart from its weird grammatical structures (originally Chinese software) it’s pretty straightforward in use.

Settings Power Speed Notes
Cut 10-100 1-400 You can set the power below 10 in the software, but there is no output
Engrave 10-100 1-500 If you want to engrave paths, use cut but set the speed high and/or power low


As of the end of 2020, Henk has upgraded the laser’s board. We now use Lightburn as software to send files to the lasercutter. You can also directly control the laser from the computer which is pretty neat, and there are many more formats you can import into the program (previously only R13/R14 version DXF worked and SVG for engraving).




Soft stop error troubleshooting

Troubleshooting wobbly lines

After troubleshooting testing multiple settings and sometimes getting straight lines and sometimes wobbly lines I realized what caused my wobbly lines: it was only happening when the laser had a kerf offset specified. I noticed it before but I didn’t think that would be the cause since it hadn’t produced this result before. I’m suspecting it’s an update gone wrong. I’ve created a topic on this issue on the Lightburn forum here.