Lasercut 5.3 is a dedicated piece of laser cutter control software written by Leetro Automation Co Ltd. It is used to prepare cutting files that are sent to the Leetro MPC6515 controller on board the laser cutters. It has some very basic drawing functions but it becomes most useful when you import dxf files created by other drawing packages, such as the free, cross platform, open source vector editing package Inkscape.
Lasercut provides direct control over the laser cutter, the machine can be driven from the PC without ever having to touch the laser control panel. Lasercut provides functions to simulate the cutting process that is about to occur and estimate how long the cut will take. All the information about a job can be saved and loaded from file making it easy to store and repeat jobs in the future.
Lasercut will only run on Windows but it has support for multiple versions and flavours; Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7, supports 32 bit (X86) and 64 bit (AMD 64) Windows. The minimum specs for the software are low, I am running on a 1.3GHz single core processor, with 2Gb of RAM. The route planning for a complex job can be time consuming though and relates directly to the processor speed, so a PC with a reasonable spec is recommended.
Multiple Operations in a Single Pass
The software uses different colours to represent different cutting operations. The colours for a drawing are easily modified from within Lasercut and the details of each operation are set by the user. The layers are shown in a list and the order can be adjusted easily. Lasercut is able to import coloured dxf files to rapidly set up these cutting processes. The layers can be used to define different speeds and powers, different orders for cutting items or completely different operations like an etch instead of a cut.
Talking to the Laser Cutter
The Lasercut controller takes all this information as a single job and is able to complete them as one single cut. The controlling PC can be disconnected while the laser cutter cuts. jobs can even be transferred to the machine via a usb stick. There is a demo version of the software which allows the program to be run without the USB dongle. While in demo mode files can still be exported to the USB stick but the program will only save local files when the application exits.