Trotec Tutorial


In order to use the laser cutter, you must first sign-in here. You can also find a QR code link to this page next to the on/off key on the laser cutter. This is an essential step to help us keep track of use and maintain the machine properly. 

Orient yourself 

Turn on the chiller

The chiller is located in the back of the room, near the FDM 3D printers. Flip the switch on the chiller to the vertical position. The chiller will take a few seconds to activate. Wait 10 min after you turn on the chiller before cutting. 

Turn on the laser cutter 

Turn the key, and wait for the laser cutter to initialize. The laser cutter bed will move downwards to its lowest possible position and the laser cutter head will move to the back left corner. Two beeps will sound when the laser cutter is done initializing. 

See troubleshooting section if you're having trouble with this step. 

overview of the laser cutter interface

caution: moving the laser cutter head 

The laser cutter has no safety measures in place to prevent you from crashing the honeycomb into the laser cutter head. Therefore, use caution when moving the laser bed up and down. The most common scenarios that can lead to accidentally crashing the honeycomb into the laser cutter head include: 

Workflow Overview

In order to cut using the laser cutter, one needs to: 

calibrate the height of the laser cutter bed

Make a test cut!

The following steps will show you how to prepare your file in Inkscape and cut your job on the laser cutter. However, we strongly encourage that you make a test cut first.  Draw a small shape in Inkscape and follow the steps below to cut your test part on your material. If the laser does not cut your part properly, see the troubleshooting section. Doing a test cut first can save you time and prevent you from wasting material. 

Prepare your file in Inkscape 

When you open your file in Inkscape, your design may not fit on the default canvas. Drag your design to the center of the canvas and increase the canvas size, using the instructions below, until your part is completely on the canvas. 

Check your canvas size 

Change the stroke properties

Send your file from inkscape to job control 

In Inkscape, select File -> Print 


Size Settings 

Material Settings 

Process Options 

Select the JC button once you are done selecting your preferences, and press "Print" to send your job to the laser cutter software, Job Control. 

Job Control 

Open Job Control by clicking on the glowing orange JC icon on the bottom of the screen. 

Connect to the Laser cutter

Click the USB-icon (bottom right of the screen) to connect the computer to the laser cutter (as shown on the bottom of the image to the right). A blue cross will appear on the computer's honeycomb structure representing the location of the laser in the actual laser cutter. 

See troubleshooting section if you're having trouble with this step. 

Drag your job onto the virtual honeycomb

After selecting File-> Print in Inkscape, your file should appear in the Job Control job queue (top right of the screen, under "Jobname"). Drag your job from the queue onto the honeycomb structure. 

Often, your job will appear as a gray box on the honeycomb. In order to see your design, click the eye icon as shown below. 

Select your job location

Please do this step carefully to ensure that the laser will only cut your material and not the honeycomb. 

Select the cut/engrave settings 

In order to select the cut/engrave settings, double click anywhere on the honeycomb structure (but don't double click on your job itself) to open the material settings menu. Notice that the menu has options to select a material type on the left and a material thickness on the top. Ignore these options. Only modify the "Process", "Power", "Speed", and "PPI/Hz" options for each color. 

Important: Take the time to find the right settings for your cut. Using too high of power settings can damage the lenses and make your cuts less accurate. 

Recommended settings to get started

Remember to make a test cut to make sure the recommended settings work for your material!

Check the cut time 

Click "update" in the calculation box to check how long the laser cutter will spend on each color. This is an essential step! If the times don't look right, then the laser cutter is not going to do what you expect. 

See the troubleshooting section (below) for more info. 

Press start to cut 

Once you've completed all of the steps above and are ready to cut, press the start button (on the bottom right of the screen, as shown in the image to the side). Stay near the laser until it has completely finished cutting/ engraving. 

Remove your part 

Wait 15 seconds before opening the door of the laser cutter after your cut has finished. This will prevent the air quality in room 004 from deteriorating. 

Pick up all pieces left on top of the honeycomb. 

Turn off the laser cutter 

Move the bed of the laser cutter downwards, away from the laser cutter head. Then turn off the laser cutter by turning the key you used to turn on the laser cutter. 

Turn oFF the chiller 

Wait 10 min after your last cut. Then turn off the chiller. 


1) The laser does not cut all the way through your material

2) Calculated times the laser will spend on each color seem wrong 

3) Laser cutter is cutting lines twice 

4) Job Control error: "Cannot load your job" 

5) Design looks cropped/ incomplete in Job Control 

4) Job Control Error: Cannot connect to the engraver 

5) The laser cutter won't turn on 

Having other issues not addressed here? Please send us an email ( so we can help you and improve this page.