Trotec Ruby Software User Manual

Please read (and re-read) the Trotec Speedy 300 Tool Page before using this manual.

Overall workflow

  1. Prepare your Job file - create your design in Inkscape, Adobe Illustrator etc
  2. Prepare the laser cutter - access, maintenance and cleaning (unchanged)
  3. Load Ruby
  4. DESIGN - import into Ruby
  5. PREPARE - set materials and processes
  6. PRODUCE - run the job on the laser
  7. Cleanup

Note: The steps in capitals are steps named as such in Ruby.

Privacy statement

In order to use Ruby, you need to register an account on the Laser PC.
This account includes your email address.
This means that the lasertechs have access to your email address (as opposed to just being able to talk with you via Discourse).
The lasertechs will only use your email address for direct communication in the context of Ruby administration, and only if we cannot reach you via Discourse.

If you forget to log out of Ruby, the next user may automatically be logged in as you, and would therefore have access to your designs and jobs. They would not be able to see your email address. They could change your password.

Normal users can see each other’s material database entries, but not each others designs and jobs.
Directors and lasertechs have administrator access and can see and edit everything.

1. Prepare your Job file

Specific instructions for AI, InkScape etc here.

Instructions for Inkscape

  • You can use an SVG file produced using Inkscape (tested Version 1.1.1)

Object preparation:

  • All objects must have a stroke colour (only black tested so far).
  • The stroke thickness is ignored, so you can set it to zero or any value.
  • “Internal” Inkscape objects (circles tested so far) are fine, and don’t need to be converted to paths in order to import into Ruby (this is a common issue with other Laser Control software).
  • If you add a stroke (required) AND a fill, it treats the stroke as one object and the fill as another.
  • Text should be converted to paths in case your chosen font is not installed on the Laser PC

File preparation:

The document border is included in the imported object in Ruby.
This is annoying when you try to position the objects on the virtual bed, as the page border forms part of the object group
Need to test the following:

  1. Complete the objects, including positioning (nesting)
  2. Ctrl + Shift + R - the page will shrink to fit only the objects

There are no additional export steps required.

Untested:

  • Colour palette selection
  • Preparation for vector engraving
  • Text output
  • Thick and percentage strokes

Instructions for Adobe Illustrator

  • Text should be converted to paths in case your chosen font is not installed on the Laser PC

2. Prepare the laser cutter

2.1 Booking, access control, safety

Include the existing documentation here.

2.2. Cleaning

Include the existing documentation here.

3. Load Ruby

Ruby is a combination of control software (which appears in the Windows notifications tray) and a web app (which opens in any web browser). Both are required to be running.

3.1 The control software

Done on: PC next to the laser

Check that the Ruby app is running:

  1. Look for the Ruby icon in the Windows notification tray.
  2. If it is not there, Start / Ruby (need to check this).

3.2 The Ruby web app

Done on: PC next to laser OR any device connected to the local network (see “Working remotely”)

  1. Check that the Ruby web app is open in a web browser (Chrome and Edge are fine).
  2. If not, open you preferred web browser and go to https://slms-05.local:2402.
  3. You have to proceed from one Ruby screen to the next, as each provides context for the next.

4. Ruby “Design” Screen

Done on: PC next to laser OR any device connected to the local network (see “Working remotely”)

Instructions for cutting so far. Need to add engraving and rotary.

Ruby has VERY rudimentary object creation and manipulation tools - nowhere near as sophisticated as Inkscape and Adobe Illustrator etc.
Most people will want to do their design work in a proper editor and use the “Design” screen simply to import their file.

Provided the file has been created as per the requirements in “Job preparation” above, there are no special instructions for importing the file into Ruby.

  1. Press the Import button.
  2. Select the SVG file.
  3. The file will appear on the left sidebar.
  4. Click on it to select it and it will appear in the main window.
  5. Move the objects to the required position on the bed (if needed).
  6. Change the object order if required (see notes below).

Notes on cut and engrave order (tested with Inkscape only, so far):

  • The objects will appear in a list on the bottom right, but not the order in which they appear in the main window.
  • The default object order is newest to oldest.
  • The order will influence the order of laser operations (in conjunction with “inner geometries first” covered later in this manual). If you have a complex job containing numerous objects, the extra travel time as the laser moves inefficiently from one object to another can significantly increase the total job time.
  • You can manually reorder the objects, one at a time.
  • If objects have been grouped or combined, then they will appear together, in the order in which they were modified.
  • Objects that are combined are treated as a single object in the list.
  • If you add a stroke (required) AND a fill, it treats the stroke as one object and the fill as another

5. Ruby “Prepare” screen

Done on: PC next to laser OR any device connected to the local network (see “Working remotely”)

Instructions for cutting so far. Need to add engraving and rotary.
Instructions on cut, vector engrave, raster engrave

Understanding parameters: Trotec documentation

  • Power - the output power of the laser
    – applies to both cut and engrave
    – specific to the material (e.g. wood more, paper less)

  • Speed - how fast the laser head moves
    – applies cut or engrave, but speeds for cut and engrave are not comparable
    – specific to the level of detail, the material and the intended effect

  • PPI - determines how many laser pulses per inch are used
    – applies to engraving only
    – suggest setting to auto

  • Frequency - the number of laser pulses per second
    – applies to cutting only
    – specific to the material - e.g. acrylic

5.1 Output options

  • Inner geometries first - inner objects are cut and engraved before outer objects, to prevent objects “falling out” of the sheet, and then being cut again in the wrong place [fix clumsy wording].
  • Overlapping lines - where objects share a common border, there are options for determining whether to cut the overlapping line twice.

6. Ruby “Produce” screen

Done on: PC next to laser only. You cannot do this step on another device.

Instructions for cutting so far. Need to add engraving and rotary.
Running jobs

Check that the laser is in Ruby mode, not JobControl mode:

  1. Right click on the Ruby Control in the Widows notification tray
  2. Go to Laser mode
  3. Select Ruby

7. Cleanup

Include the existing documentation here.

Working remotely

You can import and set up your job from any device connected to the makerspace network.
You can only start the cutting/engraving from the Laser PC.

You must already have an account on the Laser PC. If this is your first time logging in, you’ll need your temporary password sent to you via email, and you’ll need to change your password on first login.

  1. Login to the makerspace wifi (password is on the blackboard)
  2. Open your web browser
  3. Go to https://slms-05.local:2402
  4. Bypass the security warning - in Chrome: Advanced / Proceed to slms-05.local (unsafe)
  5. Login
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