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Lasers

Laser cutters are powerful subtractive manufacturing tools that use a powerful laser beam to cut or engrave designs and patterns into materials.
The Makerspace has two Universal PLS 6.75 CO2 lasers which can cut up to 1/4" thick materials (most commonly wood, acrylic, cardboard, MDF, or fabrics) and engrave on many others (most commonly glass, acrylic, wood).  We also have one 20W MOPA laser. MOPA stands for Master Oscillator Power Amplifier. This is a metal marking laser.  It can engrave metals. 

Using Our shop

Access and Safety

Our CO2 and Fiber lasers each have their own Safety and Basic Use Training that is required prior to use.  Those can be found here. They include an online and in person portion.

Purchasing Materials

As with most of our machines, you are welcome to bring your own materials to use.  Please double check with our staff if you have any questions about whether a material can be used in the machines. Our store does have stock of some materials that can be used with our lasers.  We also have a small pile of scrap materials left behind by other users who had excess after completing their own projects.

 
Available Machines
Universal Laser Systems (Model PLS6.75)
Universal Laser Systems (Model PLS6.75)
Designed and engineered for light manufacturing operations and batch production.
Morntech CO2 Laser (MT-L960)
Morntech CO2 Laser (MT-L960)
MORN CO2 Engraving and Cutting Machine offers precise and aesthetical engraving and cutting of non-metal materials.
Lit MOPA Fiber Marking Laser
Lit MOPA Fiber Marking Laser
A fiber laser based laser engraver capable of removing anodization and finishes from multiple types of metals.
FAQs
Can I cut or engrave in color?

Depends. The CO2 laser cannot colorize your workpiece - instead, they will burn your material in varying degrees of intensity. A color image will first be converted into grayscale, and the laser can burn with higher or lower intensity to create a darker or lighter effect. The fiber laser can engrave in color on stainless steel. Depending on the frequency used will result in different colors being engraved. The material must be stainless steel.  No other material will produce a color engraving. 

Can I engrave anything I want?

Unfortunately not.  While it's impossible to have a cohesive universal "allowed" and 'not allowed' set of lists, there are some commonly used permitted materials and disallowed materials.  Caution must be taken when using unknown materials, as it may ignite, not cut, emit dangerous fumes, or cause other hazards. Check the Reference Materials Chart here for a complete list of materials that can be used on our CO2 lasers. Always ask if you are unsure!

Can I still use the Machine after my Reservation is over

If the machine is available after your reserved time has elapsed, you may continue working as long as there are no others waiting to use the machine, but please cede time to others if you have exceeded 6 hours of use in that week.

Do I have to know how to use the equipment to use the space?

We provide online Safety and Basic Use (SBU) Courses for all of our machines.  If you need further assistance after completing the course for the machine you are interested in, there's always someone here that can assist you with the equipment. Come visit the Makerspace to get started!

Do I have to supply my own materials to learn the machine?

No. We will provide you with material to get you started on the machines during your initial test project. We usually have some scrap materials in most rooms left behind by others. If you have a particular project in mind though, it is best to supply your own materials or purchase them from our store (if available).