Laser Cutting at U-SoA

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The students have access to four laser engraving and cutting systems. There are two higher watt 36” x 24” ILS Universal Laser Systems and two 32” x 18” VLS and X660 Universal Laser Systems.

For More Information Download

UM_SoA_LaserCut Guide 


Laser Cutting and Engraving on a variety of approved materials (see list below).

Reserving Time

Please reserve a time slot with our system below. Please show up 15 minutes prior to your cut time to set up material and laser cutter with lab assistant. Students will forfeit their time if they are not cutting within 5 minutes of their scheduled appointment time.

Laser Cutting Your Files

Laser cutting is done by the students with the help of the Fab Lab Assistant. 
Students must submit their files following the instructions below.
Once uploaded, please visit the Fabrication Lab to reserve a time slot.

Laser Cut Templates

The templates provide a pre-defined bounding box that matches the laser cutter bed dimensions 
(18” x 32” and 24" x 36" ). You can copy the bounding box as many times as you want in the same file; this way you won’t need to have multiple files. The template provides layer colors pre-set for cut, score, fold and skip (the score color will occur before cut).

Download 18 x 32" Template File

Download 24 x 36" Template File

Downloadable 24 x 40" Template File

Blue Exterior Cut
Yellow Interior Cut
Green Deep Engrave
Red Light Engrave

Acceptable Materials

Bristol Board - Chipboard: Max 1/8”
Museum Board: Max 1/8”
Illustrator Board: Max 1/8”
Corrugated Cardboard: Max 1/4”
Basswood: Max ¼”
Acrylic: Max ¼”

Students must purchase acrylic and plywood directly from the Fabrication Lab. All other materials are available for purchase in the Fabrication Lab, but students may bring their own alternately sourced materials. 

Prohibited Materials

Lexan – PVC – Styrene – Polyesters – PET films – Polypropylene – Vinyl – Glass – Metal – And materials not listed in the approved list of acceptable materials.

If a material is not listed above, please speak to the Fabrication Lab Manager to add it to the list. 

Before Submitting Files for Laser Cutting

  1. Make sure you are using the Autocad DWG template
  2. Check layers and TURN OFF the cut and engrave layers. All objects should DISAPPEAR in the template. If not, there is a mistake in the layers and you will want to fix it.

  3. Once the layers are correct, the file can be PURGED (purge) of all excess layers. The ONLY layers should be the ones that come with the template. Erase EVERYTHING outside of the templates. All layer settings should be BY LAYER.

  4. Explode and OVERKILL the drawing. This will clean up the drawing and save time.

Tips: Save time and headaches by running the OVERKILL command on your DWG file before laser cutting. This will remove duplicate lines and combine line and arc segments that overlap. If your file has lines on top of lines, it can result in a much slower cutting time, or excessive charring of the edges. From the AutoCAD command line, type overkill, or from the menus, click Express, Modify, Delete Duplicate. Don’t save over your original file in case something goes wrong.

New Laser Cutter Appointment Policies

In order to accommodate as many students as possible in the Fab Lab, these new policies will take effect during our busiest time periods.  This would include the two weeks leading up to midterms, two weeks leading up to final reviews, and/or any period where attendance is abnormally high.  There can be exceptions made to these policies, but management must be made aware of them as soon as possible. 

  • No more than 2 hours (120 mins) of laser cutting appointments per day. If you book more than 2 hours you must cancel some of the appointments or we will cancel them for you. If more is needed, please contact Fab Lab management (
  • No more than 6 hours of laser cutting appointments per week (Sunday to Saturday). If you book more than 6 hours, some of your appointments must be canceled or we will cancel All appointments after 6 hours for you.  If more is needed, please contact the Fab Lab management (
  • If you do not have an appointment, but are waiting for a laser cutter to become available, put your name on the Laser Cutter Wait List. Please do not wait inside the Fab Lab, the staff will call or email you when a machine has become available.

When making laser cutter appointments, please only make the appointments if they are necessary. Do not book unnecessary appointments as that only prevents other students from being able to utilize the lab. There are also some policies that should be followed all semester long.

  • Cancel an appointment if you are not going to use it. This can be done through the email that you were sent when you made the appointment or contact the Fab Lab and they can cancel it for you. 
  • Appointments can only be booked 7 days in advance
  • If you are more than 10 minutes late, your appointment will be forfeited and any student that walks in may utilize the machine.
  • Always do Test cuts before running your entire file! This will help make sure you are using the correct settings before running a long file.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Fab Lab management:

Michael Cannon, Manager

Max Jarosz, Director

Sign Up

Please sign up with the link below:

Laser Cutting Appointments