Laser Cutting

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Laser Cutting at U-SoA

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

Capabilities:

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

Reserving Time:

Please submit your file through the web form, and come see a lab assistant to schedule a time for you to cut your job. Please show up 15 minutes prior to your cut time to set up material and laser cutter with lab assistant.

Time Limit:

There is a four hour limit per student per week.

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 Template:

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

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 1/8”
Basswood: Max ¼”
Acrylic: Max ¼”

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, score and fold 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 layers 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.

Step 1:

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