Our laser cutter is one of our most popular tools. It can be used to cut or engrave lots of common materials including timber, plastic, and paper, to name a few. Unfortunately it cannot cut metal or glass (though it can engrave them in the right circumstance).
A picture of our laser cutter
You can cut out unique shapes from sheets of materials up to 8-10mm thick (material dependent). Laser cutting is ideal for making mounting plates, custom enclosures and boxes, personalising projects, etc.
You can also engrave text, images and other shapes directly onto your projects. This allows you to create truly unique works of art, add a personal touch to your project, or make something as simple as a name badge or plaque.
Usage Cost: $10/hr
Induction Class: Orange Tool (Induction Required)
Cut/Engrave Area: 700 x 500mm Max
Laser Power: 100w usable power from a 130w peak Reci tube
Focal Length: 50.8mm / 76.2mm (coming soon!)
Max Cut Depth: Up to 8mm - 10mm (depending on material)
Notable Features: Camera assisted positioning, Automatic focus
We have a super cool camera positioning system setup on the laser cutter. It allows you to put offcuts or irregular sized sheets inside and visually move your cut/engrave job around with a preview of where it's going to cut. It's accurate to within 2-3mm normally, but may deviate by up to 5mm towards the outer edges. Make sure to move the Z height of the machine to the engrave/cut height for best accuracy.
We use an industry standard software called Lightburn to run our laser cutter. This software supports the following files: .SVG, .DXF or . PDF. You can bring your files on a USB flash drive/SD card, or use AirDrop to copy it to our iMac. Alternatively, you can purchase a license of Lightburn if you'd like to experiment at home or on your own computer (recomended if you do a lot of lasering).
This induction has two options:
Attend our introductory laser cutting workshop for a complete introduction. https://brisbanemaker.space/workshops/
You should be familiar with how to operate this tool after completing an induction. However, a quick reference guide is included below to assist you.
We have an offcuts box right next to the laser cutter. You are welcome to use any offcuts or scrap pieces of material from this box for free. You are also encouraged to leave any offcuts from your projects in this bin (ie give some/take some). However, you should break off any thin pieces and you should check that there is at least 10cmx10cm of usable material left.
Some materials are dangerous to cut or engrave and can damage the machine or even worse, release poisonous fumes. We operate a very strict list of approved materials. If you use a material not on this list without prior approval from staff, we will issue a warning (or worse) for breaching our safety policy.
We recommend that most people use Acrylic or "Laser Safe" Plywood for the cleanest cuts and least amount of hassle.
We try to keep the following materials / consumables in stock for members to purchase. However, please check with us first if you really need something as we sometimes run out of stock. We recommend using these materials unless you have a special need, as they've been chosen to work well with our machine and have calibrated profiles to choose from.
The following is a list of tips/recommended suppliers for commonly used consumables: