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
Please use the link in the member portal to see existing bookings or to make a new one. We operate an opt-in booking system for this machine.
It's called an opt-in booking system because you can still use it before/after your booked time or without a booking, but you may have to share with other members.
Please read our full tool sharing and booking policy here for details.
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 of machine on time
Induction Class: 🟡 Orange Tool (Induction Required)
Cut/Engrave Area: 700 x 500mm Max
Laser Power: ~100w power from a 130w rated Reci tube
Focal Length: 50.8mm
Max Cut Depth: Up to 8mm - 10mm (depending on material, acrylic and ply work best at up to 6mm)
Notable Features: camera assisted job positioning; automatic focus; automated extraction, air assist and cooling system.
⚠️ This tool requires an induction before use.
To book an induction for this machine, please use the "book appointment" link from the member portal.
|The CO2 laser beam can shoot out the front of the machine.|
|Certain materials can generate fumes or fine particulate matter during cutting operation.|
|Material being cut can heat up and combust during cutting operation.|
|Focusing apparatus can pose a entanglement and crushing hazard|
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 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 (half a square in lightburn). Make sure to move the Z height of the machine to the engrave/cut height before capturing a snapshot for best accuracy. If accuracy is critical, do a test cut first before relying on the camera.
We use industry standard software called Lightburn to run our laser cutter. This software supports the following files: .SVG, .DXF or . PDF. 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).
You can bring your files:
You don't need to set your cut files with specific colours / thicknesses etc for cutting vs engraving. All of that is configured inside lightburn before being sent to the machine. However, we do recommend that you group your jobs by cuts and engraves. On import, lightburn assigns layers by colour so having all your cuts as one colour, and all your engraves as a different colour is helpful. Once in lightburn, you apply certain profiles (like say one for cutting and a different one for engraving) to each layer.
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, we sometimes run out of stock due to the volunteer nature of how we operate. It is generally recommended to source your own materials.
These sheets are approximately sized - please check each sheet if the exact size is critical for your intended use.
The following is a list of tips/recommended suppliers for commonly used consumables: