Laser Cutting

Similar to a pen plotter, laser cutters use a laser beam to cut and/or score a variety of sheet materials.

How Can I Use It?

You must attend an orientation to become authorized to use the laser cutter. See the RPS scheduler for dates & times of orientations. No sign up is necessary to attend an orientation.

After you have completed the orientation, a user account will be created for you that will enable you to make reservations to use the laser cutter.

Usage Policy

You must attend an orientation in order to create your user account and gain access to the Laser Cutter Reservation Schedule.

Each student is allotted 56 one-hour sessions -- each of which can be reserved up to a week in advance. You are not guaranteed shifts; they must be scheduled and reserved. No more than two one-hour shifts per person per week.

If you cannot attend your reservation, remove yourself from the schedule 24 hours ahead of time so others have access to that shift.

If you don't cancel within 24 hours notice, you forfeit that appointment, and it will be subtracted from your total allotted shifts.

Acceptable File Types

Use Adobe Illustrator, Vectorworks, AutoCAD, Rhino, and other vector-based applications to create a two-dimensional drawing, then export the files in a .DXT format. We do not allow the use of USB drives or CDs in the Rapid Prototyping Studio.

Please email or use the CCA secure Dropbox to send the files to where you can retrieve them on the studio computers.

If you need dimensionally accurate parts, you should compensate for the width of the laser beam in your drawings. The beam thickness is usually between .010 and .012 inches, depending on the material setting, so offset your part .005 to .006 inches.

What Materials Can Be Used?

All materials must be purchased from ARCH and approved as laser safe. Due to potential damage to the machine and possible health hazards, do not attempt to cut other materials.

Approved Laser Safe Materials

  • Cutting, Raster/engrave safe
  • basswood, birchwood, plywood, chipboard, matboard, museum board, paper/cardstocks, cast acrylic, Kapton tape, PETG, Polypropylene, cotton, denim, felt, hemp, genuine leather, suede
  • Raster/engrave only
  • Anod. aluminum, brick, cement, marble, stone

Banned Materials (do not cut)

  • ABS
  • carbon fiber
  • fake leather ("pleather)
  • fiberglass
  • foamcore
  • high-density Polyethylene
  • MDF
  • polycarbonate (PC, Lexan)
  • Polystyrene
  • Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)
  • printed circuit board
  • vinyl

About LaserCamm Laser Cutters

The LaserCAMM laser cutter is a computerized, rapid prototyping machine that is capable of cutting or scoring intricate and miniature two-dimensional shapes with a high degree of accuracy.

An extremely fast means of cutting material and creating prototypes, this machine is a valuable resource to students who need several exact copies of a part, perfectly symmetrical parts, or highly detailed precision.

The LaserCAMM is capable of cutting sheet material up to 24 x 48 inches and a 1/2 inch thick.

You can review LaserCamm file setup instructions (log in to your CCA email to view).