Laser Cutters

Get Started Laser Cutting:

Intro to Laser Cutting

Required first step for all users.

Reserve the Universal Laser Cutter

*Maximum: 2 hours over a 1-week period

You may cancel your appointment easily through your Fusion account.

Use Requirements

Learning Modules (Optional!) Join the course in Canvas.

  • At your reservation time, check-in with staff to log into the laser cutter computer, and help you load the file and material. They will turn the light at the laser green for the duration of your reservation.
  • The user must monitor the cut until finished and press the pause or e-off if anything looks weird (large flames, etc.)
  • Let staff know when finished and staff will log out of the machine.
  • There is a desktop computer dedicated to prepping files for the Laser Cutter by the Dremel. No reservation required.

This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.

File Setup Tutorial

Equipment Specs & Software

Universal Laser System_ ILS9.150 (free-standing platform with a materials processing envelope of 36″ x 24″, max material thickness of 1/2″, see approved materials below).

Universal Laser System_VLS4.75 (free-standing platform with a material processing envelope 18″ x 24″, max material thickness of 1/4″, see approved materials below).

 

Software

You will need a 2D vector file, which can have the following file types: .dxf, .ai, .pdf

These files can be generated from multiple software packages including:

  • 3D (CAD): Solidworks, Onshape, Fusion 360
  • 2D: Illustrator, Gravit, Inkscape

The Makerspace has a computer available for file prep – just look for the file prep station near the laser cutter. CAE login not required.

Universal Laser Approved/Unapproved Materials

If you have material that is not listed in the approved or unapproved list, stop in to talk with the Shop Manager. Do not attempt to use materials on laser cutter without Makerspace staff’s approval.

*This list is only for the Universal Laser.

Approved Laser Cutter Materials

Unapproved Laser Cutter Materials

Useful Links and Guides

Materials for the Laser Cutter for Sale at the Makerspace

Material Material Type Thickness Length & Width Cost
Hardboard (HDF) Wood 1/8 18 x 24 2.12
Hardboard (HDF) Wood 1/8 36 x 24 4.25
Hardboard (HDF) Wood 1/4 18 x 24 3.45
Hardboard (HDF) Wood 1/4 36 x 24 6.90
Veneered MDF Wood 1/4 18x24 3.90
Veneered MDF Wood 1/4 36x24 7.80
Plywood Wood 1/4 18 x 24 6.00
Plywood Wood 1/4 36 x 24 12.00
Foam Core 3/16 30 x 20 3.00
Acrylic - Black Plastic 1/8 18 x 24 10.75
Acrylic - White Plastic 1/8 18 x 24 10.75
Acrylic - Clear Plastic 1/8 18 x 24 10.75
Acrylic - Black Plastic 1/8 36 x 24 21.50
Acrylic - White Plastic 1/8 36 x 24 21.50
Acrylic - Clear Plastic 1/8 36 x 24 21.50
Acrylic - Black Plastic 1/4 18 x 24 20.00
Acrylic - White Plastic 1/4 18 x 24 20.00
Acrylic - Clear Plastic 1/4 18 x24 18.25
Acrylic - Black Plastic 1/4 36 x 24 40.00
Acrylic - White Plastic 1/4 36 x 24 40.00
Acrylic - Clear Plastic 1/4 36 x 24 36.50
Acetal Plastic 1/4 12 x 12 26.47
Acetal Plastic 1/4 24 x 24 105.90
Corrugated Cardboard 5/32 24 x 36 2.50

Check-in during the hours below for questions pertaining to design consultation, materials, and best practices.

E-mail maker-laser@engr.wisc.edu with questions.