Get Started Laser Cutting:
Required first step for all users.
Reserve the Universal Laser Cutter
*Maximum: 2 hours over a 1-week period
*Maximum: 2 hours over a 1-week period
You may cancel your appointment easily by removing it from your calendar.
Permit Requirements are enforced with wiscard swipes or m-passes.
College of Engineering faculty and staff are not required to pay the materials fee though they must have a CoE permit.
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.
Equipment Specs & 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:
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
|Material||Vector Cut||Vector Engrave||Raster Engrave|
|HDF (High Density Fibreboard)||OK||OK||OK|
|MDF (Medium Density Fibreboard)||OK||OK||OK|
|Cardboard/ Currogated Cardboard||OK||OK||OK|
|Plywood (Birch Veneer)||OK||OK||OK|
|Hard Woods (max 1/2", 1/4" or thinner is recommended)||OK||OK||OK|
|Vegetable Tanned Lather||OK||OK||OK|
|Fabric-Ballistic Nylon||OK||NOT OK||NOT OK|
|Fabric-Denim||OK||NOT OK||NOT OK|
|100 % Silk||OK||OK||OK|
|Glass (Soda-lime / Lead Crystal)||NOT OK||OK||OK|
|Unglazed Porcelin Tile||NOT OK||OK||OK|
|Ceramic- Laser tile||NOT OK||OK||OK|
|Ceramic- Saltillo tile||NOT OK||OK||OK|
|Glazed Ceramic Tile #||NOT OK||OK||OK|
|Anodized Aluminum #||NOT OK||OK||OK|
|Powder Coated Metal #||NOT OK||OK||OK|
|General Acetal (Derlin)||OK||OK||OK|
Unapproved Laser Cutter Materials
|PVC||Emits chlorine while cutting|
|Rubbers||Tend to melt when laser cut, can catch fire, emits fumes|
|Food||Any kind of food items are strictly prohibited on laser cutter|
|Material with Sticky/ Gluey/ Oily/ Unknown coatings||Any material (even from the approved list) with sticky/gluey/oily/unknown coatings are not allowed to use on laser cutter. It can damage the machine parts/can catch fire/can emit fumes|
|Carbon Fibres||Laser beam can burn the material with noxious gases|
|Fiberglass||Emits fumes while cutting|
|Epoxy||Laser beam can burn the material with noxious gases|
|ABS||Emits cyanide gas and tends to melt while cutting|
|Teflon (PTFE)||Emits fumes while cutting|
|Polycarbonate/Lexon||Absorbs the laser, hence is very ineffective at cutting or engraving|
|Unknown Grades of Plastics||Some plastic grades melt when laser cut, can catch fire, emits fume|
|PolyPropylene||PolyPropylene Foam catches the fire and melts the material|
|Derlin||Emits Benzene while cutting|
|PETG||It is a dirty material to process, giving off white particulates that can damage the machine parts.|
|HDPE/milk bottle plastic||It catches fire when used on laser cutter.|
Dremel Mini Approved/Unapproved Materials
Dremel Unapproved List
|Polychloroprene (CR or chloroprene rubber, marketed under the brand name of Neoprene)|
|Polypropylene foam, Polypropylene sheet|
|Polyurethane, Polyurethane foam|
|Treated Wood - pressure treated (Includes MDF and HDF), coated, fumigated, stained|
|Coated carbon fiber|
|Epoxy - Resins|
|Fluorine based plastics - teflon, FEP|
|Most metals cannot be marked and will have less than desirable results|
Dremel Approved List
|Leather, vegetable tanned|
|Oak - solid|
|Rubber - laser grade|
|Walnut - solid|
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|
|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|