Laser cutter

Two laser cut keychains

What is it?

Laser cutting is a technology primarily dedicated to cutting, engraving, and marking materials.

What can I do with it?

You can use the laser cutter to cut or engrave materials such as wood, paper, cardboard, fabrics, and certain types of plastic. Some materials, such as glass and stone, can be engraved but not cut. Use the laser to make prototypes, add creative flourishes to your items, and more! See technical specs below for more detailed information and be sure to read our policies before coming in to use the machine.

User Certifcation

Interested in learning more about laser cutting? We offer a free user certification program for those who want to take a deeper dive in laser cutter operation and safety measures. Whether you’re certified with us or not, our staff is available to help you create your projects.

Our certification gives users more freedom and flexibility to use our equipment on their own and only applies to the laser cutter located in the iSpace. Here’s what you need to do:

Steps 1 and 2 should take 20-30 minutes to complete. Within a week after you pass the quiz, we’ll contact you to schedule a session where you’ll work hands-on with our laser cutter and learn about machine setup, operation, and safety.

Who can use it?

Priority is for UA students, faculty, and staff, but non-affiliates may also use the equipment, subject to availability. You're welcome to drop by the iSpace during our open hours where one of our staff members can help you with your project. 

What does it cost?

Each job costs $2 for every 10 minutes of cutting/engraving time plus the cost of materials (if applicable). The library has several materials available for purchase or you can bring your own material. An iSpace staff person must approve any material you bring before cutting or engraving. Please see this list of acceptable materials  and email us if you have any questions.

Please make your payment prior to pickup.

Not sure what material you should use? Come in during our open hours and an iSpace staff person can help you decide.

Material Type

12x12

12x24

15x24

Baltic Birch Plywood 1/8"

$2

N/A

$4
Baltic Birch Plywood 1/4" $2 $4 N/A

Acrylic (variety of colors)

$5.50

$11

N/A

Rapid prototyping materials such as cardboard ($0.50 per sheet) and MDF ($1.00 per sheet) are also available..

Voccell DLS 50w Laser Cutter Technical Specs

Work Envelope

  • Cutting / engraving area: 24 x 16 in (609 x 406 mm)
  • Maximum material thickness: 4.5 in (114 mm)
  • Maximum cutting thickness (1 pass polished edge): .3 in (7.94 mm)
  • Maximum cutting thickness (1 pass reduced edge quality): .50 in (12.7 mm)

File Types

  • Vector file types supported: DXF, AI (version 8), DST, PLT, LAS
  • Raster file types supported: JPG, BMP, GIF, TIF, PNG, TGA
  • Other file types may be supported. Contact us if you have a specific need not listed here.

Laser specs

  • Type: 50 watt max CO2 laser
  • Wavelength: Infrared 10.6 micron – Invisible to Naked Eye

Acceptable Materials List

All materials brought in by users is subject to approval by iSpace staff. This list is intended to be a guide only, it is not exhaustive.

Material

Cut

Engrave

Notes

Wood

X

X

Most wood based products, including solid wood and plywood, are excellent for cutting and engraving. Engineered woods like MDF still work, but may char more when cutting. Avoid oily or resinous woods.

Acrylics

X

X

Cloth and fabric

X

X

No plastic coated or impregnated cloth

Paper products, matte board

X

X

Higher fire risk, monitor closely

Cork

X

X

Leather

X

X

Genuine leather ONLY. No "pleather" or anything containing vinyl.

Rubber

X

X

Only rubber that contains NO chlorine

Polyester Sheet (Mylar)

X

X

Great for stencils

Anodized aluminum

X

The laser can't mark bare metals, but it can burn away the anodizing to make designs

Glass

X

Only flat glass

Marble, granite, other stone

X

Ceramics

X