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Students are not permitted to operate the Laser.
Charges apply per minute for its use.
The main way of explaining the laser is that it is a printer.
The main programs preferred to operate the Laser cutter are – Autocad, Photoshop and Illustrator.
The drawing is to be drawn at 1:1, not scaled. It can be saved as either a DWG or a DXF File.
As per Example Drawing -
Laser 1 Sheet Size maximum – 600mm x 440mm
Laser 2 Sheet Size maximum – 1200mm x600mm
Please note - If you are using strawboard the sheet size for laser 2 is 1020mm x 600mm
Offset of 5mm from edges for pieces to be cut
Materials that can be cut by the Laser are:
MDF – 3mm, 6mm and 9mm
Ply – 3mm, 6mm and 9mm
Acrylics - to 9mm
Balsa Wood – to 9mm
Materials for engraving or (rastering):
Slate, stone, cork and painted metals, as well as the above materials. Check with the workshop prior to starting your model.
Please do not bring plastics to be cut as the gas released is toxic.
Students can supply their own materials but for your convenience some of the above materials are available and can be purchased from the workshop.
The workshop does stock the following materials:
MDF – 3mm, 6mm, 9mm
Strawboard – 1mm, 2mm
White pasteboard – 1mm, 2mm
Balsa Wood – 3mm, 5mm
The reason the workshop stocks these materials is because the materials are from one supplier and the moisture contents are consistent so the operator is familiar with the settings and does not have to do test trials. When supplying your own bring an additional piece 100mm x 200mm to allow the operator to do test cuts before cutting your model. 1mm straw board is the most economical material to build models.
There are different ways of cutting and engraving – Below is the description and the colours needed to set up the laser. These have to be true colours.
1. Vector Cutting (Magenta)– This is where the laser will cut all the way through the material.
2. Vector Engraving(Green) – This is where the laser by reducing power and speed settings will only mark, lines, circles and outline printing.
3. Raster Engraving (Red) – Hatched Printing, photographs and designs.
The most economical way of using the Laser is by vector cutting and vector engraving. Vectors are lines. To save unnecessary cost always check that your drawing file is a single line drawing.
Always try to use common lines where one line makes two objects as per the example drawing sheet.
The following is a guide on how far apart lines can be before the material distorts during vector cutting –
3mm MDF – 1.0mm
6mm MDF – 1.5mm
9mm MDF – 2.5mm
3.0mm Acrylic – 1.0mm
6.0mm Acrylic – 1.5mm
9.0mm Acrylic – 5.0mm
1mm Straw Board - .5mm
2mm Strawboard – 1.0mm
1mm and 2 mm Balsa Wood - .75mm
2.5mm to 5mm Balsa Wood – 1.0mm
5.5mm to 9.0mm Balsa Wood – 5.0mm
All other inquiries should be made to the workshop. You can contact the workshop on 52278357.
There are times when the workshop is very busy especially when lecturers set class projects.
Bookings can be made from the a+b website.