Laser cutter services for you
Laser cutters (Universal Laser Cutter VLS 6.60) are available free of charge to all ASU students in the FSE course program, research groups, clubs, and personal or honors projects.
Materials not provided
You will need to bring your own material as we do not provide any material for use or for purchasing.
Laser cutter specifications
- 32″ x 18″ processing area
- 4 units available
- 60 watt
Laser cutter operation
Before we can cut
- Please bring your files completed and ready to cut. The laser cutter workstation is not a place to make extensive changes to your files.
- Do not leave the machine unattended while it is running. Lab staff are not responsible for your materials and your material may catch on fire.
- Small flames are to be expected
- If your material catches fire and remains on fire you must immediately stop the laser cutter using the main power switch and notify a Lab Assistant.
- We do not hold or store materials in the lab.
- After your part is completed, keep the lid of the laser cutter closed for 10 seconds to allow smoke or vapors to be vented.
- Clean up your workstation when you are finished. You may not leave materials of any kind in or around the laser cutter.
Approved and banned materials
If you are unsure of what type of material you are bringing in, you will not be allowed to use it in our machines.
If you do not see your material listed here, feel free to contact us.
|Hard Woods (Recommended)
|Charring may occur, Avoid oily/resinous woods
|Oily and resinous woods will catch fire
|Charring will occur, plywood contains glue and may be more difficult to cut, we recommend using a hard wood if possible
|Cuts very nicely and very quickly
|Slight edge discoloration may occur if settings are too high
|Cuts nicely, but easily catches on fire under slow speeds or high power settings
|Watch for fire
|Natural Cork (NOT engineered cork)
|Quality of the cuts depend on the quality of the cork, thick cork will char and burn
|Watch for burning/charring
|Cuts extremely well, with nice clean edges
|ANY clear or plastic protective covering must be removed before cutting
|Smokes severely when cut, laser cutter lens easily gets dirty and will need to be cleaned when finished and cooled
|Chars and burns when speed is too slow or power is too high
|“PVC (Poly Vinyl Chloride)
Pleather (Artificial Leather)”
|Emits pure chlorine gas when etched or cut! Damages the laser cutter
|DO NOT cut this material!! It will ruin the optics of the laser cutters, cause the metal of the machine to corrode and ruin the motion control system. It is severely damaged to our equipment.
|Catches fire, does not cut!
|Often found as a flat, sheet material, Polycarbonate strongly absorbs infrared radiation. It is very ineffective in etching/cutting and discolors the material.
HDPE (milk bottle plastic)
|Emits CYANIDE gas, catches fire and melts!
|It melts rather than vaporizes and easily catches on fire, leaving behind a melted gooey deposit that is especially difficult to remove from the honeycomb grid. It does not engrave well.
|Catches fire immediately!
|It catches fire, melts and does not easily cut, this material will melt into drops of burning fire and turn to rock hard drips and pebbles in the laser cutter bed. Do not etch or cut.
|Emits toxic fumes!
|It’s a mix of two materials that can’t be cut. Glass and epoxy resin
|Emits noxious fumes
|The material will simply not cut
|MDF / OSB / Engineered Wood
|High amounts of charring, difficult to cut
|Will not etch or cut
- All sessions begin at the start of the reservation, not when the student arrives.
- Walk in sessions are available on a first come first serve basis.
- We receive a high volume of reservations three weeks before finals are due. Please schedule in advance and cancel your reservation if it is no longer needed.
If the student has not arrived within 15 minutes of their reserved session then the session will be forfeited.
Steps to reserve a laser cutter
- Go to the scheduling website
- Create a new account by clicking on the ‘Create a new user account’ option at the login screen
- Follow the instructions using your asu.edu email address, a confirmation email will be sent
- Open the confirmation email and confirm the registration
- Login to the scheduling site
- Locate a date and time when you would like to schedule a session
- Agree to the Terms and Conditions
Sessions may only be scheduled up to 5 days out. (More specifically, up to 120 hours out.)
Changes and cancelations may only be done over the phone. Please call us at (480) 727- 2947.