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Tech Tips

The Do Space Laser Cutter – Reserve, Create, Enjoy!

April 05 | BY Terri Chappell, Community Learning Specialist

 

The Laser Cutter is a very popular tool at Do Space. It’s easy to use and opens up a myriad of possibilities for creative projects.


Best of all, if you’re a Do Space member, you can use it without charge as long as you follow a few simple do’s and don’ts.

 

Reserving the Laser Cutter

Reserve time on the Laser Cutter!


You can book time on the laser cutter using the Do Space website (www.dospace.org -->Technology-->Tech Reservations) or the reservation tablet in the 3-D Lab.

Reserve the Laser Cutter for more than 2 hours per day.


Please don’t use multiple email addresses or names in order to reserve the Laser Cutter for more than 2 hours a day.  There are a lot of people who want to access it.

Show Up or Cancel.


If you have a reservation and can’t make it, please cancel the reservation so someone else can have the time.

Book time to hold a place if you’re not sure you can come in.

 

Preparing for your Laser Session

Be knowledgeable. Take a workshop or request a mentor.


The Do Space laser cutter workshops give you the knowledge you need to successfully cut or engrave your projects. If you can’t take a workshop, you can request a one-on-one meeting with a mentor to learn how to use the machine.

Assume there will be staff, volunteers, or another member available to help you when you come in to do your project.


People who reserve the laser cutter are expected to know how to use it with little on-the-spot help.

Prepare your materials before you come in.


The laser cutter accommodates materials up to 16 by 12 by 4 inches. Cut your materials to size before coming in.  Anything thicker than paper, card stock, or mat board cannot be cut in the lab.

Bring in materials that are unsafe for the machine or the environment.


Refer to the Materials list in the Laser Cutter Manual to help determine what can be safely cut in the laser cutter.

 

Working in the Lab

Use wood, thick cardboard, or a cutting board to cover the tables when cutting material.

Use cutting tools in the lab without protecting the tables.

Use the ULS time estimator.  


The laser cutter software (ULS) has a built in function to predict how long a job will take. If it estimates that your job will go over your reserved time, save the job for another time

Start an engraving or cutting job that will extend past your reservation.

Help Do Space keep the Laser Cutter running well for everyone.


If you think the lens or the mirrors need cleaning, if you want the rotary tool installed, or if there’s a problem with the machine, please contact a staff member or qualified volunteer.

Attempt to clean the laser cutter or install the cutting, engraving, or rotary beds yourself.

 

Working with others

Share your knowledge with others.


Do Space is a learning community. Many of the people who work on the laser cutter are generous in sharing what they’ve learned through hours of experimentation and hard work in the lab. If you’ve discovered something new or found the perfect settings for a material, please share it with others by recording it in the Laser Cutter Manual.

Press someone for advice or instruction if they’re busy doing their own projects.


There’s a time to share and a time to work. If someone is heads down in working on the laser cutter, let them determine when and what to share with you.

 

And of course, DO have a creative, productive, and fun laser cutting session!