List of Universal Laser Cutters:
- ILS with a 24″x48″ bed and two 75 watt lasers
- VLS-660 with an 18″x32″ bed and 50 watt laser
- X-660 with an 18″x32″ bed and 50 watt laser
- V-460 with an 18″x24″ bed and a 45 watt laser
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Why a Laser Cutter Schedule?
The Digital Fabriction Lab (Lab) currently has six laser cutters to service all the DFL users. To support equitable use, the DFL has implemented a scheduling system to help distribute Laser Cutting access as much as possible over the Graduate and Undergraduate student groups. But in order for this to work, the expectation is that students do their design elsewhere and come to the Lab ready to cut.
Scheduling Laser Cutter Use
The lab has a first-come-first-served scheduling system that breaks out laser cutting reservations in 1/2 hour slots. Graduates and Undergraduates have their own schedule -- Graduates can schedule up to 4-hours/week, while Undergraduates may schedule up to 2-hours/week during Undergraduate staffed hours. Users are expected to adhere to this schedule and if more time is needed, than can be accomodated by using unreserved hours, additional time may be requested from the Lab Manager. Scheduled users have workstation priority, thus any jobs taking longer than the allotted time may be stopped by the next scheduled user or a Technician. It is suggested that users should consult in advance with the Technicians about reformatting jobs to conform to the scheduled time.
Laser Standby Process
Users must start cutting within 10 minutes of the scheduled start time. If not running by then, standby users may bump any late or unprepared user off the Laser Cutter for the remaining time. When users finish early they are encouraged to let as many others know as possible that a Laser is available. Standby users may use that extra time left as long as the job is small enough not to bump into the next hour time slot.
The machines are in heavy use at certain times, so users who cannot show up for their appointment are responsible for arranging to have another user fill the slot. If a user fails to make this arrangement and the machine is idle during their appointment they may lose signup privileges and may have limited access as a standby user only for the following week.
Laser Emergency: FIRE
While cutting, Lasers must be watched at all times—no exceptions!
Not following this rule will result in the loss of access to the Lab. All of the fires experienced in the Lab has been due to unwatched Laser cutting. Small fire procedures are carefully reviewed during general Lab orientation and there are many ways to stop small fires before they grow (provided you are watching).
In case of a sustained and growing fire in a Laser Cutter, use the mounted Halon extinguisher located next to the office door, close all doors in the room, and leave as you call 911 describing your location and nature of the situation. Then please call the Lab Manager immediately.
Cutting capacity varies with materials, thus it is recommended that you consult about the limits on cutting thickness and materials. All material brought into the Lab must conform to UCB and CED building guidelines, and the Lab policies regarding allowable and safe substances. Most of the approved materials are sold in the CED Materials Store and are cut to size. See posted lists in the DFL for machine specific details, and any unlisted materials are subject to approval by the Lab Manager or Mechanician. No hazardous material may be used in the Lab (e.g., acetone, resins, or spray paint). If you have need of these materials, please consult with the Shop.
Approved Laser Cutting Materials (available in CED Materials Store)
Mat Board, Paper, Cardboard and Chipboard
Bass, Poplar, Balsa Wood (≤ 0.25”)
Plywood (≤ 0.25”)
Mylar, or Acrylic (up to 1/2”)
Materials Not Allowed for Laser Cutting
No cutting PVC, Vinyl, or foam-core
No cutting Polycarbonate
No cutting Masonite or MDF
No cutting hardboard, glass, or uncoated metals