Laser Cutter - Tutorial

The following provides some information on how to use the Universal Laser Cutter. Please note that students must be supervised during cutting and all cuts must be monitored at ALL times.


  1. First ensure that you will be able to print safely. Do this by clearing all debris from underneath the metal honeycomb platform in the laser cutter. Small scraps that are left down there may start a fire.
  2. Then check that the material you are planning to cut with is allowed. Be sure to view a list of compatible materials here. To view more detailed notes on materials check this source. The materials marked compatible may still start fires if the laser cutter operates at high power levels or slow speed settings, so exercise good judgement. Take all precautions necessary. Using the laser cutter on certain materials can start a fire or release deadly gases into the building, so avoid them.
  3. Turn on the vacuum pump by pressing the green button. (The vacuum extracts smoke or other fumes created when the cutter is in operation)
  4. Turn on the small air compressor and the laser. (The air compressor pumps clean air into the laser cutter to replace the air sucked out by the vacuum)
  5. Open the CorelDRAW software (The shortcut to the software can be found on the top left of the desktop)
  6. Make a Design. (Alternatively, you can make the design using AutoCAD or other similar software packages and save the file in a .dxf format so that it can be opened with CorelDRAW)
    • Use red lines to cut all the way through material. (Using red lines results in the laser operating at 100% power and 2.1% of its maximum speed. Reduced speeds allow the laser cutter to spend more time cutting or etching one area).
    • Use the paint bucket to fill shapes black if you want to etch those areas. (Black means the laser is at 100% speed and 21% power. )
  7. Then press print. Select PLS6MW as the printer.
  8. Click the red "UCP" button located on the top left of the desktop.
  9. You should see your design open in the software.
  10. Position your design and calibrate the laser using the red buttons on the right. Select the printer head button to correctly orientate the design on the material.
  11. Then go to the settings button on the bottom right and select the material you will be using. Then press apply.
  12. Switch to Manual Mode and make any necessary adjustments.
  13. Increase power or decrease the speed to etch more material. Then press "OK" and the large green button.
  14. The print will start. Users MUST remain in the room until the laser cutting completes. To reiterate, the laser cutter works by burning through material. The he objective is to do this safely. If you unexpectedly see flames simply open the lid (the laser cutter will automatically pause) and blow them out. There is also a fire extinguisher just to the right of the laser cutter.

More About the Laser Cutter


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