Laser cutters use a high-powered laser to cut or engrave a wide range of materials, including wood, acrylic, leather, and paper.
What can I make with a laser engraver?
All types of things! It’s a very versatile machine that’s deceptively easy to use. Checkout this article “From Food to Furniture: 10 Dazzling Laser-Cutter Projects” from Wired magazine for a few examples.
Maker Hub – Downtown
You must attend a 90-minute Basic Training and Safety training before you can use the laser engraver. See www.elon.edu/MakerHub for a list of upcoming trainings. After attending training, you can use the Laser Engraver during regular operating hours. It is first-come, first-serve.
Tutorials and resources
- Guide: Universal Laser Engraver – If you’re new to laser engraving, start here. This document outlines how to prepare a file and use the machine.
- Adobe Illustrator is available at a reduced price for students and free for faculty and staff. Review the Computer Software page on the Elon Technology Wiki for instructions.
- Learn how to use Adobe Illustrator with Lynda.com tutorials. Free access for Elon users.
- Checksheet: Universal Laser Engraver – Document outlines steps to complete before starting an engrave or cut.
- The Noun Project – icons and graphics free to use under Creative Commons. Tip – download the SVG version of the file to use in Illustrator.
Only approved materials are allowed on the laser engraver. Attempting to engrave or cut other materials could seriously harm your health and/or the tool and is not allowed.
Approved materials are:
- laser-safe plywood (interior-grade plywood made without formaldehyde glue)
- untreated lumber
We have an assortment of all these materials available in the Maker Hub for you to use for free (except leather). See the Maker Hub’s policies on materials for limitations on what the free materials can be used for.
If you supply your own material, it’ll need to go through the Material Approval process. Ask a Maker Hub Consultant for the form in the Maker Hub - Downtown location. Once complete, it’ll be approved/denied by Maker Hub leadership based on the information you provide. If you purchase material, please keep the receipt. It’ll speed up the review process. Expect the process to take about a week.
Untreated lumber can be purchased from Lowes or Home Depot. Plywood, however, is not recommended from Lowes or Home Depot.
Universal Laser Systems VLS6.60, 60 watt
Accommodates materials up to 32” x 18” x 9”