Laser cutters use a high-powered laser to cut or engrave a wide range of materials, including wood, acrylic, leather, and paper.
|Glowforge||Universal VLS 6.60|
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.
- Universal VLS 6.60: Maker Hub – Downtown
- Glowforge: Maker Hub – Colonnades
You must attend a 90-minute Basic Training and Safety training before you can use either laser engraver. See the homepage 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 – This document outlines how to prepare a file and use the Laser Engraver in Downtown.
- Guide: Glowforge Laser Engraver – This document outlines how to use the Glowforge in Colonnades.
- Information about copies of Adobe Illustrator at a reduced rate for for Elon students and free for faculty and staff.
- 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.
- Checksheet: Glowforge – Document outlines steps to complete before cutting/engraving with the Glowforge.
- 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.
- Laser-safe materials are:
- laser-safe plywood (interior-grade plywood made without formaldehyde glue)
- untreated lumber
- paper, chipboard, cardboard, and poster board
- textiles (most woven fabrics, including cotton, felt, fleece, denim, linen polyester, lace, and silk)
- leather (NEVER pleather or faux leather)
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. A link to the online form and more details are available on the Maker Hub’s materials policies page.
Untreated lumber can be purchased from Lowes or Home Depot. Plywood from Lowes or Home Depot is not recommended for use in the laser engraver.
Universal Laser Systems VLS6.60, 60 watt
Accommodates materials up to 32” x 18” x 9” (tall)
Glowforge Laser Engraver, 40 watt
Accommodates materials up to 19” x 11” x 2” (tall)