Our Technology

 

What laser system do you use?

Our laser cutters are manufactured by Universal Laser Systems. Our two smaller cutters use 50-watt CO2 lasers and our large cutter uses a 60-watt CO2 laser.

How big are the laser cutter beds?

The dimensions of the cutter beds are 12”x24”, 18”x24”, and 18”x32,” while each have a depth of roughly 8.” More often than not, objects or materials that exceed these dimensions cannot fit into our machines to be cut or engraved.

What file types do you take?

We prefer .eps, .pdf, and .dxf files, though if needed we can work from a range of raster-based file formats for etching/engraving and vector-based file formats for etching/engraving and cutting.

What kinds of materials can the lasers cut or engrave?

-We can cut or engrave wood, acrylic, paper, cardboard, fabric, leather, rubber and matboard. We can mark or etch (but not cut or engrave) most metals, glass, and stone.
-For cutting wood and acrylic, material thickness should be no greater than 1/2,” while we recommend wood be no thicker than 3/8″ to retain crisp, clean cuts.

Do you stock materials?

-We typically stock Baltic Birch plywood, various acrylic, stamp rubber, matboard, aluminum, glassware, flasks, leather and other items.
-Should we not have what you’re looking for, we’re happy to assist in sourcing materials for you and welcome you to bring your own materials to the shop or have them shipped them to us.

What materials are unsafe to laser cut?

Chlorine and Styrene: synthetic materials with chlorine or styrene release very toxic fumes when under intense heat and are therefore not allowed to be laser cut or engraved at our shop. Such materials include PVC, vinyl (e.g. records, stickers, imitation leather), styrene plastic, most styrofoam and foam core.
Teflon (PTFE): though typically used for high heat applications, like frying pans, Teflon can release toxic gases when under extreme heat, and is therefore not allowed to be laser cut or engraved at our shop.
Plastics: though we can safely work with a variety of plastics, we only recommend acrylic as it cuts cleanly and consistently. If you need to work with a different type of plastic, feel free to send us the product’s Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) and we’ll let you know if it’s safe to work with.
Mystery materials: As a matter of precaution, we won’t cut or engrave any material whose identity is unknown, or for which we cannot find adequate research to determine material toxicity. So, no mystery materials!

What is the thickness of the laser beam / other tolerances of the machine?

Our laser kerf (the amount that’s removed by the laser beam) is typically around 0.01”, though this will vary depending on the type and thickness of material being used and the specific laser settings used for cutting. We recommend cutting a sample piece with known dimensions from your intended material at your intended settings in order to measure more precisely the laser kerf for your given application.