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Laser Cutter (50 watt)


  • Universal Laser Systems / ULS-25E


  • Originally 25 watts
  • Upgraded to 50 watts
  • Work Area: 24“ x 12”

Current Status

  • OK


  • Current: Laser Cutter Room
  • Previous: Workshop, Chase

On loan from


  • 11/08/2011 - Arrived at Makerspace
  • 12/31/2012 - Moved to Lenox
  • 02/17/2013 - Some problems with random lines appearing, cuts horizontally
  • 07/20/2013 - Laser tube burnt out
  • 09/15/2014 - Laser tube burnt out
  • 10/30/2014 - Upgraded to 50 watt



Please read about the ventilation system.

The Laser Cutter is expensive and dangerous. Try not to leave it unattended. Things can start on fire.

Some jobs take a long time to run. If you need to run to the bathroom or something, find someone to watch it for you.

You can etch/cut various materials. Cut: paper, acrylic, plastic. Etch: wood, acrylic, plastic, etc. (For more in-depth info, see the manual.)

Some great info from Lady Ada:

A full tutorial is in progress: Laser Cutter HOW TO

A rough tutorial on Using DraftSight with the Laser Cutter.

Metrix Create:Space has an interesting page detailing how they let people use their laser cutter:

Tips and Advice

  • We'll eventually collect all the forms people have filled out when using the machine and document them here
  • Be sure to focus the beam using the 2“ tall wood block stored just inside the lid of the machine
  • The black knob to the right inside the lid raises and lowers the table
  • Try not to bump the machine while it is running, the magnetic safeties are sensitive and will kill the laser if it thinks the lid is open
  • The “image density” setting varies the DPI (not PPI) and determines how many horizontal passes are made per one vertical inch of travel when raster engraving.
    • High image density = 6, slowest, highest quality
    • Low image density = 1, fastest, lowest quality
    • A setting of 4 or 5 will generally produce an acceptable image faster than always using 6


  • 1/4” thick acrylic: 80% power, 2% speed, 2 passes for full cut through
  • ABS: ?
  • Protective paper backings have a tendency to flame up


  • Cheap glassware: 30% power, 80% speed, 2-3 passes to etch
  • Stemware: ?
  • Crystal: ?
  • Mirror: Yes, we've etched a mirror! The front glass, as well as the back silver coating.
  • Too great a power or too slow a speed may cause cracks from overheating


  • Cardboard: ?
  • Construction paper: Works well. You can etch or cut. Start with high speeds to get a feel for it first. — Pete 2012/03/22 13:01
  • Onion skin: ?


  • Baltic Birch: 3mm Baltic Birch plywood works well. For cutting you can use 100% power and 3.2% speed, and then 4 to 5 passes should cut through it.
    • (If you need a 12“x12” sheet ask Pete.)
  • Pine: ?
  • Medium-density fiberboard (MDF): ?
  • Plywood: Terrible. We've tried 1/4“ plywood, and after 20+ passes it doesn't cut through. Use Baltic Birch.
  • Most likely to burn
  • Too great a power or too slow a speed may cause smoke
  • Exhaust air is pulled across the work surface toward the back of the machine and could stain your material, speeds over 3.2% may help prevent this, but it may mean more passes to cut through. — Pete 2012/03/22 13:03


  • Anodized metal: The laser can etch (but not cut) anodized metal. Ben did his coffee mug though. I do want to try the technique where you paint the metal black and then etch that off, so the metal shows through. — Pete 2012/03/22 13:00


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equipment/lasercutter2.txt · Last modified: 2015/04/19 21:31 by branth