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Laser Lab Co-Champions and Training Process

Any member can reach all of us - in the case of damage, an issue, suggestion or concern by emailing laser (at) milwaukeemakerspace (dot) org In case of Fire or immediate need, please use text or phone on the trainer contact list

Remember to communicate any downtime, damage, or repairs or tinkering to the champions BEFORE doing the work. Purchases of items must be pre-approved but the champions in order to receive reimbursement.

How to get trained on the laser cutters!

Lenox Laser Lab

If you are new to lasers, these trainings are offered sporadically as requested on MMS email list - while space is open to the general membership - Find Hapto's or Ellen Fulton's phone number on the members only list or the champion board (the internet has spiders) and send a text to get a training cohort rolling. Lenox Laser trainings are limited to 3 people, to allow for hands on opportunities, and to gain confidence and competency on the equipment. Refreshers are available as needed.

ULS lasers use a print driver so that you can make cuts from almost any software: CorelDraw, Inkscape, MS Word, .PDF files, etc. All these machines have a limit of cutting 1/4“ thick material.

The machines located in the Lenox Laser Lab are named Left Shark, Katy Perry, Right Shark.

There is also a ULS machine in the East Room not currently hooked up.

Trainers (Lenox)

Inkscape Guru:

  • Help Wanted*

Maker Village/Norwich Laser Lab

100w "Boss Laser" at Norwich

Boss Laser trainings will be offered on Mondays at 6pm by Carl Stevens in tandem with Model Mondays (and cancelled when that meeting is cancelled.) Confirm on the message board or reach out directly if a different time is needed or if you will be in attendance. It is preferable that you complete Lenox Laser trainings before you attend a training at Norwich.

Boss Laser uses “Lightburn” and has a limit of 1/4” material without extra burning and passes. It has a large bed, and while the wattage is higher, the focal length decreases to power of the machine.

** Trainers (for Norwich 100w)**

**Trainers for Lenox Rotary Device**

We now have trainers for the ULS Rotary Device at Lenox! (Norwich Rotary Tool coming soon!)


  • Tony
  • Dan J.
  • looking for other trainers and maintainers, contact Hapto or Ellen to step up and get involved!

Rules and Etiquette For All The Labs

  • If your project is going to take more than 1 1/2 hours or you need more than one cutter, please reserve the laser cutter on the members-only email list as far as you can in advance. Give grace to any overlap and work it out with other users - we are a shared resource.

  • Check your optics before you start! If the optics are dirty, you will get a bad cut, but more importantly, dirty optics can crack the lens, and decrease the lifespan of the laser tube.
  • Inspect and the optics after you're done. This is being excellent to the next member by cleaning up after yourself, and it will give us a signal on the cameras that any lens related problems are not the result of your inaction.
  • Do not disable safety interlocks without explicit per-instance approval from a laser co-champion.
  • Any print jobs left completely unattended will be immediately stopped. IF YOU FIND THE LAB UNATTENDED WITH THE LASER RUNNING, take a hot minute, to wait (or holler) for a person to return. If they do not return in 3-5 minutes, you are fully authorized to stop the job by turning off the power. Stopping the job will ruin the material and cause the work to be repeated, so take this into consideration.
  • Donation guidelines When using the laser cutters, please abide by the honor system and contribute accordingly. 1$/cut or 5$/hour, plus something for your material if taken from the hackrack.
  • Additionally, If you are making a profit from something at the space (laser cutter or otherwise) the guidelines for the whole makerspace and all the collective tools are that you should be contributing 5% of your intended asking price(not profit realized) towards the machines you are using, in order to pay for their upkeep, and wear and tear. Each recharge of the laser tube costs $2000. If you are an LLC, you need to donate.
  • Remember to price your items accordingly and include this donation in your cost calculations.
  • Please remember that even if you are running your business on these machines, you have no more right to use the machines than any other member. If your business model in the long term depends solely on a makerspace community resource, its time to re-examine your business model.

Helpful tips and resources for laser work!

Applies to All Lasers

  • Use the Honeycomb hooks to hold slightly curvy wood to the laserbed
  • Lift material that doesn't have a back covering with non reflective materials ( scrap material, or wood) to reduce the chance of the honeycomb bed printing on the back side of your piece. a 1/2 cm or more is helpful.
  • MOAR POWAH isn't always better. Some materials burn/char and fuse back together. Test your materials to find the sweetspot for your project.
  • Use the transfer tape to help align your piece for repeated passes aligning lasering on the reverse, and use up scraps without frustration or playing with the x-y access settings.

How to connect your own laptop/ PC to the Makerspace network and print to the lasers from your own technology and licenses

Applies to ULS/Lenox Lasers

  • Test your materials!
  • Do not mess with the deep settings, it will ruin someones day.
  • Break up BIG jobs/ complex vectors or rasters to reduce the chance that it could choke on the file.

Applies to Inkscape use

  • The Hairline setting for Inkscape is .001 INCHES - this may make the line invisible when working in the program, but it will appear when you export it to print.
  • Inkscape files must me exported to pdf and printed from Adobe Acrobat.

Applies to Boss Laser/Lightburn use

  • Lightburn is more of a production software than a design software
  • more TBD

Applies to Purchased Files use

  • When using imported purchased files into CorelDraw, and it “throws zeros” on the laser display, there may be artifacts from the previous creators. You can select all and make global changes and if that doesn't resolve the issue, under the view menu, choose “wireframe” and make the changes there.
  • Make sure your colors are exactly the colors the lasers use and only those colors.

Applies to Rotary Device use

  • Don't watch the laser when doing glass. It flashes and will hurt your eyes.
  • Use basic images. High detail images don't come out as clear.
  • Utilize Ellen's instructions for setting up the device, rather than the book. There are steps left out in the book.

Laser Lab Archive History of Lasercutters and exhaust technology in the history of the Milwaukee Makerspace pre 2022.

areas/laserlabs.txt · Last modified: 2023/09/22 00:06 by wildapricot-kirch_anna