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Laser cutting and etching: Media and Maker Commons

 

COVID-19: Media and Maker Commons services

Limited by-appointment services for SFU Instructors only are available in the Media and Maker Commons.

All SFU Libraries are currently closed to in-person use due to the COVID-19 virus.

We continue to offer online and virtual support where possible.

 

The Media and Maker Commons has one Trotec Speedy 400 laser engraver available for use by the SFU community.

laster cutter

Before using the laser cutter available at the MMC, you will need to complete two levels of training: online (via Canvas) and in-person.

Training

Online training in Canvas

The online training covers:

  • orientation to the Media and Maker Commons
  • safety guidelines that you need to follow
  • basic operation principles

Hands-on training with Media and Maker Commons staff

After you finished the online training, book a training slot (appointment) on the Canvas site. In this training, you will learn the minimum skills required to operate the Trotec Speedy 400 laser engraver. If you are not already familiar with laser engraving and cutting, you will learn the basic operation principles needed to use the equipment.

Please note, All SFU Libraries are currently closed to in-person use due to the COVID-19 virus.  This includes the Media and Maker Commons.  We continue to offer online and virtual support where possible.

Laser cutting and engraving equipment and materials

The machine works by projecting a laser beam on the surface of the material, exposing it to a great deal of heat. When the laser beam touches the surface of the material, it heats it up to the point that it melts or vaporizes. During the engraving process, based on the exposure time, the surface color changes and creates contrast. Cutting is when the material burns and evaporates and the beam completely goes through the material.

The control of the pattern followed by the laser is as easy as printing. First, you create the pattern using any design software (CorelDraw, Photoshop, AutoCAD, Illustrator, InkScape, etc.). Then, you use the printer driver to send the graphic to the laser. At the push of a button, your selected material is laser engraved or laser cut with the stored settings. 

The Media and Maker Commons have one Trotec Speedy 400 laser engraver available. The working area of the laser engraver is 1428 x 952 x 1050 mm (W x D x H).

Please note that only materials obtained from our staff at the Media and Maker Commons are allowed.

Booking and using the Laser Engraver

After you finish the hands-on training YOU ARE READY TO WORK! The laser engraver is available during opening hours in working time slots of 45 minutes, which can be reserved using Canvas. If you need additional working time you can reserve up to three working time slots consecutively.

When you come to the Media and Maker Commons wait for our staff to set you up.  They will check your design, give you advice if needed and check that the machine is ready to work.

Examples

Below are some examples of different applications for a laser cutter and engraver.