Even though the BTU lab's Laser Cutter is a wonderful resource for our upcoming project, there are a few reasons why you might find yourself needing or even preferring to use the Laser Cutter right here at the VAC. When making this decision, consider the following:
· Considering the BTU Lab’s traffic and the flow of projects for ATLAS classes, the Laser Cutter in the BTU lab might not always be easily available, especially in the months of March and April.
· You can’t do a laser cut by yourself at the BTU lab and need a "Laser Master" to help you out. If you have an erratic schedule, it might be harder to schedule a time with a Laser Master.
· You can use the Laser Cutter in the VAC on your own as long as you come in during open shop hours (found here: http://tinyurl.com/Woodshop-Calendar )
· You have to be able to convert your cuts into a PDF for the BTU Lab Laser Cutter. Meanwhile, the cuts from the VAC Laser Cutter prints straight from Adobe Illustrator on the Laser Cutter room’s computer.
If you’re in a spot where going to the VAC Laser Cutter is optimal, here are the necessary steps to cut out your laser cuts successfully!
**DISCLAIMER: I'm not an expert on the Laser Cutter nor a Woodshop Monitor. I do have quite a bit of experience with the Cutter and would like to pass on my knowledge to y'all is all.**
STEP 1: FIND THE LASER CUTTER
The Laser Cutter room is in the back of the woodshop on the 2nd floor. There, you will find two computer work stations, a 3D printer, a banner-sized Vinyl Cutter, and, of course, the Laser Cutter.
STEP 2: FIGURE OUT WHAT YOU CAN CUT
The VAC is very strict on what you can cut. Luckily, there are useful graphics on top of the Laser Cutter that go indepth on what and what not to cut. If you have a material that you’re still not sure you can cut, ask Bill Rumley or Evan for further assistance. NOTE: ONLY CAST ACRYLIC IS ALLOWED; PLEXIGLASS AND EXTRUDED ACRYLIC IS FORBIDDEN.
ALSO NOTE whether or not your material fits inside the Laser Cutter’s bed or if it is too thick to cut. Woodshop monitors should be able to assist you in cutting the material into the appropriate size if it is too big. As for thickness, there is a chart next to the computers (which you will later go back to when setting up the cut on the computer) that shows what materials in what thickness can be cut.