PaxSpace Laser Cutter Information

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This page is a work in progress.

This page is to serve as a central location for laser cutter safety, material use, and setup.

Laser Cutter Safety

Laser cutters can be extremely dangerous if not used correctly. Never operate the laser cutters at PaxSpace without the required training. In order to mitigate risk of injury to people or damage to the machine, the following shall be followed.

  • DO NOT LEAVE THE MACHINE UNATTENDED WHILE THE LASER IS ON.
    • Again, do not leave the machine unattended while the laser is on. Please properly shut down the machine completely before stepping away, even "for a moment".
    • With high powered lasers come a risk of fire. This would not only damage the working material but can damage the machine and PaxSpace. Multiple methods of fire mitigation are provided for your use if needed. These will be detailed for you at your training session.
  • Never try to operate the laser with the machine lids open.
    • High powered lasers can blind an operator or nearby onlooker instantly.
  • Never cut or engrave unapproved, found, "discount", or unmarked materials.
    • Certain materials carry a wide variety of dangers. These include things like dangerous fumes, increased fire risk, or dust that will damage the machine.
    • Found and unmarked materials (such as those in scrap bins) aren't guaranteed to be what you believe they are. As some materials, especially plastics, can look identical between different types, it is best to avoid these in the laser cutter. Please feel free to cut them on the various saws, routers, and CNC machines PaxSpace offers instead.
    • For the same reason found and unmarked materials should not be used, avoid using discount materials whose price seems "too good to be true". Online sellers will often confuse or intentionally change the descriptions of materials in order to sell their stock.
  • Do not attempt to defeat the safety mechanisms or alter the machine.
    • The machine has been fitted with various safety mechanisms to prevent unsafe operation. Defeating them not only puts you at risk but anyone around you at risk. If you need to engrave something that is too large to sit flat on the bed, find a way to cut it down or cut/engrave a veneer instead.
  • Keep all liquids and food away from the machine at all times.
    • The laser is a high voltage machine. While it is grounded, spilled liquids could cause shorts that could energize the chassis of the laser to dangerous voltages.
    • Do not attempt to engrave food items on the laser. The chemicals created by cutting other materials are not safe to consume. In addition, crumbs and juices are difficult to clean out of the machine.