Laser Cutter Policies

Policies   Selecting materials    Generating a DXF file    Loading a file onto the laser cutter    Laser cutting a part   Power and Speed settings

Students become eligible to qualify for use of the IDeATe laser cutters by enrolling in or completing an eligible IDeATe course, by completing an IDeATe-approved workshop which teaches laser cutting, or by reciprocity if they are already authorized to use the laser cutters at TechSpark.  IDeATe faculty and staff are also eligible to qualify, upon request.

To qualify for access and receive login privileges, an eligible user must also complete all of the following required safety trainings, regardless of their campus role, course enrollment, or qualifications at other facilities:

  1. the online Laser Cutter Safety module offered by CMU Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S),
  2. the in-person Fire Extinguisher Training class offered by EH&S, and
    • Due to Covid-19 protocols, EH&S are temporarily offering this class over Zoom. Sign up for a synchronous session via BioRAFT.
  3. an equipment-specific safety training conducted by IDeATe staff, available online as a two-video series: Part 1 and Part 2. Total watch time is approximately 20 minutes.

If you meet all of the requirements above, you should automatically be included in the groups permitted to login to the laser cutter and access the laser cutter room during staffed hours.  Access can take up to 24 hours to be activated once all requirements are validated as completed.  If you are denied access and think you should have access, send email to explaining why you meet all the requirements listed above.

When you are using the IDeATe laser cutters, you must:

  1. Have a buddy at all times, who is physically present in the room, remains attentive, and is capable of assisting in an emergency.
    • If, for any reason, you do not have a buddy, even for a brief moment, laser cutter operation must immediately be stopped by pressing the “pause” button, and cannot resume until you have a buddy again.
  2. Prior to operating a laser cutter, perform a “Hot Work Check” and sign the log sheet.
  3. Follow all safety procedures posted around the Fabrication Lab.
  4. Know the location of all fire extinguishers, emergency stop buttons, emergency phone, and emergency exits.
  5. Be sure that you are cutting an approved material.
  6. Clean up after yourself:
    • Clean off the laser cutter bed, but don’t try to lift the grid. If you need to get under the grid, get one of the IDeATe staff to help you.
    • Throw out small pieces of scrap in the appropriate bin.
    • Put scrap pieces that have uncut areas that are at least 3″ x 3″ into the appropriate (same color, same material) storage slot.

Failure to adhere to the above regulations or to cooperate with IDeATe staff can result in revocation of laser cutter privileges.