• Home
  • General Laser Cutting Guidelines

General Laser Cutting Guidelines

  • The use of the laser cutters is restricted to the academic work of KU School of Architecture & Design students only. You may not use it for personal projects, work for professional firms, or for academic work outside of KU School of Architecture & Design.
  • Students may not operate the laser cutters. Only trained personnel may operate these machines.
  • In order to budget time efficiently and reduce errors and re-cuts, students must be present while their files are being cut in order to answer any questions that may arise, or to be advised of any remedial CAD work that may be required.
  • The laser operators cannot correct or draw your files for you.
  • All work must be completed within your scheduled time slot. Corrupt files, unsuitable materials, experimentation, etc. all count against your time.
  • Only materials posted on the "Laser Suitable Materials" document may be cut on the lasers.
  • Students must supply all materials. KU School of Architecture & Design does not supply any materials.
  • Students must remove all cut-off, waste and garbage from the laser rooms and clean up after themselves when finished.
  • Come prepared to your appointment.
  • You may not bring work to the laser cutters until you have read and understood all notices and guidelines posted in the laser rooms.
  • Students are required to maintain a high level of respect for the laser operators. Disrespect will result in immediate suspension of laser cutter privileges.

 

Additional information

AutoCad guidelines:

  • Erase all stray lines.
  • Remove all overlapping and duplicate lines. The laser will double cut overlapping lines with very negative results. Use the OVERKILL command.
  • For smoother cuts, all continuous line segments should be joined using the PEDIT/JOIN command.
  • All line widths should remain at zero thickness. If you want scored lines to be thicker, do multiple .004" offsets.  If this is unacceptable, the laser system is capable of engraving virtually any thickness line. However, this involves raster engraving rather than vector scoring and requires considerably more time.
  • The laser's kerf is approximately .008" centered on the drawn line. This will cause the parts that are cut to be slightly smaller than what is drawn. This fact is normally insignificant, but if it is critical to your work, please make a note of it.
  • The rule of thumb for spacing between discrete parts is to allow at least half of the thickness of the material between relatively parallel cuts, particularly on acrylics.
  • For example, if you are using ¼" acrylic, allow 1/8" spacing between individual parts.
  • Use only the six standard colors: red, yellow, green, cyan, blue, and magenta.  If you are scoring/etching, use red as your score/etch line color and a different color for your cut lines.  It’s best to insure that your scoring/etching happens before any cutting.
  • Try to draw everything in AutoCAD. Files drawn in other programs that are then imported or pasted into AutoCAD will cause problems.

Illustrator guidelines:

  • In “Document Setup”, set Artboard Width to 32” and Height to 18”.  All parts to be cut or scored must be ¼” inside this perimeter to avoid bleed problem.
  • Effectively, this makes the cutting area 31-1/2" x 17-1/2".
  • Lines to be cut or scored (rather than engraved) must be expressed as vectors. Select the lines, and in the "Window", "Stroke", drop-down menu assign these elements a stroke of .001". 
  • You must type this in; it is not an option to be selected.
  • Erase all stray lines.
  • Remove all overlapping and duplicate lines. The laser will double-cut overlapping lines, with very negative results.
  • The laser's kerf is approximately .008" centered on the drawn line. This will cause the parts that are cut to be slightly smaller than what is drawn. This fact is normally insignificant, but if it is critical to your work, please make a note of it.
  • The rule of thumb for spacing between discrete parts is to allow at least half of the thickness of the material between relatively parallel cuts, particularly on acrylic.
  • For example, if you are using ¼" acrylic, allow 1/8" spacing between individual parts.
  • Draw everything in Illustrator. Files drawn in other programs that are then imported or pasted into Illustrator will cause problems.

 

General Laser Cutting Guidelines:

Arc/D Calendar of Events

Connect with us online