Equipment/Laser Cutter/Training

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Equipment / Laser Cutter / Training

Laser Cutter Training

This page documents the process for being trained on the Laser Cutter, and the list of members who have completed that training.


Training takes place in three main steps:

  • Group Training of 1-4 members, going through the equipment and how to use it (~1hr)
  • Individual Training Task, where an individual member is set a task to complete to prove and improve understanding (~30min each)

Training on the Laser Cutter is run by the Laser Cutter Owners. The Laser Cutter Owners are a group of people responsible for maintaining and training on the laser cutter, and hence have been trained to train, and trained to perform the weekly and monthly maintenance on the laser cutter.


Sessions are advertised on

  • For discussing training, or requesting additional slots if needed, use the mailing list thread: Training : Laser Cutter


  • You can only be trained if you have your name allocated to a slot (groups will be restricted to four at a time, so please don't make up additional spaces)
  • You must do the group and individual training on the same day

Trained Users

The following members of Makespace are owner/trainers of the laser cutter:

  • Mat Cook

The following members of Makespace are trainers on the laser cutter:

  • Brian Starkey
  • Katy Marshall
  • David Barham

The following members of Makespace are owners on the laser cutter:

  • Diana Probst
  • Mat Cook

Training Cheatsheet

The training structure and prompt sheet. Please note, this is used by the Laser Cutter Owners as a prompt to ensure training is executed in a consistent and complete fashion is included on this page; this does not constitute and is not a substitute for the training itself.

Group Training

The group training introduction structure, suitable for 1-4 members at a time in a 1 hr session.

Introduction of main components

  • Laser
  • Cutting Mechanics
  • Water Cooler System
  • Filter
  • PC
  • Materials (what it can cut, supply)

Checks for everyone to do

  • Check in use, looks ok
  • Check water bath, temperature

Powering Up

  • Turning on filter (Tick = ok, Warning = tell the owners, Cross = don't use it and tell the owners)
  • Turning on Laser and warmup, what to do if doesn't power up
  • Turning on PC and starting software

LaserCut Project walkthrough (using M+S+text keyring example)

  • Package function, drawing, import file types
  • Bed dimensions
  • Paths, yellow dots, 'united' shapes
  • Blue dot, Immediate mode
  • Layers and colours
  • Through cut, surface cut and engraving, speeds and strengths
  • Various steps to build keyring design (shapes, text, uniting, layers, alignment, scaling, layers)
  • Job ordering
  • Saving
  • Download as immediate, delete, download current

Laser Operation

  • Lid
  • Control panel, escape
  • Moving head XY, indicator laser, datum
  • Moving Z
  • Focus
  • Start position and test
  • Start, pause and emergency stop function
  • Do job, pause/open lid, restart

Laser Hazards

  • Process and progression for normal operation failure (fire) - pause, open, move, CO2
  • Process for abnormal operation failure (mechanical/jam) - emergency stop, open, move, CO2
  • Ensure confident of process

Power Down

  • Switch off laser
  • Switch off filtration
  • Clean any residue from the bed or bottom tray
  • Close lid

Individual Training Task

The individual task to get familiar, prompt questions and check understanding:


  • Make a personalised focus tool
  • Square acrylic of appropriate size
  • Member's name, "Focus Tool", keychain hole
  • Should use full cut, surface cut, engrave
  • Should demonstrate all steps, size, appropriate ordering, positioning


  • Set individual to work, don't prompt but do answer questions (or pose if needed)
  • Talk through design once done, question/check things etc
  • Proceed to lasering (watch carefully all steps)
  • Ask to stop job/restart, question escalation process

Assuming all ok:

  • Get them to read the health and safety notes about operation and materials
  • Add to the trained member list!

Project Oversight

For next 2-3 projects, ensure member will find another more experienced trained user to support them (second pair of eyes)