Laser Cutter Member Guidelines
As anticipated, the laser cutter is living up to be the most popular tool in the lab. Thank you to everyone for being patient while we’ve organized a scheduling/booking system. The purpose of this system is to make it easier for members to use & share. This system is now live, and the details are outlined below (amongst other guidelines that might have changed since you heard/read them last). The booking system will come in to effect as of this coming Monday 4th April.
BOOKING THE LASER
The laser can be booked in 30 minute increments at $5 per 30 minutes. You can book it weeks in advance, or immediately when you’re in the shop (if it’s not already booked). At the moment you can only book the laser in maximum 2 hour slots, and if you need more than 2 hours per day, get in touch with a staff member (at the lab or by email) to arrange.
Follow these steps to book the laser:
- If you haven’t already, make a personal account in our software platform by clicking “Sign up” in the top right hand corner and filling in your details.
- Once logged in, it’s easiest to click on the “MY INFO” tab and insert your billing info (credit card details) in to the “billing information” section, if it’s not already there. This will make it super easy for you to book laser time or buy materials from us in the future without having to reenter your info. If you’re a member, there’s a good chance your billing info might already be in there.
- Click on the “APPOINTMENTS” tab
- Click “tool use” and wait for the page to refresh
- Click “browse appointment schedule” on the top right
- Click on “week” in the top right to see the entire week of options, and then use the arrow keys to navigate to the day you want.
- Click on the "time" you’d like to start using the laser.
- In the next screen, you can adjust the amount of time (30min2 hours) and the start time (the end time will autochange depending on the time period).
- Select “book appointment” when you’re ready, and proceed to check out.
Use the code MemberLaser to claim your first 2 hours per month of laser time as included in membership.
LASER USE GUIDELINES
- You must be in the laser room if the laser is firing. If you need to leave the laser room momentarily, pause the machine, and restart when you return. Even if it is a material you’ve cut many times, there always a possibility it could catch fire or produce lots of smoke which is dangerous to the laser. It is possible there could be materials in/on/under the bed that could cause this. If you’d prefer not to waste your time babysitting the laser, you can always prop your laptop on top of the machine and work there, while having the laser in your line of sight.
- Do not leave air compressor on if you are not using the machine. It is noisy and the air compressorcan burn out.
- While we work on a more long term solution (a soundproof door and automated fan), we ask that members be mindful of reducing fan noise. Ideally, we ask that pressing “start” on the laser be preceded by turning on the fan (i.e. Fan on > Laser Start) and that the “beep” of the laser finishing the job is signal to the user to turn the fan off (i.e. “beep” > Fan Off > Lid Open). Of course, this does increase the risk of forgetting to turn the fan on before firing, which is a safety priority above all. Practise the steps at your own discretion and at the very least, please don’t leave the fan on while the laser is sitting idle, especially when there is a workshop happening in the space.
- Clean cutoffs off the bed after you are done cutting. If you are cutting small pieces of soft material (paper or fabric), please use the shop vac to remove them from the bed. Clean work surfaces will make everyone’s cuts better.
- Do not leave large scrap pieces in the laser room. It is a small room and there is no space to store scrap. Keep your large scraps in the storage racks in the back of the lab. We’ll be revamping our member storage solutions over coming weeks to make this even easier.
- If you are cutting pieces from communal scrap, please conserve material and cut it from corners/edges and not from the center of the piece. This makes more free scrap for everyone! Communal scrap is only located in the wire mesh shelves next to the elevator. Any other acrylic pieces, even those with things already cut out of them are for sale, not scrap.
- Full sheets of acrylic / ply / cardboard are also now systemized and for sale for cheap! We will be posting the pricing online, but see below for a screenshot.
- When using the laser cutter (and any tool in the lab), a staff member or volunteer on duty may check in with you and the tool. We want to check that it’s working properly for you, and to ensure that you and the tool are working safely. We do this very frequently, especially in these earlier days.
- If you’re ever at all unsure, or have a question, please don’t hesitate to ask!