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Laser cutter-related policy violations have consequences. Some of these will incur fines, some will involve access suspension, and others will have both.

Access & Certification

To use the laser cutters, you must:

*To become certified, you must:

  1. Email the Tech Desk to request to be added to the Laser Cutter Certification course
    1. Please check that you aren't already in the course before reaching out
  2. Review all of the material in each module and complete the quizzes with 100%
    • You only have three attempts to receive a 100%
      • Email the Tech Desk to request an additional attempt if you require more than three
    • Take your time and read each question carefully
    • Incorrect answers will point you toward the page you still need to review
  3. Score a 100% on the "Laser Cutter Certification Exam"
    • You only have three attempts to receive a 100%
      • Email the Tech Desk to request an additional attempt if you require more than three
    • Take your time and read each question carefully
  4. Only after scoring a 100% on all Quizzes and the Exam, schedule a time for in-person training with a member of the Tech Desk staff through Forms
    • We will contact you within 2 business days to schedule training
    • Once certified, you will be added to the registry of certified users for the laser cutters

Approved Materials

Prohibited Materials

Health and Safety

  • Although this system uses a CO2 laser that could damage your eyes or skin with direct contact, it uses both a system of safety interlocks and an IR-absorbing window on the top door, making the laser cutter safe to use without goggles or other safety gear
    • Please note that the intense light that appears during the engraving or cutting process is the product of material combustion or vaporization
    • Do not stare at the bright light or risk damage to your eyes
    • Certain materials require close supervision, but you should still avoid looking directly at the combustion/vaporization
    • Additionally, the Red Dot Pointer that appears on the material is just a positioning help, not the laser beam itself; however, do not stare at the Red Dot Pointer or risk damage to your eyes.
    • Lastly, the machine doors are safety-interlocked and will disable the CO2 laser beam from firing when the doors are opened. The Red Dot Pointer is NOT safety interlocked and can be activated with the door(s) either open or closed

You must have a reservation to use the laser cutter.  Reservations can be made with the desk staff during our open hours.  Laser cutting is $5/hour.

How to Prepare Your File

How to Use the Laser Cutter

Settings/Materials

 

Lime powder MSDS

Laser Cutter Policies

  • In order to use the laser cutter the student, faculty, or staff must (1) have gone through a laser cutter training session for the laser cutter in question and (2) have a valid reservation made through the Service Desk.
  • Reservations for the laser cutter must be made in person at the Service Desk and the cost is $5.00 per hour.
  • The minimum reservation length is 30 minutes, the maximum reservation length is 3 hours.
  • Each user is limited to a maximum of 3 hours per week of laser cutter reservations. Each week begins when the lab opens Monday and ends at lab closing on Sunday night. Same-day reservations do not count against your weekly limit and may be reserved without any limits.
  • During times of high use, a wait list will be made available at the Service Desk. If you do not arrive within 15 minutes of your scheduled start time, staff will make the laser cutter available to the top of the wait list. If you are going to be more than 15 minutes late for your reservation, call the Service Desk at 512-471-4817 to avoid losing the rest of your time.
  • If you notice that the laser cutter requires cleaning or maintenance, please notify the computer lab staff at 512-471-1189 immediately, any reservation time lost to maintenance or cleaning will be reimbursed with equivalent time or with returned BevoBucks
    • .
  • Operating the laser cutter in any unsafe way can result in a fine up to the amount of damage caused to your health and/or the laser cutter. These guidelines are covered in the laser cutter training session. For example, a replacement lens for the XL-12000 costs $800 
    • Unsafe practices include (, but are not limited to):
      • Leaving the laser cutter unattended while it is running.
      • Cutting materials that are not on the acceptable materials list.
  • There will be a $50 fine assessed for operating the laser cutter without a reservation.
  • There will be a $200 fine assessed for operating the laser cutter without the appropriate training, with another $200 fine for the person who allowed you access to the system.
      • Prohibited Materials list
        • Many of the Prohibited Materials emit toxic gas
      • Tampering with the laser cutter's safety mechanisms

      • Turning off the Air Assist feature

      • 'Sandwiching' more flammable material between less-flammable materials. (i.e. a sheet of cardboard between two layers of chipboard, etc.) The result could easily be a FIRE!
  • IN CASE OF FIRE, IMMEDIATELY PRESS THE EMERGENCY STOP BUTTON (located on top of the laser) AND USE THE FIRE EXTINGUISHER (located near the door). 

General

  • If the laser cutter computers aren't logged in, notify staff at the Technology Desk
    • Only the Technology Desk staff
    If you are having EID access problems with the laser cutter systems, contact Service Desk at 512-471-1189. Only the Service Desk staff
    • are permitted to give you access to the system
    .
    • Do not
    get another student to
    • log in
    for you, as this can result in the fines listed above.
  • Students with outstanding fines will not be permitted to use any Service Desk resources until the fines are paid in full.
  • Laser cutter reservations must be canceled 24 hours in advance in order to receive a refund. Cancellations within 24 hours will only be refunded if the original reservation holder finds another person to take the reservation. This policy also applies to unused time at the end of a reservation.  
  • Laser cutter reservations are non-transferable, the person listed on the reservation must be present during the operation of the laser cutter for their reservation. The applies to group projects. The person on the reservation is the person who is officially responsible for the laser cutter during their reservation.
  • In the event of laser cutter downtime due to repairs or other unforeseen circumstances, users will be notified by email and reimbursed with a new reservation or on their bevobucks upon their next visit to Service Desk.
    • using your own EID credentials, as the software is only configured under our account
  • Operating the laser cutter without (a) being trained AND (b) paying the subscription fee will result in privileges being revoked
  • If you notice that the laser cutter requires cleaning or maintenance, please notify the Technology Desk staff immediately in person or by calling 512-471-1189

Policy Violations

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If you cancel your reservation...

  • More than 2 hours before your reservation...
    • There is no charge
  • Less than 2 hours before your reservation...
    • You will be fined $2.50 per 30 minutes of the reserved time
  • Less than 1 hour before your reservation...
    • You will be fined $5.00 per 30 minutes of the reserved time


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If you have not arrived within 5 minutes (on time for certifications) of your reservation start time...

  • We will cancel your reservation
  • You will be fined $10 per 30 minutes of the reserved time
  • You will be added to the Greylist*

If you leave the laser cutter room to go purchase materials, etc...

  • Your reservation will be canceled

If you cut without a Subscription (after the 12th class day)...

  • You will be Subscribed
    • The $50 fee will be added to your WIO
  • You will be fined $100

If you damage a part of the laser cutter...

  • You will be fined the cost of replacement
  • You will be added to the Greylist*

If you cut plastic or wood on Laser Cutters 3, 4, or 5...

  • You will be added to the Blacklist** for two weeks
  • You will remain on the Greylist* after the two-week suspension for the current semester
  • Your certification will be revoked, and you must go through the certification process again after your suspension

If you cut prohibited material...

  • You will be added to the Blacklist** for the remainder of the semester
  • You will remain on the Greylist* for the next semester
  • Your certification will be revoked, and you must go through the certification process again the following semester

Greylist & Blacklist

Violations include:

  • Cutting without being certified
  • Cutting without a subscription
  • Cutting banned materials
  • Cutting acrylic or wood on laser cutters 3, 4, or 5
  • Damaging equipment
  • Sharing a subscription
  • Being in the Laser Cutter room or Robotics Lab without being certified and subscribed
  • No-show/late to a reservation
  • Cutting a file with an estimated run time that's longer than your remaining reservation time

The consequences are listed below. 

  • 1st Offense - Warning - Greylist
  • 2nd Offense - Two-Week Suspension - Blacklist
    • You may not use any services related to Patron Portal for two weeks
  • 3rd Offense - Semester-Long Suspension - Blacklist
    • You may not use any services related to Patron Portal until the first class day of the next semester

For any questions about the content of these messages, please contact us:

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