LASER CUTTERS & CNC ROUTER

The Faculty has two large format laser cutters and a large 3 axis CNC Router. These are located in the SWS Workshop 11.0013


LASER CUTTERS – CO2

  • Bed size: RED machine – 910x600mm  BLUE machine – 800x450mm
  • Materials: most apart from PVC and can only score and raster certain metals
  • Max thickness: Acrylic 12mm  MDF/PLY 6mm
  • Sign-up sheet next to each Laser Cutter in the workshop

Operation and H&S induction is given during 1st use of the machine by a workshop staff member PDF Laser Cutter Operation Guide 

Artwork settings

  • RGB colour profile
  • Is at the right scale – the size you want the model
  • No double lines
  • Fits onto the material – 5mm offset/gap around the edge
  • Min 1mm spacing between objects to be cut
  • Any text which requires cutting or scoring will need to be expanded [Object > Expand > Un-check Fill > Click OK]

Save As

  • AutoCAD > save as > .DXF 2000
  • Rhino > exported selected > .DXF > R12 Natural
  • Illustrator > save as > .AI

Cost £6 per 30min. Laser token available via the estore  you only pay for the time the machine is cutting

Laser Cutter operation and safe use  


CNC Router – 3 Axis 

  • Bed size: 2440x1220mm
  • MDF, PLY, Timber, PU Model Board, Acrylic, Extruded Polystyrene Foam, Plaster and Jesmonite
  • 1 or 2 sided 2D & 3D cutting/machining
  • Consultation and file drop-off booked via sign-up sheet on the Workshop office door 11.0012

Workshop staff members will program all 3D cutting files and tools paths. Face to face operation and H&S induction for 2D cutting will be giving to specific staff and students – depending on frequency of use

Artwork settings – 2D cutting – outlines 

  • No double lines 
  • Path/points of a shape must be joined 
  • Is at the right scale – the size you want the model
  • Adequate spacing between objects – this depends on diameter of cutter being used. but tends to be >
  • 10mm 
  • Min 5mm between artwork and edge of material 
  • Use separate layers for objects using multiple paths/cuts

Artwork settings – 3D cutting – 3D model 

  • Book/sign-up for file consultation before buying material 
  • Is at the right scale – the size you want the model
  • Save separate objects as individual  STL/OBJ files 
  • Geometry has no undercuts – see tool limitation below  
  • Fine details do not exceed the tools max cutting length

2D save as:

  • AutoCAD > save as > .DXF 2000
  • Rhino > exported selected > .DXF > R12 Natural
  • Illustrator > save as > .AI

3D save as:

  • 3D modelling software > export as/selected > .STL or .OBJ

Tool types and limitations 

Cost £15 per hr. Workshop Staff member will advise of cutting cost once item has been machined. All payment made via the estore  

CNC operation and safe use


Material suppliers

  • SBS printing – Stockwell Street Shop (Laser)
  • modelshop.co.uk/ (CNC & laser)
  • slecuk.com/ (Laser)
  • kitronik.co.uk/ (Laser)
  • hamaracrylic.com/ (CNC & Laser)
  • heart-educational.co.uk/ (Laser)
  • technologysupplies.co.uk/ (CNC & Laser)
  • morgantimber.co.uk/ (CNC)
  • toolsandtimber.co.uk/ (CNC)
  • easycomposites.co.uk (CNC)
  • wickes.co.uk (CNC)

Bring your own material – scraps and off-cuts may be available from the workshop

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