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Laser Engraving & Cutting

A guide to PPLD's laser engravers/cutters


At this point, the material should already be in the laser and the lens should be focused. If not, review the steps from the Machine Setup tab before proceeding.

Using the Cutter

After sending your file to the laser:

  • The latest job sent should be displayed on the cutter’s screen.
    • If this is the first job sent, it will  say “Job 1: File Name” or, if the file has not been saved "Job 1: Untitled-1."
    • Subsequent jobs will be numbered Job 2, Job 3, etc.
  • Make sure the ventilation system is on before using.
    • The location of the switch will vary by branch; please ask a staff member if you do not know where it is.
  • Make sure the Air Assist is on (unless you are using paper, fabric, or glass).
  • If everything is ready to go, make sure the lid is closed and press the green Go button.
  • If anything goes wrong, press the red Stop button and lift the lid.
  • Do not leave the laser cutter unattended while it’s running.
    • If you have to leave, press the Stop button and wait for it to stop before leaving.
    • Press the Go button again to resume.
  • Do not lift the lid of the laser while it is running, except if the material is catching fire.
    • Wait until the job is complete to lift the lid - the laser carriage will return to the home position and beep when it is finished.
  • If you want to cancel a job, press Stop and then Reset. If you select the job again, it will start from the beginning.

Next Job

Once a job is finished running:

  1. Before moving the material, decide if the whole job, engraving portion, or vectoring portion need to be run again.
    • The same job with the same settings can be run a second time by hitting Go.
    • Otherwise, you will need to adjust the settings and/or change the job type on the computer, then resend the job.
    • If you move the material before resending the job, it may not align exactly and create a ghosting effect.
  2. Once you are satisfied with the results, remove your material and any leftover pieces/debris from the laser bed.
  3. Place your next piece of material in the laser (if applicable).
    • Make sure to refocus the laser if the thickness is different from the prior piece.
    • The same job with the same settings can be run again by hitting Go, otherwise use the computer to make changes and send a new job to the laser.


When you are done with the laser cutter:

  • Remove your material and any scraps/debris from the bed.
    • You do not need to remove any bits that fell through the cutting grid, just those on top.
  • If you are planning on working on the same project again, make sure to save your file somewhere other than to the computer.
    • A flash drive is recommended.
    • Any files saved to the computer will be automatically deleted when the computer is restarted.
  • Close out any programs you were using, remove any flash drives, then restart the computer.
  • Turn the Air Assist off.
  • Leave the laser cutter and ventilation on unless staff instruct otherwise.
  • Return everything to it's proper location. Take all personal property with you.
  • Let the staff member on duty know that you are done.
  • Do not clean the machine. If it is exceptionally dirty, please let a staff member know.