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Laser Engraving & Cutting

A guide to PPLD's laser engravers/cutters

Glossary of Terms

  • Raster Engraving - Burning a design onto the surface of a material. For the purpose of using the lasers, the terms Rastering and Etching are interchangeable.   
  • Vector Cutting - Cutting through a material. Often simply called Cutting.


  • Raster Image - A common type of image that is comprised of a matrix of pixel color values. Example formats include .png, .jpg, and .tiff.
  • Vector Image - A less common type of image that is comprised of line paths. The most common format is .svg


  • Color Mapping - A method of assigning different settings to sections of the image based on color (see Advanced Techniques for more)
  • Rotary - An attachment available that slowly rotates an object as it is engraved (see Advanced Techniques for more)
  • Open Hours - The hours that the makerspace will be open, which are more limited than the hours the library is open (see Home for more)
  • Badging - Training on using the laser cutters that will enable you to use the machines on your own (see Badging for more)
  • Edging - Outlining an engraved image with vector lines (see Advanced Techniques for more)
  • Vectorization - Converting a raster image into a vector image (see Vectorizing Images for more)

Additional Resources