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Laser Engraving & Cutting

A guide to PPLD's laser engravers/cutters

General Safety


  • Every location has basic first aid supplies with items like, bandages, anti-septic wipes, burn creams, etc.
  • If you need anything, help yourself. If you need assistance, let a staff member know.
  • Inform the staff member on duty immediately, even if you treat yourself.
  • Note: The library cannot give any kind of ingested medication (including over-the-counter pain relief) to a minor. If someone under the age of 18 needs such medication, a legal guardian will need to be present.


The library reserves the right to prohibit or stop any project that the staff deems a risk to people, the building, and/or the equipment. Projects that produce strong odors may also be prohibited if they are causing discomfort to any patron or staff in the makerspace.

Machine Specific Safety


As long as you are following procedure and using the presets, fire is very unlikely. However, you still need to know what to do in the event of a fire.

  • First, open the lid.
    • While the lens will continue moving, the laser itself will stop firing.
    • This cuts off the heat source, which will often cause the fire to extinguish on its own.
  • Second, stop the machine.
    • Either press the stop button or shut the power off.
  • Anything that was burning needs to be extinguished, preferably by smothering it.
    • If it cannot be smothered, there are fire extinguishers available in each makerspace.
  • Regardless of how big the fire was or how it was put out, let a staff member know immediately.
    • The machine must be cleaned and inspected by staff after a fire.


What to watch for

Small amounts of smoke, sparks, and tiny flames are normal, especially when using the laser to cut. However, it is considered a safety hazard and the job must be stopped immediately if:

  • the flames are spreading
  • it is leaving a trail of smoldering embers
  • it is producing large amounts of smoke


Other Issues

  • Do not attempt to clean up broken glass; notify a staff member to take care of it.
  • Aerosols cannot be applied in the makerspaces.
  • Safety equipment is available, though not required. Equipment includes:
    • Safety goggles
    • Aprons
    • Heat resistant gloves
    • Non-latex gloves
    • Tinted glasses