Laser Cutting & Etching at the Library

The Laser cutter is an extremely versatile tool for cutting on thin materials such as balsa wood sheets to create beautiful stencils but it can also etch an image or picture onto slightly thicker material such as acrylic or glass. We've helped create lots of different projects for patrons with the Laser Cutter, from customized jewelry for sale to dedication plaques as gifts! 

So what is Laser Cutting and etching?

A laser cutter uses a laser to remove material to create precise cuts. The laser cutter cuts from a vector design file and the laser draws along the vectors lines at variable intensities and speeds to create different depths. You can cut straight through the material or you can create lighter marks that leave behind an etched design. 

What Materials Can I Use?

  • Natural Wood
  • Natural Fabric
  • Paper
  • Uncoated Cardboard
  • Tile, Stone & Glass
  • Acrylic Plastic
  • Birch Craft Plywood
  • Natural Leather

Other materials are subject to Staff approval. PVC and chloride-containing materials are prohibited. Materials or job settings which produce excessive smoke, odor or flames will be restricted. Prepared samples of some of these materials are available in the Lab to provide example settings for the laser cutter. You can always bring your material and get a consultation with the staff member before your Maker appointment.

Feeling inspired?  There are lots of possibilities with a laser cutter— you are only limited by your imagination and your creative skills. You can sign up for the orientation hereor contact Maker Central or a HCPL Innovation Lab for available times or if you have more questions.