Equipment Guide

Laser Cutter

Located in Clean Prototyping

The Laser Cutter is a machine that allows for precision cutting or etching onto surfaces such as wood and acrylic. The machine uses a consentrated laser to burn through the material to cut desired designs.

Guide Last Updated: Fall 2022

Example Projects Materials Software Warnings Instructions Troubleshooting

Example Projects

These are a few example projects to give some ideas of what this tool can help create:

Example 1 Example 2 Example 3

Usable Materials

When using this piece of equipment, please use materials from this list below:


*The links to find these products are not the only place you can buy material from, just a reference*

Dangerous Materials

  • Lexan
  • Material with paint or stain on it
  • Plastic
  • Flamable Material

If the material that you want to use is not listed, ask Zane about testing new materials.

Helpful Software

These applications are often used to help create a project with this piece of equipment:


  • BossLaser (Laser Cutting Software already Installed on computer)
  • Inkscape (A design creation tool)
  • Fusion 360 (3D modeling software)
    • Signing up with your Berry.Edu email will provide you access to the FREE student version


If you need help setting up or using software, please ask a Lab Assistant for help!

Tool Warnings

If any of these things occur, take precaution and get a lab director:

Dangerous Signs

  • Material catches fire
    • Stop the cut
    • Put out fire (Or take material outside)
  • Loud, uncommon grinding noises occur
    • Stop the cut, something may be caught or broken
  • Toxic smell appears
    • Stop the cut immediately and leave the lid CLOSED (Keeping the vent on is key)
    • Get Zane or a Lab Director before continuing cut

This piece of equipment is always to be supervised while in use. Never leave the Laser Cutter while there is a cut in progress.

Equipment Instructions

If you have already used this piece of equipment before, below is a short guide to get you ready to create.

If this is your first time using this piece of equipment, please ask a Lab Assisant for supervision and advice!

Quickstart Guide
Prepare your design

  • Step 1: Save design as a DXF file (R14 is best if there is an option)
  • Step 2: In the BossLaser Software Click "File" then "Import"
  • Step 3: Scale design on software using the measurements in the top left corner of BossLaser
    • Select your design before scaling
    Example 1
  • Step 4: Verify that machine is set to cut your specific material (See below)

Laser Cutter Settings

  • Verify you can see your design in the software
  • Example 1
  • Adjust Material Settings
    • If cutting and etching, select the path you would like to cut. Then select a color to cut with
    • Example 1
    • Repeat in a different color with paths you want to etch on
    • The right pannel shows your layers, if you are cutting and etching you should see multiple layers
    • Example 1
    • Double click the color of the layer you would like to cut with
    • Click "Paramater Library" to open the cut settings
    • Select the type of material you are trying to cut, then click "Load"
    • Double click on the color of the material you are cutting with to open the settings menu
    • Example 1
    • Repeat with other layers if also etching your material

Cutting Your Material

  • Step 1: Request a Lab Assistant to level the Laser Cutter bed
  • Step 2: Have a Lab Assistant look over your design, and then click "Cut" in the bottom right of BossLaser
  • Step 3: Keep an eye on the Laser Cutter throughout the entire process to make sure nothing is burning

Helpful Videos

Exporting a DXF from Fusion 360 (2022)

Exporting a DXF from Fusion 360 (2022)

Simple Troubleshooting

If something is not working, here are a few things to check:

  • File not showing up?
    • Make sure your file is saved as a DXF
    • Make sure you are looking in the correct folder
    • Make sure you clicked "Import" and not "Open"

  • DXF lines look werid?
    • If you did a bit map trace in Inkscape, try doing the process again at a different threshold
    • See if you can delete 'extra' lines, sometimes DXF picks up some imperfections that need to be deleted
    • If you have converted the design from a PNG/JPG to a DXF, your design may be too complex and you may need a more simplistic design

  • Not Cutting?
    • Is the Laser Cutter on?
    • Make sure tempature is not above 28C
    • Make sure the "Output" is set to "Yes" on the layers tab (double click it if it says "No")