Laser Manual

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You are staring at the massive Kaitian CM1309 100W laser cutter that is one of Noisebridge's mightiest resources.
Laser water estop.jpg

EXITS: Hackitorium

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Noisebridge has a powerful but dangerous laser cutter. The Laser Cutter Guild maintains laser cutters and trains people to use them safely. The laser is one of the only pieces of equipment at Noisebridge that requires training to use it, with no exceptions. What this means practically is that people take better care of the machine, it stays less broken, and that it is used with the safety of the user and the people around them in mind. Be kind. Be patient. Be safe.

Check out the Laser_Gallery for photos of some projects and cutting tests.

The laser cutter model is a Kaitian CM1309.

Laser cutter

Contact list


Who can use the laser cutter

Only people who have been trained by an official trainer can use the laser cutter, in order to prevent unintended damage to the machine, operator, and Noisebridge.

Full list: Laser_Manual/Who_can_use_the_laser_cutter

How to get trained to use the laser cutter

  1. Laser safety training classes are posted on our Meetup. Size is limited to 5 students, so that everyone can see how to operate the laser.
  2. Get trained
  3. Get your name on the list of users before the first time you use the machine

The laser training class is pay-what-you-can, and the recommended minimum donation is $20.

Basic Safety

See Laser_Manual/Basic_Safety for safety guidelines!

When we moved to 272 Capp Street we switched to using a professional air purifier instead of venting toxic fumes to the outdoors. This is the only difference between the laser setup at 2169 Mission and it's new home, however, it is a significant enough change to warrant knowledge of how to turn it on, how to verify that it is working, and how to make sure that we keep it maintained. This is important because both the user and others in the building re-breathe the air. See [link:''] to the purex 1500i website.

Air purifier

Care of the machine

Please don't perform any maintenance on the machine (including cleaning lenses/mirrors or aligning mirrors) unless you've specifically trained on it.

The laser cutter is finely calibrated piece of machinery. Please close the lid gently, and do not push or jar the machine at any time. Do not lean or press on the tray - it's fragile, and needs to be perfectly flat for the laser cutter to cut properly. If you take the honeycomb bed or slats out, please be ULTRA CAREFUL with them - put them somewhere where they won't get damaged or warped.

Paying for your laser time

The laser cutter has parts that wear out over time, which can be quite costly to replace, especially the laser tube. A new tube costs several thousand dollars. Thus, we require people to pay for the time on the laser they use, so we can pay for new parts. The cost for using the laser cutter is $5 per hour of cutting time.

To figure out how much time your job takes, press the File button, select your file, and then select Work Time from the menu. It will tell you in hours:minutes.seconds.

There is a laser cutter donation box on the wall of the Sparkle Forge room. Please pay for the cutting time you actually use, even if you end up running your job multiple times.

Workflow and software

See Laser_Manual/Workflows for software and usage details.

Materials and power settings

See Laser_Manual/Materials for approved materials and power settings.