Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

ULS 60 watt Laser Cutter in MAHB109

Universal laser cutter


A laser cutter is a machine that takes 2D vector files or picture files and uses a high power laser to cut through, or etch into, a wide variety of materials based on a user’s design. It’s used to cut materials into precise shapes or detailed designs and it’s useful for quickly prototyping ideas or applying a finishing touch to a project.

  • The laser can cut materials into shapes that would be difficult to cut by hand or with the power tools.
  • It can etch images into materials.
  • This makes it a great tool for quickly prototyping designs and smaller scale mechanisms.
  • Some materials cannot be cut on the laser due to their toxicity when burned. Look at the list of usable materials before designing for the laser cutter.
  • Always consult the ULS 60 Watt laser’s approved materials and settings list when using this laser cutter.
  • The ULS 60 Watt Laser in MAHB109 has a maximum bed size of 18 inches x 32 inches.
  • It can vector cut through materials as thick as 1/4 of an inch.
  • It can raster etch materials up to 8 inches thick.
  • Avoid fire and health hazards:
    • Do not attempt to vector cut thicker materials
    • Never cut unapproved materials on the laser.
    • Do not walk away from the laser when it is on. It is a fire hazard.
    • The laser must be ventilated when in use. Always turn on the Filter and the Air pump before starting a cut.

Training quiz

To use this laser cutter at Cascade, you must complete the training quiz before you can use the laser cutter.

1. Friday laser workshop

Join us for a Friday laser workshop, or read this training packet and take the quiz linked within the packet.

2. File design

Design your file and prepare it for laser cutting. The most common software people use for generating their files is Inkscape (free) or Adobe Illustrator (available for free use on campus). There are Adobe Illustrator tutorials linked within the training packet, and lots of Inkscape tutorials online. The Multimedia computer labs are available for you to use during the multimedia open lab schedule times.

3. Reserve laser cutter time

Once you have passed the quiz and have your file ready, you can reserve time on the laser using the booking calendar. Sign up for time slots ยป

Etiquette when booking laser cutters:

  • lasers may not be booked for more than 2 consecutive half-hour slots at a time (1 hour total)
  • once you’ve reached the end of your appointment, you may book the next half-hour slot if it’s open
  • if you’re more than 5 minutes late for your reserved time slot, you forfeit your appointment
  • if you’re on the laser cutter and someone arrives on time for their appointment, they are entitled to ask you to cancel your job whether or not it’s finished