Digital Fab Lab / Laser Cutters
The College operates five laser cutter systems. Two LaserCAMM systems are located in the A+AB woodshop and are generally available for use on a sign-up basis during wordshop hours. Students should consult Mark Krecik or Gerry Weston for orientation and assistance in using these two laserCAMM machines. These lasers are more powerful than the third floor lasers and would be better at cutting thicker materials such as .25" acrylic or 3+ ply chipboard.
Additionally, three VLS 6.60 laser systems are located in the west computer lounge, on the 3rd floor. In order to use the VLS 6.60 systems you must go through an orientation with a Lab Assistant. These systems are available for use on a rolling weekly sign up basis. Students may sign up for two hours per week. If no one signs up for a certain time, it is first come first serve. If it is 15 minutes past the allotted time, the slot is canceled and it is first come first serve until the next slot comes up. Once you have been trained and authorized to use the laser, you will be able to log in to the system using your uniqname. The laser can only be activated by logging in to the PC connected to it. You must log off when finished. Not logging off can result in the suspension of laser privileges.
The VLS laser systems have a working area of 32"x18". They are 50W lasers. The power and speed settings are controlled by a printer driver. The laser can be used to cut a wide variety of materials, including most natural materials. Chipboard up to 2 ply can be cut. Fabrics should only be cut if tested by a lab assistant; generally they must be dampened to cut without burning. Acrylic plastics, both cast and extruded, can be cut. Decent quality can be obtained up to 1/8"; beyond this multiple passes are necessary and quality is reduced. Polycarbonate(Lexan), copolyester, and PVC must not be cut. If the material is not listed here, a lab assistant must be consulted before cutting.
Important: You must clean up after yourself. Do not place materials on top of the machine, it is not a worksurface! You absolutely must not leave the machine unattended while cutting, no matter how experienced you are. If the machine is found cutting unattended it will be shut down, and could result in revocation of laser priviledges for the logged in user. If a problem occurs, or you observe anything out of the ordinary, send an email to TCAUPLaser@umich.edu
Relevant Plastic Suppliers
32336 Edward Avenue
Madison Heights, MI 48071
Cheap local plastic supplier with a wide selection.
Catalog available in the lab.
Local and expensive plastic supplier.
2289 S. State St.
Ann Arbor, Michigan, 48104