Laser Cutting

Operation of the laser cutter is supervised by 3D Technical Instructor Farhad Mirza and Digital Arts Technical Instructor Anna Kroll. All use of the laser cutter must be approved by Visual Arts faculty and staff.  To request a laser cutter training, please email farhadmirza@bennington.edu or annakroll@bennington.edu.


Laser Cutter Policies

  • NEVER LEAVE THE LASER CUTTER RUNNING UNATTENDED FOR ANY REASON.
    Exposure to the laser beam can cause ignition of combustible materials. Laser cutting and engraving should be constantly supervised.
  • NEVER OPERATE THE LASER CUTTER WITHOUT A WORKING EXHAUST SYSTEM.
    Some materials when cut or engraved can produce fumes that are hazardous in concentrated amounts. Also make sure that your room is adequately ventilated as some materials will continue to produce fumes for several minutes (possibly hours) after the cutting or engraving process has been completed.
  • DO NOT ENGRAVE OR CUT PVC (Polyvinylchloride) BASED MATERIALS.
    The fumes are extremely toxic if you inhale them. The fumes are so caustic that it can chemically destroy the metal parts of the laser system. Damages to the laser system from this type of abuse ARE NOT covered under warranty.
  • DO NOT ENGRAVE OR CUT UNCOATED METALS OR REFLECTIVE SURFACES.
    The laser beam can reflect off of these materials causing damage to the laser system as well as being a safety hazard. Damages to the laser system from this type of abuse ARE NOT covered under warranty.
  • IF YOU ARE UNSURE ABOUT A MATERIAL GET THE MSDS AND ASK FARHAD
    Since many materials can produce toxic and possibly caustic fumes or residue, it is advisable to obtain the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) from the materials manufacturer. The MSDS discloses all of the hazards when handling or processing that material. The law requires all manufacturers to provide this information to anyone who requests it.
  • FOR CORRUGATED STOCK, MAKE SURE IT IS IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION
    The air pockets in corrugated materials make them extra-combustible. When cutting corrugated cardboard or other stock, ensure that the corrugation lines up with the direction of air fl ow from the ventilation system. Ask for help if you are unsure what this means.
  • ALWAYS CLEAN UP AFTER YOURSELF
    Don’t leave any residue, offcuts, or other debris in the laser cutter, or in the room. Tiny bits of material in the laser bed are basically kindling so besides being annoying and messy they are also combustible and dangerous. There is a vacuum by the laser unit for any hard-to-get pieces.