Metal laser cutting

OBS we are selling our 500W metal laser cutter 23/01/2019. We will install a new 1500W metal laser cutter approx 23/04/2019. It is not possible to laser cut metal at Fablab RUC in this period.

500W metal laser cutter Use by prior agreement only. It can cut up to 6mm steel, 1mm aluminium, 2mm stainless. It cannot cut brass or copper. The working area is 1300x900mm.

We have recently aquired a semiconductor pump ytterbium-doped fiber laser (single-mode continuous) from Maxphotonics.

This laser can only be used with a Technology Guru. We have limited time. We are still learning to use it effectively. If you wish to use this machine, you must email a motivated application explaining

  • Who you are
  • What your project is
  • Size
  • How much cutting (approx, in distance travelled. There is a big difference between cutting a 1000x500m sheet with four holes in and a 1000x500mm sheet with 900 intricate details. The laser can usually cut about 30mm per second.
  • What materials you will be bringing / that you will be bringing your own materials (Sanistål and Lemvigh Müller are possiblilities.)
  • A couple of suggestions for times, within our opening hours.


  • Please consider weight. Steel weighs about 7800 kg per cubic meter. So for example, something 1000x600x4mm weighs 1x0.6x0.004x7800=19 kg.
  • Steel sheets are often sold in 1x2m size. These are heavy! And need cutting in half before they can fit in the laser cutter.
  • We do not sell materials.
  • Please bring a .dxf file on a USB stick
  • Bring your computer so you can correct any issues.
  • Steel up to about 2mm (1mm for stainless) cuts nicely. Over ~2mm there will be dross on the underside of the cuts, which will need removing with a belt sander or similar. Aluminum is challenging for the laser to cut and we only promise to be able to cut 1mm - anything thicker will require testing and special guidence.
  • You need about 10mm extra around the edges.
  • Details: the rule of thumb is that you can cut details as small as the material is thick. So e.g. a 1mm detail in 1mm thick steel is fine. You can also make smaller details, e.g. holes or something that goes to a point. However, if there are long (the metal will have time to heat up a lot more than with "shorter" details) thin (thinner than the material is thick) things you may run into problems. But that doesn't mean it is impossible, it means you need to run some tests first and see if it is possible.
  • Please read how do I get started and understand the ethos of this space. We are not your free cutting service and we won't stress over your deadline if you are last minute. You are doing the work, and the purpose is an interesting collaborative creative space.
  • Very occasionally we run out of gas. New gas is delivered once a week, on Tuesdays.