Relevant to
Studio Laser Cutter
Last updated: Aug 31, 2020

The studio floor laser cutters require fine tuning for each material and each laser cutter. The tubes that generate the beams each have slightly different amounts of use, causing minor variation in their relative strengths. As tubes are used, they very gradually degrade in power over the course of years, so it is not possible to have a static set of power/speed settings that are guaranteed to cut through a material. Additionally, many common paperboard and wood materials are variable enough in their makeup to require drastically different settings for what may appear to be the same material.


When you print your file, if you have unused colors from the 8 available options, use one or more for testing purposes. Draw lines in that color or colors that are similar to your other geometry (i.e. curvilinear/rectilinear/orthogonal, similar angles and radii) outside the cutting are for the rest of your geometry if you intend to use the same piece of stock for testing as your final workpiece.


NOTE: Very small pieces will cut differently than larger ones. Try to avoid scaling your geometry down to fit in a small area. Instead, copy and trim out a sample of your geometry.

To ensure you only need to send one file to the laser cutter, print your whole bed at the correct scale with all layers enabled and set to “Vector” mode. When you are in the UCP window after printing your job, click on the Settings button. Highlight your colors used for your final piece and select Skip from the Mode dropdown in the top right corner of the Settings window.


Keep your test colors set to Vect, and hit OK. Leave your test colors at the default of 50% power, 100% speed unless you know from experience settings that will be closer to what you need. Use the sample sheets of 3mm acrylic and 1.5mm chipboard on the wall behind the laser cutter to establish a baseline for those materials.

Place your workpiece on the bed and hit the green play button in the UCP. Examine the results and adjust your settings accordingly. If you need to run another test, move your test workpiece on the bed or, if your geometry is small enough, use the Move Tool to move your test geometry out of the way by clicking and dragging on it.

NOTE: Lowering the speed will increase cutting depth more than increasing the power. Increasing the power may allow you to cut faster and deeper, but increases the melt/char that will appear on your print.