Laser Cutter

Note that we have implemented a new access policy for the Trotec laser cutter where each user has their own personal account on the Trotec laser cutter computer

    • New users: See the "Getting Trained on the lab64 laser cutter " section below to get access.
    • Trained users: If you've already been trained, you will already have your own account on the laser cutter computer (login using sunetid and Stanford pwd). However, you will need to ask a lab64 CA to activate the JobControl software on your account.


About: Laser cutters are machines that use focused laser light to cut sheet goods and films. They are mostly used to create 2-D patterns and shapes like a scroll-saw but with more control and precision. 3-D objects are created by joining 2-D parts together. A typical laser cutter has a stationary laser (they can be physically large) and some drive mechanisms to move mirrors (in the X-Y plane) and position the focused laser beam over the workpiece as it cuts. Laser cutters can also be used to mark or engrave patterns in a workpiece.

Hours: lab64 laser cutters are available from 10am to 5pm on weekdays unless the student has been granted after hours access (by being trained and having demonstrated proficiency on all the machines in the room).


The smaller laser cutter is a Universal VLS and has a cutting bed with dimensions of 24 inches x 12 inches (~ 61 cm x 30.5 cm) and a 60 W CO2 laser.

Trotec SP500

The larger laser cutter is a Trotec SP500 and has a cutting bed that is 49 inches x 27 inches (~ 124.5 cm x 68.5 cm) and a 120 W CO2 laser.

Trotec Sign-In Sheet

Getting Trained on the lab64 Laser Cutters

Note: To use the laser cutters in Room 004, you must first have been granted access to the main lab. See the homepage for instructions.


We've recently decided to stop offering in-person training for the VersaLaser Cutter, and instead we're allowing individuals to use the machine themselves using our online tutorial. Please reach out to the lab64 CA's if you have any questions. The password to the VersaLaser Cutter computer is !fires4me


Please note that we do not offer training on the Trotec Laser Cutter after week 7.

Training consists of doing enough work with another student who has already been trained on the machine such that they believe you are qualified to safely and independently operate the laser cutter.

To get trained, read the instructions below and then contact one of our friendly CAs by sending an email to to be matched with a student who can provide training.


  • Step 1: Carefully read our tutorial on how to use the Trotec laser cutter..
  • Step 2: Send an email to to let the CA's know you've read the tutorial and want to schedule the in-person portion of the training. We will pair you with another student who has already been trained and you will need to arrange a time with that student to get trained.
  • Step 3: After completing the training, you will need your own account on the Trotec laser cutter computer to use the laser cutter outside of CA office hours. The lab64 CA's will submit a request for you to get an account once you've completed training. Note that this request may take a few days to process, so please plan ahead. Once you've received your account and completed the in-person portion of the training, a CA or Steve Clark will need to activate Job Control on your account.
  • Step 4: Every student is responsible for training another student on the laser cutter machine after being trained themselves. Failure to do so will result in your account on the laser cutter being revoked.

Best Practices on the Laser Cutter

Please read our recommendations for best practices on the laser cutter

Useful Resources

Laser cutter designs

Ross Venook told me about the following resource that seems pretty interesting for laser cutter stuff:

Polygonia is an online tool to make intricate geometric designs for laser cutting.

CAD Tips and Tricks

Onshape allows users to create feature scripts to automate certain CAD processes. Check out the "Laser Joint" feature script to add finger joints to your parts instantly. Check out "Auto Layout" to automatically lay out all your parts onto a sheet.

Guide to Cutting Stencils on the Trotec Laser Cutter

Check out Max Holliday's guide to making stencils on our laser cutter.

Other Laser Cutter Resources on Campus

Stanford's PRL has laser cutters too! They have a bunch of useful information HERE.