Some Common Questions
What materials are available at the library?
The Library does not provide blank materials. Suitable materials can be found at home improvement, hobby, and online stores.
Can I use plastic in the laser cutter?
You will want to bring in proof of the type of plastic you are wanting to use (product label or similar). Approved plastic types include PLA and acrylic. Chlorinated plastics (PVC, vinyl, etc) cannot be used with the laser cutter.
How long does it take?
Most projects take an hour to set up and complete. Times vary greatly and are dependent upon material type, size, and complexity.
How can I learn to use the Retina Engrave 3D software?
Check out this 3 minute video from Full Spectrum Laser.
What if I ruin my material?
Always bring a test piece of the same material to fine tune the laser cutter settings first.
Is there somebody there to help me?
Library staff are there to help you get set up, started, and coach you through the basic operations. We also have a manual available at the laser cutter.
How do I create my own design to use with the laser cutter?
Vector graphic software (SVG) such as Adobe Illustrator, Inkscape, Vecteezy, or Tinkercad. Engraved designs can be created in any software that can save the design as a .jpeg or .png. You can even create a design in a word processor for raster engraving.
What about files saved as .ai, .cdr, or .xps?
These file types used by Adobe Illustrator (.ai) and CorelDraw (.cdr) can usually be opened with the Inkscape software at the library and sent to the laser cutter. If it is a commonly used file type for laser cutting, we likely have an application that will open the file to send it to the laser cutter.