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Laser 101 course outline
Nicholas Adams
Originally posted by Vaughn 04-08-2019

This thread is meant to share, compare, combine and refine the LASER 101 course details, as well as be a resource for people who step up to teach Laser 101 and for those that just want to review the information. Different Makerspace instructors 'do' Laser 101 differently, but we need to ensure that all the basics are covered each time. It can be easy to forget key info if you wing it, no matter now proficient you are personally on the machine.

If you teach Laser 101, or have good information on the machine, its use, maintenance, etc, post it here and lets refine LASER 101.
Nicholas Adams
Originally posted by Vaughn 04-08-2019

Here is the LASER 101 outline I've built over the last 2 years (I've taught this workshop 5 or 6 times). It covers the basics, I think, including a good video that covers laser theory AND materials do's and dont's. I also include the links to the Laser Manual and ATXhackerspace DO's and DON'Ts for materials. I email these docs and links to participants after the class, as well. I think trunner has a Laser Maintenance Manual in the works, too, that can be shared in the future.

As you can see from the outline below, I use 3 different areas of the Makerspace in my 101: I show the video in the Lounge, then take everyone up to the Design Lab for a QUICK vector overview and also, importantly, to familiarize newbies with the Design Lab and get them up there designing (instead of doing it on the Laser Brain). Then onto the Fab Shop.

This allows a bit of a tour of the Space and also shows the different ways of getting vectors to the laser (email laserloops, flash drive, etc).

Anyway, here it is - I have this on a clipboard when I do Laser 101 and I check em off as I go:

Kamloops Makerspace Laser 101 - Basic Operation and Safety:

7:00 pm Lounge:

Everyone to sign in to workshop log, including email address and whether they are a member or not
Member or not? Non-members pay $40
Liability waiver and Member Registration filled out/signed?

A brief intro about Makerspace, membership, etc, including MAKER MONDAY volunteering

Show and tell samples of laser cutting/engraving

Watch short Sarbar Media video on laser theory and materials safety:


Materials dos and donts:

7:30 Design Lab:

Discuss vector and raster images and how each is interpreted by laser
Saving and exporting, file formats, scale, line colours, etc.
Show tracing of raster image into vector
Address participants pet-projects or specific goals with laser cutter
Save traced files (paths) of quick jegs to DXF - and flash drive

8:00 Fab Shop:

Show laser tube, mirrors, chiller and filter vent; explain operation of each.
Show loading of material, origin, focusing, manual X/Y/Z,
Open/Import a raster image and scan/engrave into wood.
Open/Import vector image and cut in paper, 1/8" wood (live hinge wallet) and acrylic.
Discuss management of materials (storage, labelling, hack-me bin, etc) and waste (rolling cart, extraordinary amounts of waste taken outside and/or away).

Discuss laser maintenance – cleaning cabinet, mirrors and lens


(Discuss remaining content of laser manual while cutting samples, answer random questions, promote other workshops, Maker Monday, Weds open House, etc)

9:00 Ends

Link to Makerspace Laser Manual:
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