Digital Fabrication and Print Center
This list contains the most recent schedule for the Digital Fabrication and Print Center. The schedule is subject to change, so check back often! As noted on the waiting list page, if you suspect that the hours listed will not be sufficient to accommodate a project deadline, we must be notified at least two weeks in advance so more hours can be scheduled.
Laser Cutting and Format Guide
Beginning 9/12/2011, A template file must be used in order to laser cut. Please download it here and follow the instructions within.
The following instructions have been left for reference purposes only.
- When creating a file to be laser cut, start with a CTB type or the basic acad.dwt file.
- Using the layer command, create two new layers and title them CUT and SCORE.
- Set the CUT layer color to YELLOW (index color #2) of the basic color pallet.
- Set the SCORE layer color to RED (index color #1) of the basic color pallet.
- Turn all other layers OFF for plotting.
- Create your AutoCAD Drawing.
- Move all CUT and SCORE items to the appropriate layers.
- Make sure you DO NOT have multiple lines overlapped as the laser cutter will read each and every line, even collinear ones, and cut them all. This takes up your time and money and can degrade the quality of the cutting job! Using the OVERKILL command in AutoCAD will eliminate these overlapping lines. Look into the HELP section of CAD for further instructions on the command.
- Create a rectangle in MODEL SPACE that is 31 11/16” x 17 11/16”. SCALE the rectangle by the following scale factor. The scale factor is the inverse of your scale, then multiply it by 12. (i.e. 3/16” = 1’-0” : multiply 16/3 x 12 or 1” = 30’-0” : multiply 30 x 12)
- Arrange the CUT and SCORE objects so they fit into the rectangle. Copy the rectangle as needed for the additional items. Break up any items that extend beyond the boundary of the rectangle and place them in another rectangle.
- If cutting multiple sheets, please DO NOT create several layout tabs as this will slow down the technician and delays other jobs. ONE layout will serve all laser jobs.
- CUT the media you plan to laser cut to the appropriate size PRIOR to coming to the lab. The laser cutting deck is EXACTLY 18” x 32”. To ensure your media will fit, please cut your material 1/8” SMALLER than these dimensions. IF THERE IS A QUEUE YOU WILL BE SKIPPED UNTIL YOUR MEDIA IS CORRECTLY CUT.
- KNOW WHAT SCALE your laser cutting file is at PRIOR to coming to the lab. (eg. 1’-0” = 1’-0” OR 1’-0” = 1/16”, ETC.)
LAB TECHNICIANS ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR MIS-SCALED LASER CUT JOBS.
IF YOU NEED HELP WITH ANY OF THESE STEPS ASK A LAB TECHNICIAN. IF THEY ARE NOT BUSY THEY WILL HELP IN ANY WAY THEY CAN.
Device Fees and Information
Chipboard, matte-board, museum board, basswood, other wood and paper based products:
$1.30 per minute for the first 10 minutes - $.65 per minute thereafter
Acrylic based material – Vector and Raster cuts $1.40 per minute for the first 10 minutes - $.70 per minute thereafter
Acrylic sheets are now available for purchase in the print center. The prices and sizes are:
1/16" - $10.00
1/8" - $12.50
1/4" - $25.00
Thicknesses are approximate - prices are subject to change due to market fluctuations.
To address your questions and concerns about the laser cutter and pricing structure, please read the following “Frequently Asked Questions”.
Q: Why are acrylic based materials more expensive to cut?
A: To cut acrylic based materials without damaging the optics of the laser cutter over time, a refrigerated air system needed to be purchased with the new laser cutter. This air system cost several thousand dollars extra. Because of this, and the potential for future maintenance to this system, the additional fee is necessary.
Q: When will acrylic cutting be available?
A: Acrylic cutting is now available!
Q: What kind of acrylic can we cut, how thick can it be, and where do we get it?
A: Acrylic sheets can be purchased in the print center. Please see above for current pricing. You may alternatively purchase "Optix" or "Plexi" branded acrylic from various home improvement/hardware stores for use on the laser cutter. The label or paper/plastic covering indicating the brand and type of plastic must be affixed to the acrylic sheet by the factory in order for us to use it on the laser cutter.
Save your file as a .psd or .pdf.
Please flatten all .psd files prior to having your file printed.
Color Bond - $5.00 per linear foot
Satin - $7.00 per linear foot
A 24” x 36” color bond print would cost $10
A 40” x 84” color bond print would cost $35
Click HERE for instructions.
Large format scanning has been discontinued by the CAED Digital Fabrication and Print Center. Scanning can be done off-site at SE Blueprint at a discounted rate for CAED students. The cost is $1.00 per square foot (color) and $.25 per square foot (b/w). This price is subject to change without notice. Please contact SE Blueprint for more information or to make an appointment:
540 South Main Street, Suite 211
Akron, Ohio 44311
*In an effort to minimize laser cutting delays, the following policy has been implemented. No setup fee will be charged if the laser cutting format guide located at www.kent.edu/caed/about/computing/print/lasercutting.cfm has been followed. If this guide is not followed and extensive time is required to properly format your file, you may be charged a $15 setup fee (at the print room employee’s discretion). You will be notified in advance if your file requires a setup fee.
Print Room Policies
- For safety reasons, if your project is not being plotted, laser cut, or you have not been called, you may not loiter or wait in the print center. Failure to follow this will result in your name being moved to the bottom of the list.
- Absolutely no food or drinks are permitted in the print room.
- Projects may not be removed from the print center until they are paid for in full.
- Please throw away or remove any SCRAPS or TRASH that you bring in or create.
- You MUST be present in the print center while services are being performed. If you notice your color plot or laser cut job is not coming out correctly, you must immediately notify the staff member on duty to get the job stopped. Failure to do this will result in you being charged for the job regardless of how the mistake occurred. Please see the section below for more information regarding this.
- All projects must be paid for using your FLASHcard. We DO NOT accept cash, checks, or debit/credit. Per university policy, each person must present their own FLASHcard when paying. Using someone else’s FLASHcard – even for what seems to be a legitimate purpose (such as paying for that person’s project) is strictly prohibited.
- Flash Shifts may be added during peak times. Please see the Waiting List Procedures for more information regarding Flash Shifts.
The following NEW policies are now in effect for the Digital Fabrication and Print Center:
You may only have your name on the waiting list once at any given time per service. Multiple sign ups of the same person for any single service will result in your name(s) being removed from the list without notice. You will have to re-sign the list. If you accidentally sign up more than once, please contact a print center employee immediately to have the duplicate name removed. Please click here to view the Waiting List Procedures in their entirety.
A CAD template file, available here is now required for laser cutting. The instructions within the file must also be followed. We will only be laser cutting out of one file per sign-up session.
Beginning September 12th 2011, there will be a limit of 100 cutting minutes per sign up and 120 total minutes of time per session. This policy may be waived ONLY if there is no one else on the waiting list. As usual, a session may only be used to complete the person’s work who signed the waiting list. This policy has been implemented to encourage students to work in advance as much as possible and to ensure that the waiting list does not stall for long periods during crunch times. This is estimated to affect less than 10% of laser cutting transactions based on prior semesters.
The CAED Digital Fabrication and Print Center will no longer be issuing any refunds or credits due to mistakes for laser cutting time or materials once they have been paid for and removed from the print center - regardless of how the mistake occurred. It is your responsibility to ensure that the job is being completed properly (scale, line cuts, etc). If you notice a problem with your laser cut job, you must notify the print center operator immediately. If the print room is at fault, there will be a maximum time and material credit of one board. Again, once the job has been paid for and removed from the print center, absolutely no refunds or credits will be issued for any mistakes regardless of how they occurred.
Disclaimer: Materials bought from sources other than Kent State University may have different densities, compositions or thicknesses than materials bought from the bookstore. Please be advised that we will make all reasonable attempts to accommodate cutting of outside materials but the final decision always rests with the laser operator. If you choose to bring in outside material please bring a sample to run a test cut on as settings will need to be manually adjusted on a trial and error basis. Possible consequences of cutting new types of material include: longer cut times, scorching of material, lighter than normal scoring and incomplete cuts.
Example: AllMedia branded Double-Ply Chip is very dense compared to bookstore Double-Ply chip. As a result we must slow the laser down to 75% of its normal speed for Double-Ply chip resulting in longer cut times.