The Tech Lab’s large laser ,“Big Red,” is generally capable of cutting wood products 1/4″ thick and beyond. It can also mark many other materials and will cut over an area of  1000 x 600 mm. The small laser can reliably cut wood products 1/8″ thick. Both lasers also cut acrylic well. For more info, consult our approved materials list: Laserable Materials

The Laser is available for use during open studio times, by BARN members who have attended the Introduction to Laser Cutting monthly orientation class.

Download a copy of the Laser Policy. It’s also reproduced below.

We usually use the free program Inkscape to design for the laser.

Makercase is a tool for generating box plans.

Laser Usage Policy

Last updated 4/26/2021

  1. Users

    The laser may be used by (only)

    1. Trained members during open studio time or while under supervision of a studio
      monitor. A list of trained members is kept in the studio.
    2. Studio monitors, or individuals as specifically approved by the studio steering
      committee, at any time
    3. Individuals under supervision of a studio monitor, as a part of training or class
  2. Logging

    All laser use will be logged in the laser log. User name, date, start time, and finish time
    will be recorded. Logging is required, regardless of whether or not a fee is collected.

  3. Fees

    1. All laser users will be charged a fee of $1.00/minute, with the following

      1. Internal BARN or studio maintenance projects
      2. Demonstrations
      3. Class related activities
      4. Training
      5. Specially approved commercial projects where BARN is receiving
        arranged compensation
      6. Specially approved projects that BARN performs as community service
        or donation
      7. Commercial use may be charged under a separate rate (see the section
        Commercial Use)All laser users will be charged a fee of $1.00/minute, with the following
    2. Fees may be rounded down to the nearest dollar.
    3. Members will be allowed 240 minutes of free laser time per month. This time will be non-transferable, and non-accumulating.
    4. Fees will be paid in cash or check, and deposited in the black “mailbox” by the studio monitor on duty.
    5. A form will be provided for submitting fees. If a form is not available, the users name time will be submitted with the fee. Fee processing will be handled by BARN accounting, until ETA Studio has a process for this.
  4. Commercial Use

    1. Commercial use will be charged a fee of $2.00/minute
    2. Commercial use includes use by businesses, production of objects for the operation of a business, and production for resale.
    3. Prototypes and small jobs may be allowed under the normal fee structure, at the discretion of the studio monitor on duty.
  5. Laser failure and repair

    1. The laser will not be left in a disassembled state, unless it is under repair or otherwise non-functional.
    2. If the laser fails to operate normally, a shop monitor will be notified.
    3. If the laser is to be left in a non-functional state, a sign will be placed on the laser to notify potential users.
    4. All laser maintenance will be performed under direction of a studio monitor. This includes disassembly, optics cleaning, alignment, and firmware settings.
  6. Other

    1. Jobs should not be left unattended.
    2. Users will monitor the laser systems (air, water flow, water temp) while in use.
    3. Jobs requiring the removal of the floor will require permission and supervision of the shop monitor on duty. After a job requiring removal of the floor has been completed, the floor will be promptly replaced, and the laser checked for alignment.


  • Think “prototype, not production”
  • May be used independently only during Open Studio time
  • Requires training to use or supervision of Studio Monitor as available
  • All usage must be logged
  • Personal usage:
    • Allotted 240 minutes per month free
    • Tnused time is not rolled over
    • Time after that $0.25 / minute
  • “Commercial” usage comes lower priority
    • Rates 2.00 per minute
  • All maintenance and modifications by Monitors.
  • Laser is not to be left unattended while in use. The tool and its supporting ventilation, air-assist and cooling must be monitored.
  • New lasers will require retraining of all members previously certified to operate older laser.. Classes are on calendar and will continue.