VCU Libraries

Research Guides

Use the laser cutter/engraver

VCU Libraries is excited to announce the availability of a laser cutter/engraver in the Innovative Media department on the lower level of Cabell Library. Explore the guidelines and other materials to help you use them effectively.

Innovative Media staff

Eric Johnson's picture
Eric Johnson
Cabell Library, Lower Level Room 078

901 Park Ave., Box 842033
Richmond, VA 23284-2033

(804) 828-2802

Innovative Media staff

Ken Hopson's picture
Ken Hopson
James Branch Cabell Library
901 Park Ave
Richmond, VA 23284

Detailed Instructions


  • Authorized Users only (see Service Desk for training details)
  • Never leave the running machine unattended
  • Never engrave or cut without the air filter and air assist on
  • Never insert anything taller than the gantry
  • Never try to engrave or cut anything combustible (cardboard, paper)
  • Never try to engrave or cut anything with air pockets (PVC)
  • First and foremost, be safe, and aware of others around you

Basic Order of Operation

  1. Turn on air filter (set to half intensity)
  2. Turn on air assist
  3. Turn on laser (‘Job’ will show on Menu when initialized)
  4. Open laser lid and, if required, insert
    • Vector cutting grid (for cuts)
    • Pin table (for stability)
    • Rotary attachment (for cylindrical jobs)
  5. Insert item to be engraved or cut
  6. Bring gantry forward (Focus button, or X/Y Off button if needed) and release the dangle
  7. Raise bed (Up arrow) to dangle (almost touch at highest point of object)
  8. Reseat dangle
  9. Close lid
  10. Press Reset (to go back to Job menu)
  11. Launch design software (will vary, depending on job)
  12. Launch Print command and choose Epilog as the printer
  13. Choose Print properties (to bring Epilog’s custom settings)
  14. Choose settings using material chart
    • Engraving = Raster
    • Cutting = Vector ( < .001 inches or .07 points )
    • Both engraving and cutting = Combined
  15. Click OK for print
  16. Click ‘Go’ on the laser (scroll through jobs if there is a queue)
  17. Please turn everything off when done.