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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.



  View schedule of orientation sessions

Participation in an Innovative Media Epilog Zing laser cutter/engraver orientation session offered by an Innovative Media staff member is required before using the laser cutter/engraver independently. 

No need for a reservation, just come in during the orientation session on which you're interested in receiving training. To schedule an individual training session (only if the scheduled times don't work for you) or for information on training an entire class, contact the Innovative Media department for an appointment by emailing

Scheduling and Starting Cutting and Engraving Jobs


  View reservation calendar for laser cutter/engraver

After you have met with us for training and feel confident enough to use the laser cutter/engraver independently, we will add you to an authorized user list. As an authorized user, you may sign up for time to use the laser cutter/engraver independently.  Please do not hesitate to ask questions and seek further assistance from IM staff at any time. The laser cutter/engraver manual will remain by the station. 

Only authorized users may schedule time on the machine themselves. Once you are an authorized user (after training!), you can sign up for time on an available printer by reserving the Zing 24 laser cutter/engraver station on our workstation and room reservations page.  Be sure to sign it out for the full length of time it will take to work on your project; we suggest adding a little bit of cushion in case of any snags. 

We encourage you to consult with an Innovative Media staff member for assistance with your projects, especially with regard to the safety of the material you wish to cut/engrave. The purpose of the orientation is to give you an opportunity to review procedures and materials, ask questions, set up your project, and become comfortable operating the laser cutter/engraver. Keep in mind that the use of unauthorized materials is a safety hazard and can result in your privileges being revoked. We will go over authorized material with you during the training session; inquire if you want to try a different material--we're happy to work with you on that.

The laser cutter/engraver can only be used during open hours in The Workshop. Please plan ahead and book sufficient time on the machine.


  • Authorized Users only (see above 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



VCU Libraries’ laser cutter/engraver is available for use by all current Virginia Commonwealth University faculty, students, and staff.


Responsibilities of Authorized Users

Authorized users are to follow all operating and safety training and adhere to the information found below about "What Can and Cannot Be Cut/Engraved." As thoughtful members of the growing maker community, our users are expected to be considerate of others and maintain a safe and clean working environment around the laser cutter/engraver workstation.



At this time, laser cutting/engraving and basic materials for learning the system are being supported entirely by VCU Libraries and is free to you for the 2017-2018 school year. Enjoy!  We just ask that you please help spread the word.

What Can and Cannot be Cut or Engraved

Users may cut/engrave objects for research, education, or personal use so long as the objects do not violate VCU campus policies (including prohibition on weapons) and comply with U.S. copyright, patent, and other intellectual policy regulations, which do include specific exceptions for fair use. The machine is intended for educational and experimentation purposes. It may not be used to produce an item or items for sale, or for any other commercial purpose or private financial gain. Nor may be it be used for production-level cutting/engraving (e.g. many copies of the same thing) without permission. VCU Libraries staff reserves the right to refuse any usage request. 

Reminder: the use of unauthorized materials is a safety hazard and can result in your privileges being revoked.