Tutorials & Equipment
“What is a lasercutter...and how do I use it?”
Our tutorials can answer your questions! Navigate to the technology below for a description of the equipment, design specifications, and detailed tutorial video. For general equipment help, come to open hours led by our studio design partners! For help with power tools, the eyelet/grommet machine, advanced sewing, or project support, please schedule a training appointment.
Vinyl cutters are like magic! Imagine a precision blade that can create decals and stickers from rolls of sticky plastic. That’s exactly what a vinyl cutter does. It’s perfect for adding a finished touch to your prototypes, for labeling or creating signs that combine graphics and font.
Design for the Vinyl Cutter
Software: Adobe Illustrator
Compatible file types: .ai
Design considerations: 24-inch maximum cutting width
Materials: Matte and glossy semipermanent vinyl, heat transfer vinyl. Several color options.
To design for the vinyl cutter, use Adobe Illustrator and ensure your artboard size is the size of the vinyl you would like to cut. Most sheets of vinyl have a 15-inch width, with indefinite height.
To get you started, here is a PDF guide to preparing files to send to the vinyl cutter.
Once you’re ready to cut, follow part 2.
How it Works
The Epilog Zing Laser Cutter is a “printer” that engraves or cuts computer-designed graphics into wood, acrylic, paper and cardboard.
The lasercutter works by focusing a laser beam to a small point that is directed to cut or engrave your part through a computer-controlled coordinate system.
Requirements for Use
Please do not use the lasercutter without Level 2 safety training. To receive lasercutter safety training, sign up for part 1 and part 2 through Calendly, or ask for lasercutter training during open hours.
Design for the Lasercutter
Software: CorelDraw, Adobe Illustrator
Compatible file types: .cdr, .ai, .dxf
Design considerations: 12-inch x 24-inch bed size
Materials: Opaque, translucent and colored ⅛-inch acrylic, ⅛-inch wood, paper, brown, grey and white chipboard.
To design a file for the lasercutter, use Adobe Illustrator with the following settings:
- 24-inch width x 12-inch height artboard
- 0.01pt line width to vector cut on the lasercutter
- Black line color to engrave.
- Save files as .ai
Alternately, design in AutoCAD and export your file as .dxf.
You will need to use CorelDRAW to lasercut your design. We provide acrylic, chipboard and wood for your use. Never put other materials into the lasercutter without consulting Laura, as some materials can permanently damage the lasercutter.
The Glowforge is is a lasercutter that engraves or cuts drawn graphics into wood, acrylic, paper and cardboard.
Design for the Glowforge
Software: Web app
Compatible file types: drawings, .svg, .jpeg*, .png*
Design considerations: 12-inch x 20-inch bed size, black and white drawings are best.
Materials: ⅛-inch wood, brown chipboard, opaque, translucent and colored ⅛-inch acrylic.
We have a Singer sewing machine with multiple stitch settings. We have thread and fabric for your use. Please bring your own fabric and thread for ongoing projects.
Are you looking for beginner sewing projects?
Try these links to free step-by-step patterns:
Tool storage case - Make a customized case to carry the tools you use most often.
Patchwork tote bag - Create a bag out of fabric scraps!
Felt faux taxidermy heads! - self explanitory :)
Sorbetto top - A great first clothing project.
Jordy bra (Find a print-out of the pattern next to the sewing machine)
PLEASE DO NOT HESITATE TO ASK FOR HELP WITH YOUR FIRST SEWING PROJECT!
Want to advance your sewing skills?
Check out these sewing tips and bloggers:
Brooks Ann - sewing tips and tricks
Seamwork - if you want to sew your own cloths
Threads magazine - tips and tricks for garmet sewing
Stitched in color - quilting blog
Cloth paper scissors - mixed media magazine