Laser cutting

Laser Cutting

A laser cutter provides a fast and accurate way of cutting a variety of materials, such as paper, card, acrylic, wood, laminate and fabric. It works by firing a high-powered carbon dioxide laser through a series of mirrors and a focusing lens to produce a beam that burns very precisely through the media. 

Using the Laser Cutter

You can design and laser cut 2D designs at Christchurch City Libraries. We have a laser cutter that can be used to cut and engrave designs in wood and other materials. The laser cutter is available for use at Creative Time at South Library, by booking a creative.

We are currently reviewing the option to order laser cutting via a form. It was offered initially when libraries had a limited capacity due to Covid restrictions. People can now use creative times to do their own laser cutting or access the Book a Creative service. Thank you for your patience as we review this service.

Can't make it to a Creative Session or require expert guidance to kickstart your journey?
No problem! "Book a Creative" session with one of our Creative Specialists, who will provide you with valuable support and insights.

Technical specifications

The laser is controlled by computer numerical control (CNC) which moves the laser head by following a vector design.

Machine type: Thunder Laser Nova-24 60W CO2 Laser
Working area: 600 x 400 mm
Other: BOFA fume capture system

Design constraints

Create designs using Inkscape, Adobe Illustrator or Affinity Designer. All designs will be cut from 2.8 mm MDF. Please ensure that your design will work for material of this thickness. For designs with separate parts intended to fit together we recommend a ‘kerf’ or ‘burn’ of 0.1 mm. For most designs, this should result in a tight fit that does not require glue or screws. The maximum dimensions of our laser cutter are 600 x 400 mm. We cannot cut designs that contain any single element that does not fit within these dimensions.

File formats



$1 for each 600 x 400mm sized piece of MDF used to make your design.

Laser cutting photos

See our laser cutting photos on Flickr.

Laser cut Star Wars death star with internal lighting, Tūranga

Back to Top