A laser cutter offers a swift and precise method for cutting diverse materials like paper, card, acrylic, wood, laminate, and fabric. It operates by directing a high-powered carbon dioxide laser through a sequence of mirrors and a focusing lens, generating a highly precise beam that accurately burns through the targeted material.
A note about MDF
Once existing stock is depleted we will no longer be cutting MDF on our laser cutters. MDF contains synthetic formaldehyde. Laser cutting this material produces toxic dust and fumes which are harmful to people and the health of the machine.
Supplying your own materials? For a list of approved materials for laser cutting, please ask a member of our creative team.
Ngā Kōrero Auaha - Creative Stories
We talk to creators who have made things happen with Christchurch City Libraries Ngā Kete Wānanga o Ōtautahi.
Frank uses the laser cutter to make patterns, vinyl prints t-shirts, and creates rehab equipment
Frank’s background in the textile and design industry inspired him to use the sewing and embroidery machines at Tūranga and South Libraries. He has used the laser cutter to cut patterns for glasses cases and vinyl printed t-shirts among other projects.
Three years ago, Frank had a haemorrhagic stroke which resulted in the loss of movement on his left side. As his rehabilitation progressed, Frank has used his skills to create rehab equipment at the library with the help and support of staff.
Frank's vision for the makerspace is to create a community of people who can collaborate and enhance their skills and knowledge.
Till Peters created his board game Castleshire by prototyping his ideas in the makerspace on Auahatanga | Creativity, Level 4 at Tūranga
Over 6 years and many iterations, Till has come to the makerspace at Tūranga to create and test his concepts for his now-published game. With support from staff, he gained the skills to use design software on the computer, operate the laser cutter, and use the vacuum former among other tools. He also held a game testing event at the library and invited people to trial his game before the final version was published.
You can play Castleshire at Tūranga for free.
Mako Design entrepreneurs Ann and Tara used the laser cutters at Christchurch City Libraries to prototype ideas while starting up their small business
Ann and Tara were looking for a place to create prototypes of their contemporary Māori jewellery designs and came across the laser cutter at Christchurch City Libraries. They used the Creative Time sessions to learn how to use the design software and trialled their ideas using a variety of offcuts and materials.
Once they were happy, they were able to take their designs to a larger manufacturer. Mako Design used the resources and staff knowledge at Christchurch City Libraries to help minimise their start-up costs. Laser cutters are currently available to use at South Library.
The Ferriers use laser and vinyl cutting at Tūranga
When Denisse and Daniela needed support with launching their business Furniture | Le Ferrier design, they came to Tūranga. They prototyped some designs, trialled laser and vinyl cutting their branding onto wood and other materials, and also made some team tshirts.