Ever dreamed of running your very own laser cutter? Here are five tips to get you started cutting shapes into everyday items like wood or paper.

With so many possibilities when it comes to laser cutting, you might be wondering how the average person get involved in laser cutting and, more importantly, is it prohibitively expensive?

When it comes to laser cutting, my first thoughts usually veer towards the famous scene in the James Bond film, Goldfinger, in which a giant laser gradually edges towards the groin of the British spy.

In reality, laser cutters are far less powerful – and a lot more realistic. Yet they still have enough power to burn through most thin wood, paper or plastic items to create a design you need.

While there are a number of handy tutorials on YouTube, Tog itself offers a hands-on experience with its own laser cutter. This takes place every second Monday at its facility in Blackpitts, Dublin 8, as part of CAD Night. There, you can learn how to use the Inkscape software to edit and design blueprints for your creations.

To get a look at one in action, Siliconrepublic.com popped down to the impressive Tog hackerspace in Dublin where its CEO, Jeffrey Roe, was on hand to take us through what you need to get started.

Words by Colm Gorey