With very few stipulations, the AOC’s services and facilities are available to currently enrolled students, active faculty and staff at SAIC; some services are open to alumni as well. Please see the individual resource sections for details.

All users must attend an certification prior to using the laser cutter.


  • Before using the laser cutter, complete a certification online. Certifications provide crucial information on file preparation, machine operation and safety procedures. Currently enrolled students, faculty and staff can be certified for laser cutting.
  • The information covered during certifications will change as software and hardware are updated or reconfigured. To keep users up to date on laser cutter techniques and policies, certifications will be good for four calendar years, after which you will need to be re-certified.


  • Reservations can be made in online only with Acuity at least 1 hour in advance and no more than 2 weeks in advance.
  • Reservations can only be made in 30-minute blocks. You can reserve up to 12 sessions of 30-minutes each per week. There is no limit for walk-in use.
  • Reservations are non-transferable from one person to another. You can only make and use reservations for yourself.
  • Reservations can be rescheduled if you notify the AOC at least 1 hour in advance of your reserved time-slot.
  • You will be given a 10-minute grace period to show up for your reserved time slot. After the grace period expires, your slot will become available for walk-in users.
  • There is a $10 fee for not showing up for a reservation or canceling with less than 1 hour notice.
  • In the unlikely event that your reserved time slot must be canceled due to equipment malfunction or other unforeseeable issues, you will be notified as quickly as possible and given the option to make a new reservation at the earliest available time slot. In the event that a laser cutter is taken offline, it will not be available for reservation until it is operational again.


  • All certified users are able to walk in and use the laser cutter when it has not been reserved in advance, or when a no-show for a reservation occurs. Walk-in users must check in with a lab monitor prior to cutting.
  • For walk-in usage, you can use as much time as is available, up to when the next reservation starts or the AOC closes, whichever comes first.

Reservations vs. Walk-ins

  • Reservations are recommended for cuts that will take 30 minutes or longer, or during semester peak usage periods.
  • Walk-ins are recommended for short, simple cuts.

General Access Policies

  • You should be ready to cut as soon as you check in. If you are not cutting by 10 minutes into your session you will need to forfeit your check-in.
    • Buy materials and do file prep in advance of your session. It is best to be ready to go at least 30 minutes before your session starts.
  • If you leave the room without notifying staff of where you are going, you will be given 10 minutes to return before your session is forfeited.
    • Make sure you notify staff if you are leaving to purchase additional materials or do something related to your session so it is not given up.