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Makerspace: Laser Cutting with Inkscape

Welcome to the Xavier University Library Makerspace!

Preparing a Laser Cut with Inkscape

Inkscape is free, cross-platform software used to create logos and graphics. It is also used to prepare laser etches and cuts. After you follow this brief guide, your laser cut will be ready to submit to the Library’s Makerspace for cutting. You are then encouraged to make an appointment with a Makerspace expert to see how to process a laser cut first hand. 
Download and install the software from 
Run Inkscape on your computer and set your document properties to a size that fits our laser cutter. Since we provide 12” square plywood and acrylic sheets, we will set our document size to 12” x 12”. Press Shift+Ctrl+D (or use the “File” menu) to open Document Properties and set the correct custom size.  
Although there are many tools to choose from, the basic ones to start with are located on the left hand toolbar. 
  1. Select and move objects
  2. Create rectangles and squares
  3. Create circles and ellipses 
  4. Create stars and polygons
  5. Draw freehand calligraphy
  6. Type and edit text
Design anything you want! Just make sure it fits inside the 12” x 12” border you set in the document properties. All solid shapes, lines, and text will be etched. Any line with a width of 0.001” will be cut. Although you can use colors if you choose, the laser cutter will only etch in one color. If can be helpful to change the color of your cut lines to red to visually plan your laser cut. 
Open the Fill and Stroke menu with Shift+Ctrl+F. 
To learn more advanced functions and features, the Library offers a comprehensive Inkscape eBook: 
When you are ready to laser cut your document, Save a Copy as a PDF using Shift+Ctrl+Alt+S (or use the “File” menu) and submit your file using the Laser Cutter Order form on our web site: 
Then make an appointment with us 
Hope to see you soon!