CLEVELAND, Miss. — Through the generosity of an anonymous donor, the Delta State University Art Department will purchase a Boss HP-5598 High Power CO2 Laser. The apparatus delivers up to 250 watts and can cut up to 14 gauge sheet metal. Chair of the Art Department Cetin Oguz said, “It will be tremendous asset to the department and will set us apart from other programs.”
The BOSS HP-5598’s dual control technology allows it to vector cut as well as raster engrave both metal and non-metal materials. The department has owned an older model laser engraver that students have been able to experiment with, but the new machine is a significant upgrade, and will allow students to use techniques that they could not before.
“We started looking into how we could expand that,” said Oguz. “The new equipment is more versatile. It can actually cut steel, which will open up lots of opportunities for sculptural applications. Normally, you would do these things by hand and accuracy would be lacking, but now you will have extreme accuracy on everything you do.”
Oguz sees the new equipment as being an integral part of the Digital Media Arts Center. “It’s (the DMAC) kind of organically developing into a big ‘maker’s space.’ Our graduate students really benefitted from the laser engraver and the three printers we have there this summer during their MFA residencies. With the addition of this tool, they are going to have greater possibilities of what they can create.”
The HP-5598 is precise enough to engrave on paper or cut through steel plate. According to the manufacturer’s website, its reciprocating laser heads are engineered to handle demanding production environments and long workdays while delivering consistent results for every job. Oguz said that he expects that the machine will continue the mission of the Mathews-Sanders Sculpture Garden, which has installations throughout the DSU campus and downtown Cleveland. “This machine will allow us to put more emphasis on sculpture applications,” he said. “It will provide more possibilities in that area.”