Laser Cutter - Safe Materials

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Safe Materials

The laser can cut or etch. The materials that the laser can cut materials like wood, paper, cork, and some kinds of plastics. Etching can be done on almost anything, wood, cardboard, aluminium, stainless steel, plastic, marble, stone, tile, and glass.

Cutting

Material Max thickness Notes WARNINGS!
Many woods 1/4″ Avoid oily/resinous woods Be very careful about cutting oily woods, or very resinous woods as they also may catch fire.
Plywood/Composite woods 1/4″ These contain glue, and may not laser cut as well as solid wood.
MDF/Engineered woods 1/4″ These are okay to use but may experience a higher amount of charring when cut.
Paper, card stock thin Cuts very well on the laser cutter, and also very quickly.
Cardboard, carton thicker Cuts well but may catch fire. Watch for fire.
Cork 1/4″ Cuts nicely, but the quality of the cut depends on the thickness and quality of the cork. Engineered cork has a lot of glue in it, and may not cut as well. Avoid thicker cork.
Acrylic/Lucite/Plexiglas/PMMA 1/2″ Cuts extremely well leaving a beautifully polished edge.
Thin Polycarbonate Sheeting (<1mm) <1mm Very thin polycarbonate can be cut, but tends to discolor badly. Extremely thin sheets (0.5mm and less) may cut with yellowed/discolored edges. Polycarbonate absorbs IR strongly, and is a poor material to use in the laser cutter. Watch for smoking/burning
Delrin/Acetal (POM) thin Delrin comes in a number of shore strengths (hardness) and the harder Delrin tends to work better. Great for gears!
Kapton tape (Polyimide) 1/16″ Works well, in thin sheets and strips like tape.
Mylar 1/16″ Works well if it’s thin. Thick mylar has a tendency to warp, bubble, and curl Gold coated mylar will not work.
Solid Styrene 1/16″ Smokes a lot when cut, but can be cut. Keep it thin.
Depron foam 1/4″ Used a lot for hobby, RC aircraft, architectural models, and toys. 1/4″ cuts nicely, with a smooth edge. Must be constantly monitored.
Gator foam Foam core gets burned and eaten away compared to the top and bottom hard paper shell. Not a fantastic thing to cut, but it can be cut if watched.
Cloth/felt/hemp/cotton They all cut well. Our lasers can be used in lace-making. Not plastic coated or impregnated cloth!
Leather/Suede 1/8″ Leather is very hard to cut, but can be if it’s thinner than a belt (call it 1/8″). Our “Advanced” laser training class covers this. Real leather only! Not ‘pleather’ or other imitations .. they are made of PVC.
Magnetic Sheet Cuts beautifully
NON-CHLORINE-containing rubber Fine for cutting. Beware chlorine-containing rubber!
Carbon fiber mats/weave
that has not had epoxy applied
Can be cut, very slowly. You must not cut carbon fiber that has been coated!!
Coroplast (‘corrugated plastic’) 1/4″ Difficult because of the vertical strips. Three passes at 80% power, 7% speed, and it will be slightly connected still at the bottom