Laser Cutter Materials List

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Materials Whitelist

Materials on this list are safe to cut if you follow the advice in this guide.

Material Max thickness Notes
Acrylic 6mm (max attempted) Beware transparent styrene sold as acrylic; it looks similar but doesn't cut well.
Laser-safe plywood 9mm 9mm is on the limit of the cutter's capability and entails multiple passes and risk of fire.
Laser-safe MDF Untested
Paper Any Be aware loose pieces of paper can be blown around by the air blowing from the nozzle, causing unexpected results.
Card Any
Mylar 200 μm (max attempted) Good for stencils. Over-power can leave messy cuts; select parameters carefully

Materials Blacklist

Do not cut any of the materials on this list.

Material Reason
PVC Produces chlorine when cut; damages optics
Vinyl Produces chlorine when cut; damages optics
ABS Produces cyanide when cut
Carbon fibre composite Resin burns, fibres don't cut. Laser not powerful enough, even at maximum settings
Cork >3mm Laser doesn't penetrate. Burns, blackens, catches fire
Metals Much more powerful laser is needed to attempt this
Any chlorine-containing plastics Produces chlorine when cut; damages optics

Cutting parameters guide

The table below shows parameters that have been shown to work well in test cuts. Use these settings with the 'Cut' option in the Lasercut software. Often it's possible to increase cutting speed and power for faster cutting, but this can lead to a less clean cut.

Material Thickness Cutting parameters Notes
Speed (mms-1) Power (%)
Acrylic 2mm 15 60
Acrylic 4mm 10 80
Plywood 4mm 14 100
Plywood 9mm 8 100 At limit of cutter's capability. May not cut cleanly.
MDF 3mm 18 100
MDF 8mm 5 100 Struggles to cut this thick, expect blackened edges.
Card 450gsm 60 90
Low quality card 2mm 40 100

Engraving parameters guide

Use these settings with the 'Engrave' option on Lasercut.

Material Engraving parameters Notes
Speed (mms-1) Power (%)
Acrylic 150 25 Enough power to leave an opaque surface with negligible cutting depth

Useful external links

Austen Texas Hackerspace laser cutter materials guide (Useful list with many materials)

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