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Laser Cutter Materials

Page history last edited by Dan 6 years, 3 months ago

Materials that can be cut/engraved (materials not listed should be thoroughly researched before use).


  • Plastics:
    • ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene)
    • Acrylic (also known as Plexiglas, Lucite, PMMA)
    • Delrin (POM, acetal) 
    • High density polyethylene (HDPE) – melts badly
    • Kapton tape (Polyimide)
    • Mylar (polyester)
    • Nylon – melts badly
    • PETG (polyethylene terephthalate glycol)
    • Polyethylene (PE) – melts badly
    • Polypropylene (PP) – melts somewhat
    • Polyester 
    • Styrene - use low power can catch fire !)
    • Two-tone acrylic – top color different than core material, usually for custom instrumentation panels, signs, and plaques.
  • Foam:
    • Depron foam – often used for RC planes.
    • EPM
    • Gator foam – foam core gets burned and eaten away compared to the top and bottom hard shell.
  • Other:
    • Cloths (leather, suede, felt, hemp, cotton)
    • Magnetic sheets
    • Papers
    • Rubbers (only if they do not contain chlorine)
    • Teflon (PTFE, Polytetrafluoroethylene) 
    • Woods (MDF, balsa, birch, poplar, red oak, cherry, holly, etc.)
    • Glass (engrave only) 


Materials that should not be used

  • People
  • Anything metallic (or other materials that are both very resistive and shiny)
    The laser should not be used to engrave metal, this can cause beam reflection/scattering that is potentially dangerous and harmful to the machine 
  • Polycarbonate (PC, Lexan) – small/thin amounts may be doable but produces bad fumes
  • Any material containing chlorine
  • PVC (Cintra) – contains chlorine
  • Vinyl – contains chlorine 
  • Fiberglass
  • Printed circuit board (FR4 and other material types)
  • Carbon fiber
  • High-density polyethylene (HDPE) thicker than 1/16" – HDPE of any thickness melts badly when laser cut.


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