How materials react to laser cutting and laser engraving?

Acrylic

There are two types of acrylic, cast and extruded. They both can be laser cut extremely well. The laser flame polishes the edges as it cuts. Scored or etched lines are very crisp and show up well after painting.

Cast acrylic is harder and can be machined well without getting gummy. On the other hand, extruded acrylic tends to get gummy when mitered or cut with conventional techniques. Thickness tolerance is better in extruded than cast, however.

Acrylic thickness is produced in millimeter. Standard acrylic thickness are .5mm (1/64"), 1mm (1/32"), 1.5mm (1/16"), 3mm (1/8"), 4.5mm (3/16"), 6mm (1/4"), 9.5mm (3/8"), 12mm (1/2"), 18mm (3/4") and 24mm (1"). Most are available in clear, black and white. Some colors are available in 3mm and 6mm. We can cut acrylic with thickness ranging from .001 inch to 1 inch thick. The thicker the acrylic, the more polished the edges.

Aluminum

Aluminum cuts well. The edge is clean. Aluminum is soft metal. It tends to melt before being cut through completely. The bottom sides get drossy and may need to be cleaned or de burred prior to painting.

Basswood and Balsa

Basswood and Balsawood cut very well. Score lines and edges are darkened. Thinner sheets gets light brown edges when cut.

Bristol Board, Matte board, Museum Board

Bristol Board, Matte boards, Museum Boards cut well with some browning on the edges. Scored lines are crisp but dark.

Cardboard, Chipboard, Corruplast

Cardboard, Chipboard, Corruplast cut well. The edges are clean and sharp.

Fabric

Fabric cuts well. Edge is sealed by laser. Fabric with backing cuts nicely. We can cut and assemble fabric used for trade shows and exhibits. Fabric inlay is one of the most beautiful work we produce.

Foam Core, Gator Board

Foam core Gator board have polystyrene core. They can be cut easily but the foam layer melts more than the facing paper, causing concave edges.

High Density Foam, Signfoam or Precision Board

High Density Foam, Signfoam or Precision Board all cut extremely well. High Density Foam is light weight but porous. They can be painted well if other materials such as laminate, acrylic or Styrene can be used as face and back.

Laminate

Laminate cuts well with edges required some cleaning.

Lexan

Lexan cuts well in thinner sheets. Thicker than 3mm is not recommended.

Masonite, Duron, MDF, MDO and plywood

Masonite, Duron, MDF, MDO and plywood all cut well with edges turn brown to black. Some cleaning is required prior to painting.

Mylar

Mylar cuts extremely well. Commonly used for custom stencils.

PETG, Polypropylene, Polystyrene and polyethylene

3Form products, Polypropylene, Polystyrene and polyethylene are soft materials. They can be cut easily with the right settings. Material may shrink depending on the thickness.

Mild Steel, Galvanized Steel and Stainless Steel

Mild Steel, Galvanized Steel and Stainless Steel all cut well. The edges are smooth and clean. Most metals required some cleaning and de burring prior to painting.

Rubber

Rubber cut well with significant blackening of the edges.

Teflon

Teflon cuts well. Edges are clean.

Wood veneer

Wood veneer cuts well and clean.

We provide samples of standard materials and test cut your custom materials upon request. If you need more information, please contact us.

Questions? Comments?

Phone: 408-262-3222

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Samples of our work

Contact me

Questions? Comments?

Phone: 408-262-3222

Quick quotes?

Form: Quote Request