Laser/Power

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File:Final.jpg

Known bad materials

These materials must not be used in the laser cutter. They cause serious health problems and also will damage the equipment.

Bad materials
Material Notes
PVC Contains chlorine. Will produce hydrogen chloride gas when used which is a strong irritant and can damage the respiratory tract. It is extremely corrosive and will damage the laser optics (Remember: This gas, dissolved in water, is muriatic acid. This is what it becomes when it hits your lung-tissue. So you really don't want that anywhere near you or the machine). Also, releases dioxins, phthalates, and BPA...
Vinyl Most contains chlorine. Will produce hydrogen chloride gas when used, dangerous to people and the machine; see PVC.
PVC Foams Most contains chlorine. Will produce hydrogen chloride gas when used, dangerous to people and the machine; see PVC.
Foam Core Usually made with PVC which is harmful as listed above.
Styrofoam Can cause flash fires
Polycarbonate or PETG Does not cut. TAP plastics sells both this and acrylic. Be sure to read your labels when purchasing material. Lexan is the trade name for Polycarbonate, while Plexiglass is the trade name for acrylic.
ABS Gives of hydrogen cyanide
Fiberglass
Metals Cannot be etched by this type of laser. Also is harmful as the reflective surface may cause the laser to be reflected back up to the head, damaging it. If someone claims to be etching metal using this type of laser then they are etching a metal with a plastic coating, anodized surface, or some other etchable surface on top.

Known good materials

These materials are known to be ok for use with the laser cutter. Below is a table showing the suggested settings when cutting or etching them.

Cardboards/Papers
Material Focus* Raster Vector Notes Toxicity
Speed Power DPI Speed Power
4mm corregated cardboard 35 95