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documentation:laser_cutters:full_spectrum_settings

Full Spectrum laser cutter settings

Tested settings

These settings have been reported by users of TCMaker's laser cutter, so they should get you in the ballpark for a good result. However, you'll still want to test these settings on some spare material, as there are a lot of variables (age of the laser tube and optics, cleanliness of said optics, manufacturing differences in the materials, etc.).

Woods

Material Etch Settings Cut Settings Notes
Hardwood, 1/4“, unspecified type 94 pwr/26 spd
MDF, 1/4” 45 pwr/25 spd, 2 passesMDF tends to be a very cranky material for laser cutting; your results will vary greatly depending on the quality of your material
Panelboard, 1/8“, white1 pwr/100 spd vector, 10-20 pwr/100 spd raster50 pwr/50 spdSame material as is on the laser room walls. Will get dirty, but is easily cleaned with water and a cloth.
Pine46 pwr/86 spd
Plywood, 1/8” lauan 100 pwr/90 spd
Plywood, 1/4“25 pwr/100 spd40 pwr/100 spdUse orange cleaner to get rid of the sticky sap/glue residue left behind.
Plywood, 1/4” MDF core 45 pwr/25 spd, 2 passesNot great, but it works. MDF core shows a lot of charring.
Plywood, 1/4“ aircraft grade 42 pwr/14 spd, 2 passesUser's notes were not clear on whether or not it cut through at these settings
Plywood, 6mm birch15 pwr/100 spd35 pwr/28 spdMay need to tweak the settings to get a cut all the way through. (Plywood in general will vary based on the quality of the plys and glue.)
Plywood, 6mm cedar 35 pwr/35 spd
Plywood, 10mm birch 100 pwr/30 spd
Plywood, 1/2” birch 95 pwr/15 spd, 2 passes
Plywood, 1/2“ redwood 100 pwr/22 spd
Plywood, 3/4” 95 pwr/15 spd, 2 passes
Poplar, 1/4“25 pwr/100 speed100 pwr/40 spdLower the speed for a deeper etch. Use orange cleaner to get rid of the sticky sap residue left behind.
Poplar, 1/2”25 pwr/100 spd32 pwr/14 spdFor cutting, move the Z axis up 0.1“ from focussed
Veneer (unspecified type) 15 pwr/100 spd

Plastics

Material Etch Settings Cut Settings Notes
Acrylic, 1/8”2 - 8 pwr/100 spd8 pwr/15 spd
Coroplast 40 pwr/60 spd
Mylar, .010“ 8 pwr/80 spd
Styrene, .020” 10 pwr/56 spdStyrene does not darken when etched. Cuts and etched areas can be a little ragged around the edges, as styrene is a bit melty.
Styrene, .040“ 20 pwr/84 spd
Styrene, .060” 20 pwr/42 spd
Transparency film 0.5 pwr/100 spd

Papers and paper-based materials

Material Etch Settings Cut Settings Notes
Artboard, 1/16“ 16 pwr/65 spd
Cardboard, “thin” 3 pwr/100 spd
Cardboard, 3/32” 20 pwr/100 spd
Drawing paper 0.2 pwr/100 spd
Posterboard 0.5 pwr/100 spd

Other materials

Material Etch Settings Cut Settings Notes
Ceramic tile60 pwr/40 spdcannot be cutBeware – the laser spot is screaming bright! Depth of the etch is mostly determined by resolution.
Leather, ~1/8“1-2 pwr/100 spd20 pwr/70 spdAs for tile, the laser spot is blinding. Cut edges will have an ashy residue, so be careful when handling. Placing masking tape over the leather will help keep the surface free of smoke stains.
Wool felt, 1/16” 11 pwr/100 spd, 2 passes

Translating settings from other laser cutters

If you find power settings for a material online, check to see what the power of the laser cutter is. Our laser cutter has a 80-watt tube. Many other laser cutters have tube powers between 40 and 60 watts. 100% power on those machines is more like 40% - 60% power on our cutter, so scale your settings appropriately.

documentation/laser_cutters/full_spectrum_settings.txt · Last modified: 2019/07/10 00:16 by mrscott