Material Database

Acrylic (Plexiglass, PMMA)

Method: Samples of clear acrylic placed in the center of the cut bed and the laser was focused to the surface of the material. Half inch squares were cut out of the material using different combinations of laser power and speed, and the setting shown below were determined by the cutout with the least about of damage done to the remaining material. Kerfs were measured by using digital calipers.

Thickness mm (in) Laser Settings Kerf mm
1.587 (1/16”) Power: 40% Speed: 100% 0.09
3.175 (1/8”) Power: 50% Speed: 75% 0.07
4.76 (3/16”) Not Available Yet 0.15
6.35 (1/4”) Power: 40% Speed: 25%  
12.7 (1/2”) (2-Pass) Power: 40% Speed: 20% 0.15


The above experimental values were charted and found that cut power was roughly exponential with thickness.

Acrylic cut power as a function of material thickness

The fit curve is found to be:

power = 168.216 e^(-0.3607 thickness)


100% Speed, 10% power for marklines?

Partial Cuts

It is possible to cut channels by varying the laser power and focus. 80% power gives v-shaped channel about halfway through 1/8” acrylic when the laser is moved up a little bit from focused.

40,60,80,80,60,40% power at two different focus depths

Several channels were cut in 1/8” acrylic with 59mm, 60mm, and 61mm focus depth, and the approximate depths and widths were measured using calipers. I wouldn’t trust these values too far.

Cut Speed Cut Power Depth (mm) Width (mm) Depth (mm) Width (mm) Depth (mm) Width (mm)
    59mm   60mm   61mm  
80% 100% 2.26 0.50 1.73 0.44 1.82 0.62
100% 100% 2.13 0.50 1.50 0.42 1.71 0.60
100% 80% 2.05 0.50 1.25 0.42 1.51 0.60
100% 60% 1.71 0.47 1.11 0.35 1.22 0.58
100% 40% 1.47 0.45 0.70 0.33 0.92 0.56
100% 20% 1.13 0.42 0.56 0.27 0.75 0.53

Balsa wood

Thickness mm (in) Cut speed (at 100% power)
6.35 (1/4”) 100%

Bamboo Plywood

Method: Samples of bamboo plywood placed in the center of the cut bed and the laser was focused to roughly half their thickness using the 58 mm focus key. One inch cut lines were made at 100% current and 100% power with the speed reduced until a clean cut was made. Kerfs were estimated using the graduated loupe.

Thickness mm (in) Cut Speed (at 100% power)
1.59 (1/16”) 80ish??%
3.17 (1/8”) 60%
6.35 (1/4”) 28%


Method: Bamboo was placed on the bed and focused to the surface height. A series of 1/4 inch squares were cut at 500 dpi and varying powers/speeds. Gradients were also created for different dpis and halftoning methods.

Bamboo laser raster guide

Kapton (polyimide flim)

Method: Sheet of kapton film was placed on bed and focused. A series of tests of various powers and speeds were performed.

Thickness [mil]Raster PowerRaster SpeedRemarks
250%40%Slightly narrow in X axis. A little too big. Set B/W set point to 005 for smaller cut, still measured at about 1 mil too large in the X and 3 to 4 mils too large in the Y
575%25%Still a little too big. Set B/W set point to 005

Notes: can mark, but not cut at 50% speed and ~25% power.


The kapton is considered next to its source file.

Cut kapton next to source for calibration

Gravoply Laser

Gravoply Laser is a 2-layer bonded acrylic, with a top layer that is etched away to reveal the bottom layer. This is useful for signage, machine UI panels, labels and a variety of other applications.

Product Details:

Can be purchased online here:

Etching 1.3mm Gravoply Laser

Cutting 1.3mm Gravoply Laser

Etched Black-on-White Gravoply Laser Etched Black-on-White Gravoply Laser

Parchment Paper (used for solder paste stencils)


Cut Speed | Cut Power | Vector current | Kerf mm | Half Kerf ——— | ——— | ————– | ——- | ————– 80-100% | 15% | 28% | 0.25 | 0.125mm (5mil)

Marker Paper (user for solder paste stencils)

Magazine Paper Solder Mask (3.5mil heavy advertising page)

Pad size shrink 0.22mm

Paper Stencil Mask

Prepare circuit board with solder mask. Use rubber cement to glue down a piece of plain office paper.

Run laser at

Then paint through the holes. Let dry then lift off paper.


40 lb Card Stock

1/8 inch Corrugated Cardboard