This table lists cuttings speeds for a 2500mW laser that I use. It is not designed to be a definitive guide, they are just the speeds that I find works best.
There are a number of factors that impact on the cut including:
- Focus - I have found that this is very important and that sometimes although the beam looks focused a fraction of a turn of the focusing ring (hardly enough to notice at the beam) can make a difference in the cut.
- Material storage - Especially for materials like balsa wood. I have found that balsa stored in a warm dry environment (e.g. indoors) cuts better than balsa stored in a colder environment (e.g. in the garage)
Ensure that the area is well ventilated as toxic fumes are often produced.
(mm / min)
|Balsa wood||3.2 mm||100%||400||2||Some balsa seems to be harder than others. I've found that speeds between 350 & 450 work well. Test on a spare piece before cutting.|
|Grey Depron||3 mm||50%||2400||1||Cuts very easily. Test laser power before cutting. This could maybe be reduced further.|
|White Depron||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||All the laser power is reflected so will not cut.|
|Vinyl click flooring||3mm||N/A||N/A||N/A||I found I was unable to cut this although I was able to etch the surface.|
|Coated aluminium||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||All the laser power is reflected so will not cut.|
|Black part of CD cover||~1mm||100%||300||2||Cuts OK. Good for making small parts, control horns etc.|
|Acrylic - Dark green translucent||5mm||100%||100||6||Cuts about half way through. Focused at 3mm|
|Acrylic - Dark blue translucent||5mm||100%||100||6||Cuts about one third of the way through. Focused at 3mm|
|Acrylic - Purple opaque||5mm||100%||100||6||Hardly marked. Focused at 3mm|
I will continue to update this table as I cut more materials.