Laser Cutter Settings

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Pages relating to
the Full Spectrum laser cutter
Laser Cutter
Laser Cutter Materials
Laser Cutter Settings
Software Tips
Authorized users

A note on 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.

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 passes MDF tends to be a very cranky material for laser cutting; your results will vary greatly depending on the quality of your material
Pine 46 pwr/86 spd

Plywood, 1/8" lauan
100 pwr/90 spd
Plywood, 1/4" 25 pwr/100 spd 40 pwr/100 spd Use orange cleaner to get rid of the sticky sap/glue residue left behind.
Plywood, 1/4" MDF core
45 pwr/25 spd, 2 passes Not great, but it works. MDF core shows a lot of charring.
Plywood, 1/4" aircraft grade
42 pwr/14 spd, 2 passes User's notes were not clear on whether or not it cut through at these settings
Plywood, 6mm birch 15 pwr/100 spd 35 pwr/28 spd May 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 speed 100 pwr/40 spd Lower 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 spd 32 pwr/14 spd For 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 spd 8 pwr/15 spd
Coroplast
40 pwr/60 spd
Mylar, .010"
8 pwr/80 spd
Styrene, .020"
10 pwr/56 spd Styrene 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 tile 60 pwr/40 spd cannot be cut Beware -- the laser spot is screaming bright!
Leather, ~1/8" 1-2 pwr/100 spd 20 pwr/70 spd As 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