If you have an idea that you’d like to have lasercut or engraved by LightTouchLasers we’d love to hear from you! Check out the gallery to see a showcase of some of the items we’ve worked on.
What can we cut?
Paper, card wood and bamboo up to 6mm (possibly thicker but it depends on your specific requirements so we’d need to do some testing first).
Acrylic up to 6mm thick.
Mylar sheeting (for stencils) from 75um.
Polypropylene, but it does tend to melt around the cuts, we recommend prototyping before diving in.
Leather but beware of the terrible smell from the cut edges.
Felt is possible but again smells terrible and needs prototyping to finesse the outcome.
What can we engrave?
Wood / bamboo / card / paper / acrylic / unglazed terracotta. Our machine can also permanently mark metals using a special coating process, but it does not actually engrave below the surface. Note we do not have the facilities to machine metals, so they need to be supplied – preferably with a sample to test on.
We’ll give pretty much anything a go to help our customers investigate the possibilities.
What can’t we cut / engrave?
Very thin paper (burns too easily).
Anything with chlorine in it e.g.. PVC and Vinyl (damages the laser).
Our laser cannot cut metal of any thickness (not even foil tape).
How large we manage?
The current laser is from Sinjoe Laser systems and cuts up 384mm / just over 15 inches square (called P2 size). It takes a maximum sheet of 395mm x 395mm leaving roughly 5mm border around the edge to allow for handling and also variations in material size (sheet materials are often saw cut and lose a certain amount due to blade width). We may be able to get closer to the edges, but we’d have to discuss your particular project and materials to be sure. We have made a slot together kitchen tidy which is almost a 380mm cube.
We do have access to a larger machine, but special arrangements would need to be made.
How small can we go – engraving?
The laser beam is approximately 0.2mm wide and this is the absolute lower limit for engraving detail, but that *very much* depends on the material. For example anodised aluminium and certain fine grained woods can hold a good image and fine lines but birch plywood has quite a large grain structure and cannot reliably manage the same level of detail. Plastics vary; acrylic is reasonable but polypropylene tends to melt like a wax.
How small can we go – cutting?
We recommend that you do not attempt to cut things that are thinner than the material is thick, maybe twice the thickness or more for veneer or card / paper to account for the thickness of the laser beam* and avoid charring. Our laser has a ‘honeycomb’ bed that your material lays on during cutting, this enables air to be drawn past the cut, aids cooling and reduces charring / marking. But this means that small items can fall through the holes. This does not matter if your design is a pattern and you don’t need the material that’s cut out. However if you are trying to make lots of little pieces for a project some may drop through and be lost if they’re too small (less than 5mm or so) so we recommend adding some extras if this is the case. We can replace the honeycomb bed with solid material to ensure no pieces are lost but the back of your final pieces will probably come out stained due to the smoke and vapour created when the laser cuts the material. This may not be important if the back will be hidden.
*The beam removes material as it cuts so your final piece will be at least 0.2mm smaller than on your drawings. Depending on your application this may or may not be of interest. For example if you need things to fit together like the finger joints on our kitchen tidy you have to take it into account and we recommend testing before committing to a major material outlay. Do not assume that any stated material thickness is accurate to better than 0.5mm. Due to variations you may need to investigate alternative fitment systems or use glues to take account of this and ensure you get the results you want. See Kerf in the material FAQ for more details or contact us.