AURA vs Performance compatibility

Why are some designs listed as performance series only?? If the design is small enough to fit my AURA, why can’t I use it. ie: Medium plywood Tiny Mill in catalog.

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Medium plywood has an mdf core, and Glowforge doesn’t recommend trying to cut mdf with an Aura.

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Aura is a 6 watt diode laser, the Performance machines are either 40 or 45 watt CO2 lasers.
Besides the difference in wattage power they are actually entirely different technologies with CO2 being much more capable, and expensive, than diode.

You could literally put medium plywood in your Aura and try to cut it, but it will take forever, make a mess of your Aura possibly causing physical malfunction and be a generally bad experience.

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Does all PG ply have an MDF core? Reason I ask is because the drop down menu of PG materials for the Aura include cherry and basswood.

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I believe the drop down is for Light cherry and basswood.

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Yes…you are right.

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I believe all medium has mdf core and light is wood core.

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Light and medium plywoods are very close to the same thickness, but not cutting through MDF is much easier as well as less dirty, so most designs where the parts are small enough could be used. Of my designs most could be done of Light plywood though what is called out is not very consistant. If you do make something that says “not for Aura” please note your experience in the comments to help.

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Thanks to everyone, I now understand… but, could I use an AURA grade plywood with the same design instead?? And if so, could I make it a bit larger?

The “light” plywood is about an eighth inch thick, while the “thin plywood” for the Aura is about 3/32. for much of the stuff you need to use the 1/8 to match the tabs etc, but for non-assembled stuff like coasters the 3/32 would work fine but you would want to get the 4" square or round cork on the back to give them some thickness. OTOH making the earrings in 3/32" material might do better…

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