Glowforge cutting metal (copper)

I would love to hear if anyone has ever covered sheet copper (18-20ga) with painters tape or some other cover and tried to cut out patterns with their Glowforge.

The manual and Glowforge support cannot recommend or comment on the process. Maybe its not worth ruining your $6,000 equipment . LMK


as wonderful as that idea is. the glowforge
stopcannot - stop - cut metal - stop.

HERE is what the glowforge CAN engrave.


HERE is a GREAT article on Lasers (Fiber VS Co2) (glowforge is Co2)


For a bit more detail, check out #11:


Copper is a great mirror for IR, so in addition to not having enough energy to cut the copper, it will reflect the beam back up into the laser head and probably damage it. You might be OK masking it, but you still can’t cut it.


To cut metal, you need laser power measured in Kilowatts. The Glowforge isn’t even close.


That is fairly thick material in any case. Others can chime in but I think a plasma cutter, or waterjet might be what you are looking for.

Soft copper (shim copper) is sold by weight per sq. ft. 4oz is thin, 16oz is regarded as thick, 20 gage would be ~35oz. (i did the math so I thought I would share)


Hard no to copper.

1 Like

As another caution, be extremely careful of anything that creates ‘dust’, such as polishing, burnishing, grinding, or cutting copper.
When we prepared copper bus bars for sub stations we worked in hazmat hoods with specific filters. You do not want to breath airborne heavy metal dust.


I had a friend that for most of his life made copper sculptures with a torch and phoscopper brazing rod. Naturally concerned about that issue, He did a lot of research and it turns out that while not a critical as iron, there is a minimum need for copper and it is not a heavy metal poison.

1 Like

Tell that to OSHA. The company even had to give us training on the process, filters, etc.

I have not worked it in many years (though I still have two rolls of it) But I see Jim Lewk is still at it at the same house where I last saw him ( It was originally built by Batista to house a girlfriend and has many quirks as a result),

Intensely working for 50 years and still at it I originally learned to work copper from him.