Materials - home depot, lowes, etc


I would love to see a video of you guys using materials purchased from a national hardware type chain (or really anywhere)…no bar codes, no coverings, and show the results. I know it says that it is able to cut up to 1/4 for most materials…but I would be very interested in seeing a video of the GF cutting pieces out of the following (again, just standard materials purchased from a local lumber/hardware shop):

1/4 ply wood
1/4 MDF
1/4 hard wood (walnut?)
1/4 acrylic


wait till I get mine… I’ll post videos then. :slight_smile:

I don’t currently post videos to youtube and I fully intend on posting many videos. I sure hope the top cam will be able to capture video. Technically if it is streaming to the browser then you can capture it.

@jweaver835 the reason why they don’t advertise/make videos of other people materials is it’s a little trickier mainly with ply, MDF and hardwood.

MDF is glued, the glue can vary drastically and so can the density so the cut can be uneven/different every time, the marks left and the smell/residue from the glue can be a pain. You can buy laserable MDF but this can still be a small issue(still has glue ofcourse but its better stuff)

Ply is similar as the glue inbetween can vary

Hardwood can be tricky as a lot of them are dense, sappy or “wet”. Get a good dry piece of hardword and your pretty much good to go though.

acrylic isn’t so bad but the thickness can vary(a 6mm won’t necisarilly be 6mm I’ve seen some nearly as much as 10mm and as low as a bit over 4mm). Plus you get two kinds of making acrylics, cast or extruded one better than the other for cutting but one having better properties for some jobs.

Don’t be afraid to buy materials elsewhere but do you research and when you find a store you like go to town!

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I was just about to ask about cast vs extruded acrylic. Does it make much of a difference with lasers? With my CNC I can only cut cast. Extruded acrylic just melts and gums up the bit REAL fast, then eventually scratches the bejeezus out of the stock.

FYI any acrylic found at a big box store is going to be extruded, and 99.9% chance they won’t know anything about cast. Acrylic suppliers will have cast.

And unless you hit Rockler, Woodcraft or some other specialty woodworking shop or a lumber yard, you’re unlikely to find any 1/4" walnut or anything like that at a Home Depot or Lowe’s. Heck - even with Rockler & Woodcraft it might be spotty. Check out or the Thin Boards shop on Etsy.

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@Mike13 Extruded is most commonly used I believe but both can be done. Cast acrylic is better for engraving (the engraved portions of cast acrylic become a milky-white, sand-blasted version of the original color) but this is subjective to application. Also they both have different physical properties so id your conditions are tight then it’s best to think about which one to use.