Resources for tests on laser cutting various materials

projectinspo

#1

I ran across this site from a major manufacturer of industrial lasers. http://www.synrad.com/Applications/archives.htm

They have done a huge number of tests on a wide variety of materials, and have the results in a handy searchable list.

While a lot of these are special purpose, there are some cool things on their list I had never thought about like…

Engraving Polyester Fleece
and
Cutting Sandpaper

There have to be more like this out there, what sites have you come across?


@jeffarazzi says -

I found these free ebooks on obrary.com, which get into materials and techniques — Lasercutter 101 eBook: http://info.obrary.com/download-the-laser-cutter-101-ebook?submissionGuid=23bd8446-9de6-4180-8681-446198fd55665
Advanced techniques eBook: http://info.obrary.com/download-the-laser-cutter-advanced-techniques-ebook?submissionGuid=69a4a7b6-d47c-4aa7-9461-532e698cb0d14
Laser Cutter Business eBook: http://info.obrary.com/download-the-laser-cutter-business-guide-ebook?submissionGuid=c1460e55-77c5-4e62-969a-f1bc012bddab5

If you dig around on their site, there are also free downloadable laser cut designs such as a dollhouse, stools, toys, model ships, and even cut your own mahjong tiles.


http://makezine.com/2013/10/23/tutorial-laser-cutting-techniques-and-projects/
Here’s a good basic starter article with lots of links.

Another resource that is absolutely filled with info on lasers of all types in a no nonsense format
http://www.repairfaq.org/sam/laserfaq.htm#faqtoc


Proofgrade materials
Product Pricing
How about a new category to post all the resource links into
The "My First Laser" thread
#2

thanx, looks like a great resorce.

It came up blank on Velcro, what do you all think?


#3

Very cool idea…
Looks like the brand name stuff at least is made out of nylon, so it should be safe.
http://www.smalleyandcompany.com/docs/msds/MSDS%20H088%200172.pdf
As to how well it cuts I can only imagine that focusing on the hooks would be an issue.
But maybe it melts fast enough that you don’t need accurate focus?
I think an experiment is in order post delivery!


#4

You could just cut it from the back and the hooks won’t be an issue. The loops might need to be scissored afterwards though.


#5

Yeah, like @liam said, cut from the back and any residual hook or loop could be cut with ease.


#6

@jkopel The company I work for builds the circuit boards for Synrad. Excellent resource.


#7

I find it interesting that they have cut and engrave information for PVC and PVB, but no warnings of any kind associated with that info. I thought that hitting PVC with a laser was a huge no-no. Am I missing something here?


#8

It is only a no-no if you are not set up to deal with the consequences.
In you house, not a good idea, in manufacturing environment it is just something to plan for.
They are making industrial tools, and I can certainly imagine a scenario where some factory wants to laser cut PVC and is willing to build the ventilation necessary to handle the resulting Chlorine emissions.


#9

That makes sense. Still, if there is no warning about emissions for the PVC, it makes me wonder what else is in the list that is acceptable in an industrial situation but should not be considered acceptable for the casual 'Forger.
It is still a neat resource, with the huge caveat that many of the materials still need to be researched to make sure they are safe for us to use.
I can certainly see people looking at the web app, finding settings for engraving PVC pipe (for example), and assuming that means it is safe to do in the Glowforge.

“A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.” - Douglas Adams


#10

I totally agree, and we should all be very circumspect about what we do with any new equipment!
For instance, I know from working with my father in his woodworking business that there are lots of hardwoods that are incredibly irritating to cut. If you have never experienced it yourself or heard about it you would think “hey it’s just wood”. I am willing to bet the same holds true for burning them in a glowforge.
Here is a few good references if you are concerned


http://www.wood-database.com/wood-articles/wood-allergies-and-toxicity/

Personally I think we will all have to decide for ourselves what is an acceptable risk, but I also think more knowledge is better than no knowledge.


#11

@jkopel absolutely. I know that I have seen (online) several Makerspace laser rule sheets saying that tropical hardwoods are banned because of potentially toxic oils.


#12

I found these free ebooks on obrary.com, which get into materials and techniques — Lasercutter 101 eBook: http://info.obrary.com/download-the-laser-cutter-101-ebook?submissionGuid=23bd8446-9de6-4180-8681-446198fd5566
Advanced techniques eBook: http://info.obrary.com/download-the-laser-cutter-advanced-techniques-ebook?submissionGuid=69a4a7b6-d47c-4aa7-9461-532e698cb0d1
Laser Cutter Business eBook: http://info.obrary.com/download-the-laser-cutter-business-guide-ebook?submissionGuid=c1460e55-77c5-4e62-969a-f1bc012bddab

If you dig around on their site, there are also free downloadable laser cut designs such as a dollhouse, stools, toys, model ships, and even cut your own mahjong tiles.


#13

great finds, thanx


#14

Thanks for adding those!


#16

@jkopel, I made your first post a wiki post, which means anyone can edit it and keep it up to date. If you find a new resource, reply to this thread so everyone knows where it came from, then you or someone else can add it here.

(I think. I’ve never done this before. --dan)


#17

Thanks @dan I just added @jeffarazzi’s information so it at least works for me.
If someone else wants to add stuff be bold!


#18

I’ve been going through the Synrad archives. So I normative about the vocabulary used in laser cutting and engraving. Not just materials but techniques. So, I thought trepanning was just to let loose evil spirits in the head. Fancy name for putting a hole in something during a production process. Excellent resources on the materials side. Most of the articles deal with much more powerful lasers than what we will get, but treat the same materials we are talking about here.