Laser Engraving and Cutting


How a Laser Cutter Works

A laser cutter/engraver works by burning or melting a hole or slot in material. The heat comes from the infra-red light of the laser. The designer chooses the path the laser follows and its power setting to make cuts and patterns. For a more detailed explanation see ESAB Education.

Examples of Laser Cutting and Engraving

Please visit the lab for examples of laser cut materials and samples.

Bechtel Center's Trotec Speedy 400 Flexx Laser

- Dual laser: a 130W CO2 laser and a 60W optical fiber laser
- Bed size 39.5" long X 24" wide X 12" tall
- Metal cutting is very limited, "paper thin" sheets only (please see a TA if you are wanting to cut metal)
- Some materials up to 1/2" thick can be cut (please check our materials sheet)
- Please note that there will be a slight taper to cut edges depending on material thickness.

Cutting considerations:

(tested on 1/8" acrylic, values will vary depending on material)

  • Typical "kerf" of the beam : approx 0.017"
  • Typical dimensional accuracy : +0.005"/-0.01"
  • Smallest space between lines : 0.03"
  • Suggested minimum space between lines : 0.06"
  • Typically a 2 degree taper to most cut edges. (Taper will increase with material thickness typically)