Materials Guide for Diode Lasers

Two years ago, I couldn't name a single customer with a diode laser--now I can name dozens! These things have exploded in popularity and availability, so it's important to discuss the materials that these lasers can and cannot cut**. 

Materials diode lasers can cut

  • MDF
    • This includes raw MDF, all of the MDF core plywoods (we recommend sticking to 1/8" or 1/16" plywoods with diodes), as well as all PatternPly® on an MDF core. You can also cut the SmokeSub and EcoBirch since they are also MDF core. 
  • Wood
    • As stated above, you can cut any of the MDF core plywoods with your diode laser. You can also cut the wood veneers and Baltic birch. As a general rule, we do not recommend anything thicker than 1/8" with diodes unless you know from your owner's manual that you can cut that thick. 
  • Black acrylic
    • You can cut plain black acrylic, as well as any of the PatternPly® solid colors or patterns on a black acrylic core.
  • Red acrylic
    • You can cut plain red acrylic, as well as any of the PatternPly® solid colors or patterns on a red acrylic core.
  • Yellow acrylic
    • You can cut plain yellow acrylic, as well as any of the PatternPly® solid colors or patterns on a yellow acrylic core. 
  • Green acrylic
    • You can cut plain green acrylic, as well as any of the PatternPly® solid colors or patterns with a green acrylic core.
    • Clear Flex 
      • Believe it or not, you can cut plain clear flex, as well as any of the PatternPly® solid colors or patterns on clear flex. 
    • White Flex
      • You can cut plain white flex, as well as any of the PatternPly® solid colors or patterns on white flex.
    • Peel and Stick Clear Flex
      • You can cut plain peel and stick clear flex, as well as any of the PatternPly® solid colors or patterns on peel and stick clear flex.
    • Peel and Stick Mirror
      • You can cut plain peel and stick mirror, as well as any of the PatternPly® solid colors or patterns on peel and stick mirror.
    • Laser Safe Vinyl
      • You can cut the plain laser safe vinyl, as well as any of the PatternPly® solid colors or patterns on laser safe vinyl.
    • Leather
      • You can cut any of the raw leather options, as well as any of the PatternPly® patterns on leather.

    Materials diode lasers cannot cut

    • Clear acrylic
      • This includes plain clear acrylic as well as ALL PatternPly® clear acrylic options, including scattered, two sided, and all thicknesses. It does not matter what colors are in the pattern you choose--you still will NOT be able to cut it. 
    • White acrylic
      • This includes plain white acrylic, as well as all PatternPly® options on white acrylic core. You will not be able to cut these, no matter the pattern. If you want a white colored material that you can cut with your diode, order our Solid White PatternPly® on one of the cores listed above in the "Materials diode lasers can cut" section. For example, you can cut solid white on an MDF core!
    • Blue acrylic
      • This includes plain blue acrylic, as well as all PatternPly® options on blue acrylic core.
    • Turquoise acrylic
      • This includes plain turquoise acrylic as well as all PatternPly® options on turquoise acrylic core. 
    • Pastel pink acrylic
      • This one is iffy. We have had some customers get through the pink with many slow passes, but the edges tend to be rough. As a general statement, we do not recommend the pastel pink acrylic for diode lasers. 
    • Ivory Acrylic
      • This includes plain ivory acrylic, as well as all PatternPly® options on ivory acrylic core.
    • Gray acrylic
      • This includes plain gray acrylic, as well as all PatternPly® options on gray acrylic core.
    • Neon acrylic
      • This includes the plain neon yellow/green/purple acrylic, as well as all PatternPly® options on these neon acrylic cores.
    • Glitter acrylic
      • This includes plain glitter acrylic, as well as all PatternPly® options on any of the glitter acrylic cores.
    • Mirrored acrylic
      • The mirrored acrylic is made using clear acrylic as a base, so your diode laser will NOT be able to cut any of the mirrored acrylic options. You can cut the peel and stick mirror if you like the mirrored look, however.

         

        **PLEASE refer to your owner's manual as the true guide for what you can and cannot cut. Not all diode lasers are created equal


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