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Call for material cutting and engraving results

Hi Everyone,

We are now working at updating our material database.

Our plan is to test many common materials as well as specific ones we have tested for customers via samples they have supplied.

We will perform tests with the Emblaser in its default current setting (1.8amps) and also at its maximum setting for the 9mm diode (2.3amps).

We will record the following data:
Maximum current setting (1.8amps or 2.3amps)
Material Type (ie paper, plastic, wood etc)
Material Description (ie; 200gsm photocopy paper, Brown vegetable tanned leather etc)
Material Thickness (ie 3mm etc)

Engraved: (Yes/No)

Cut (Yes/No)
Cutting power required (0-100% or 0-255)
Cutting Feed-rate required (mm/min)
Number of passes

Comments (eg, produces toxic fumes - do not laser cut, great result etc)

Let us know if you have any materials to have experimented with that we could include in the results.


Darkly Labs


  • Hi There,

    Could you please include 2mm white and 2mm black Acrylic? Comments may include material treatment to get optimal cutting results. Thanks!
  • Yep. We have just received a batch of acrylics to test. Various colors.

    In Australia here we can only get 2mm acrylic in black and white. Most other colors are available 3mm and up.

    Material treatment is a good idea. We will include that in our list.
  • Please include foam board (paper covered). As of yet I have not been able to cut this mat'l
  • edited May 2015

    1. Please take photos of everything. It would help us figure out if the cut had an acceptable char level and help match materials later.

    2. For cutting materials it would be great to give a few ways to achieve results:

      • fast feed / lots of passes

      • slow feed / less passes

      • sweet spot where there was minimal char

    3. For ignitable materials it would be good to give warning ranges where it will be easy to start a fire.
  • Gabe,

    These are great suggestions.

    We will definitely be taking photos of all our tests.

    In order to get some basic results out for the customers who are requesting this information we may break it up into two phases.

    The first being a 'can it cut/engrave a material' with the all the settings etc.
    The second being as you suggest, more detailed and optimised results.

    We are hoping that perhaps the second phase can be partially supported by existing customers who would have had time to experiment and resolve these optimisations.

    We will see how to present this info. In actual fact, all materials will combust to a certain extent (otherwise they would not cut with the laser).
    This may be more like experience information supplied by us and other customers who have observed certain situations occurring while laser cutting.
  • I could definitely help... maybe just start it as a massively shared Google Spreadsheet?
  • Let me organise this.
    I will also make our default test files available to keep some consistency happening.
  • We have setup a Google Spreadsheet to recording results of the tests we are performing.

    Material Tests Spreadsheet

    If you are an existing Emblaser owner and are interested in contributing, please send us a message with your email address and we will enable you to edit the spreadsheet.
  • I have a pile of woods I'll run add to the results... sometime this week.
  • We have a large variety of materials here too that we will be testing over the next week.

    We will post a standardised cutting file we use for testing very shortly as well.
  • We have a standard test cutting file we use. It has a good combination of paths and corners as well as allowing easy kerf measurement. There is even a small section to write down the settings used.


    Here are the files:

    DL_TestCut.crv = Cut2DLaser project file
    DL_TestCut = Cutting file set to 1000mm/min & 100% pwr = Illustrator vectors of the cutting paths.
  • How do you measure kerf?
  • Hi Arne,

    The accurate way we have found is to perform a cut onto a very thin material such as origami paper using the lowest possible power to achieve a complete cut through the material.

    Then measure the width of the cut using a microscope. This is how we determined the numbers quoted for the different lenses during the kickstarter campaign.

    Without a microscope you could cut say 10 20x20mm square shapes using a similar technique as mentioned above. Then stack them size by side and measure their combined width. Knowing the width should be 200mm, you can use the actual width to determine the width of the kerf.
    kerf = (200mm - measured mm)/10

    With the cutting file above you could get a very rough estimation of the kerf by pushing the circle to the left in it's cavity and then measuring the distance of the gap on the right and dividing by 2.
  • Hey Guys,

    Just wanted to check in and see how the Acrylic testing was going? Very keen to see the results.

  • Dear Domenic

    First thanks for your avaiability ... in any case in these days I reach more than 90% of my competence to use your emblaser

    Considering that I use your Cut2Laser SW and In order to be fast in the "daily use" can you indicate me the correct ratio between speed and power to engrave the following materials?

    Anodize alluminium
    Genuine leather
    Syntetich leather
    Plexiglass (Acrylic)
    Plastic (like ex phone cover)

    One more question...

    If I setup the power of laser at 100% (on Lasercut 2D) it meant 2,8W or less?

    In case what's means 100% really? And in case is possible run around 2.5W for less of 1 minutes for some jobs...?

    Waiting your reply


  • Hi Luca,

    There are two things to consider when considering the laser power.

    Firstly: Maximum Current to diode
    The Emblaser has a set of switches which allow you to set the absolute maximum current supplied to the laser diode. This means that no matter what you do with respect to your cutting files, the laser will never receive any more power than set here.

    With this feature you can not only add different laser diodes to the Emblaser in the future if you want but also control the longevity of the laser diode.

    By default, the Emblaser has the 3 watt laser diode set to a maximum current of 1.8 amps. With the Three Element glass lens this equates to approximately 2.0 - 2.2 watts of power.

    We use 1.8 amps as the default setting because that is the recommended current by the diode manufacturer and will ensure the longest diode life.

    In house, we run the laser diode at 2.3 amps. This equates to approximately 2.8-3.0 watts of laser power. This gives us more cutting power but also slightly reduces the lifespan of the diode.

    Secondly: GCode / Cut2D laser power setting.
    Now you can set your power levels from 0-255 (0-100%) via your software.

    In C2D-L, a setting of 100% will mean that you will be supplying the maximum current to the diode. If you have your settings as above at 1.8 amps, then you would be getting 2-2.2 watts of laser power.

    If you set it to 50% power then you would be getting 1-1.1 watts of laser power.

    I hope that makes sense,
  • Here is a file I made for testing ideal speeds initially to home in on what might work - Basically just an array of the Darkly Labs shapes with some text burnt into the blank space - I've noticed that due to the angles in the small text, there's a lot more burning due to the fact that speeds can't be that rapid around narrow corners.
  • Hi Jonathan,

    Thank you so much for creating and sharing the crv.

    This is definitely a great way to run a batch test onto new materials.

    The only suggestion I would make it to possibly consider using a single line font for the text. This would not only speed up the whole test process but may also produce more legible text.
  • Here is another batch test for engraving new materials - I've simplified the text to a single line as suggested.
  • edited December 2015
    I just ran a cut (making a box via on cardboard C-flute (4mm thickness) at 1.8A (3Watt NDB7875) and 5mm/sec, 7 passes. I thought it would be helpful to add this to the material spreadsheet. This would be classified as brown cardboard (dense). Some charring on the edges and because it won't cut all the way through, you can easily take a blade and pop it out from the backside. It creates perforations for you. I noticed that there is no setting in the spreadsheet for this yet...only for the 2.3A setting.
  • Have anybody successfully cut trough white depron foam? Im trying to cut 2 mm, but no luck.
  • White depron foam is close to impossible to cut with blue laser diodes. It is translucent and has insulative properties This causes the laser bean to disperse within the material and also inhibits heat transfer.
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