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Question #: 10139

Question: Hi im interested in your new 4 x 8' laser , what is the thickest mdf sheet it can cut through ?

Current Solution

We have not specifically tested for this data point, but a general rule of thumb is that an 80W CO2 laser can cut wood up to about 1/2 inch. Actual results depend on a number of variables -- power level used, amount of air assist, focal length of lens, number of passes, cutting speed -- and each of those has its own tradeoffs. We are planning to do some of these tests in the near future and post the results, so stay tuned for more in depth information.

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Other Possible Solutions to this Question

  • am interested in purchasing the 80 Watt Vertical Laser XL 4'x8' Laser Cutter and Engraver, what material depth can it cut?

    The Vertical Laser XL's 80 watt CO2 laser tube is capable of cutting lighter material such as wood and plastic at up to 1/2" or 12mm.

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    am interested in purchasing the 80 Watt Vertical Laser XL 4'x8' Laser Cutter and Engraver, what material depth can it cut?

  • All of the pics and videos show your cncs cutting sheet materials, I'm interested in carving 3d images in plastic and hardwood slabs up to 2" thick. What machine and software would you recommend?

    All of our CNC machines can carve at that depth without a problem and do 3d carving. Our typical application is cutting sheet materials, but a good percentage of our customers cut 3D bas reliefs or even more complex 3D objects using reference points and jigs.

    Most of our CNC machines have a Z travel of at least 6 inches for the smaller machines and 7 to 10 inches for our larger machines. The Fabricator Pro has a Z travel of 10 inches.

    Depending on your application, you will need to consider the length of the end mill (more than the deepest depth of the 3D carving) and the stock that you will be using. If the stock plus the length of the end mill exceed the clearance with the Z axis raised to the top extent, then you will need to consider the way the table/bed of the machine is formed (maybe with a depression to take advantage of the greater need for clearance).

    The greenBull has the capability of Z axis travel of up to 36 inches, but I would recommend, if milling wood, that the Z-axis not extend more than 12 inches to reduce deflection.

    Additional Information:
    Most of the CAM software on the market will have 3D profile machining operation capabilities. CAMBAM has a very nice 3D prpfiling feature. The Vectric line of software can definitely handle this as well.

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    All of the pics and videos show your cncs cutting sheet materials, I'm interested in carving 3d images in plastic and hardwood slabs up to 2" thick. What machine and software would you recommend?

  • I am interested in your laser cutter package. Can you create a machine with custom length requirements? ie. 36" length

    For the blackTooth laser cutter and engraver, it is not possible to lengthen within its existing enclosure dimensions. The cable management is a bit tight. Call us to discuss.

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    I am interested in your laser cutter package. Can you create a machine with custom length requirements? ie. 36" length

  • I'm interested in buying your blacktooth laser engraver for cutting out inlays on woodworking projects. I am new to laser engraving/cutting, and CAD. What is the simplest beginning software setup available to allow me to cut 2D shapes and letters for inlay work?

    With our blackTooth kit, if you were to go with our lowest cost machine being $1700. With the parallel breakout board the best new beginner programs you can use, would be Mach 3 and ArtCAM, since it is a good program for beginning users.

    Now if you feel a little comfortable with CAD/CAM, I would recommend CAMBAM and is a good overall software since it has a large design screen which allows you to view your design more clearly.

    Additional Information:


    Additional Information:
    I want to avoid the Parallel Port option and go with USB. In that case, is Planet-CNC Software, and ArtCAM the best combination? Does Planet-CNC do the same thing as Mach 3 only with different physical ports?

    Click the link to respond:
    I'm interested in buying your blacktooth laser engraver for cutting out inlays on woodworking projects. I am new to laser engraving/cutting, and CAD. What is the simplest beginning software setup available to allow me to cut 2D shapes and letters for inlay work?

  • What tolerance can I expect from your largest cnc machine and the laser cutter? Also, what depth can I get on the z axis?

    The largest CNC machine we make at this time (12/04/2015) is the GreenBull 6'x12' model. This model has 2 options for Z-axis travel.

    The short-z option has a total Z travel of 5.75 inches. From that you would subtract the length of the end mill used and the thickness of the spoil board to determine the maximum material thickness. (Example: If the end mill extends 1.25" from the collet and the spoil board is .75", then the material could be up to 5.75 - 1.25 - 0.75 = 3.75 inches in thickness). This is good for most sheet-type materials.

    The long-z option, used mainly for large 3D carvings, requires a custom frame and allows for up to 36" of travel.

    The tolerance of our machines, like any machine, depends on several variables. The major variables include the manufacturing tolerance, the type of machine control used, the precision of assembly, the thoroughness of maintenance, and the initial and ongoing calibration of the machine. Because we sell kits only most of these variables are outside our control. Therefore, we are hesitant to guarantee a certain level of tolerance for an end user. However, in our experience, tolerances of .001" are readily achievable with our machines.

    Click the link to respond:
    What tolerance can I expect from your largest cnc machine and the laser cutter? Also, what depth can I get on the z axis?

  • I am interested in buying Laser Cutter/Engraver with Integrated Computer, so can you please let me know if your offer still stands?

    The (blackTooth) laser cutter and engraver comes with the unit shown on the product page seen here: https://buildyourcnc.com/blackToothLaserCutterAndEngraver.aspx

    The unit is intended to be set on a table top.

    The stand that you may have noticed was only a demonstration on how to use SketchUP in a CNC process scenario. The stand has never been offered with the blackTooth laser.

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    I am interested in buying Laser Cutter/Engraver with Integrated Computer, so can you please let me know if your offer still stands?

  • I am interested in getting your 40W laser system. How difficult will it be to increase the size to 48" x 48"?

    The blackTooth machine, as it is designed cannot be modified easily as the box within which it is contained also serve as its structure. We are currently designing a special mount for the greenBull (for the 40 watt tube) which will provide 5'x10' or 6'x12' work area and the machine is far less expensive than comparable 4'x8' laser systems. We are also developing a 4'x8' 80 watt system where the tube is in the horizontal orientation. More information can be found in the R&D section.

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    I am interested in getting your 40W laser system. How difficult will it be to increase the size to 48" x 48"?

  • What metal sheets can I cut with the 80W laser? What thickness, alumium, steel? What about the 100 or 130W upgrades?

    Cutting metals with a CO2 laser is nearly impossible with just the laser by itself, no matter what the power. The wavelength that a CO2 laser outputs is not best for cutting metals.

    However, if you add oxygen as a cutting assist in the cutting process, metals can be cut, but we do not advise this as it is very dangerous.

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    What metal sheets can I cut with the 80W laser? What thickness, alumium, steel? What about the 100 or 130W upgrades?

  • If I build a Laser with the components on this site, can I cut the 0.1mm and 0.2mm board? Is it cut in optimal conditions, or if not what you recommend ?!

    What material is the 0.1mm and 0.2mm board?

    Additional Information:
    Steel sheet


    Additional Information:
    Steel Sheet

    Additional Information:
    Thanks for the response. CO2 lasers unfortunately cannot cut metallic materials. Metals are best cut with other types of lasers, or by using oxygen assist. The oxygen assist method is not encourages as the combination or CO2 laser and oxygen is very volatile.

    Additional Information:
    and I can not do this laser to cut the steel plate, but instead of the CO2 tube I put the oxygen tube, or do not I know ?! Do I have a chance in the products on the site to create a laser for 0.1mm and 0.2mm steel sheets?

    Additional Information:
    I can help with an answer, Thanks!

    Additional Information:
    I can help with an answer, Thanks!

    Additional Information:
    Can you help me with an answer? Thank you! **

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    If I build a Laser with the components on this site, can I cut the 0.1mm and 0.2mm board? Is it cut in optimal conditions, or if not what you recommend ?!

  • I have the build your own CNC kit 3 Axis CNC Machine 2008, were can I get the Gcode or vector files for it ? I wanted to have it laser cut
  • I'm interested in one of your BlackToe kits. Will it cut plywood R/C airplane wing ribs accurately, including the small notches for spars and sheeting? I've heard gantry mass is too high, and causes the small notches to not be cut accurately.

    Our blackToe will work with R/C models, and can cut plywood, acrylic, foam, light sheets of aluminum. The gantry mass is not too dependent where you will see a significant accuracy loss that will not work with cutting small notches or small detailed parts, but depending on your CAD/CAM software and how accurate you specify the design it would be best if you create it in sections where you can change the endmill to a finer detailed bit when needed.
    Also dealing with our CNC machines the accuracy is in the thousandths of an inch (0.001).
    Dealing with small notches, you will most likely be better off using a small endmill/cutter, for very fine detailing (ex. a 1/8" endmill or a 1/32" endmill).

    Click the link to respond:
    I'm interested in one of your BlackToe kits. Will it cut plywood R/C airplane wing ribs accurately, including the small notches for spars and sheeting? I've heard gantry mass is too high, and causes the small notches to not be cut accurately.

  • what is the thickest plywood you can cut with the lazer

    Our blackTooth laser cutter and engraver, will cut up too 1/4" wood, and acrylic. This will be the norm with our machine.
    Trying to cut a thicker material is possible but will need certain adjustments, ex. lowering the laser nozzle/focal point as the cut is made, lower and lower till the complete cut is made. We however do not recommend doing this with our machine!

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    what is the thickest plywood you can cut with the lazer

  • I am interested in the "Design Your CNC" page. However I need an extra long table. Is there any possibility of designing a custom 2' x 16' CNC, or can two 2' x 8' tables be combined some how?

    Yes, we can customize almost any size of a machine. 2'x16' is within the possible dimensions. For a customized machine that you do not see in the "Design Your CNC" section, you will need to contact customerservice@buildyourcnc.com and make the request there.

    Click the link to respond:
    I am interested in the "Design Your CNC" page. However I need an extra long table. Is there any possibility of designing a custom 2' x 16' CNC, or can two 2' x 8' tables be combined some how?

  • from what I understand, The BlackTooth Laser comes with an open bottom with no bed, does one pull air through this opening for fume ventilation through the bed?

    On the blackTooth laser cutter and engraver, the ventilation is at the back and there is a slit at the bottom front so when the machine is placed on a surface, the air will move from the front of the machine and out the back through the ventilation. This will move the particles past the mirrors and tube output efficiently with a reduced likelihood of building up on these important surfaces.

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    from what I understand, The BlackTooth Laser comes with an open bottom with no bed, does one pull air through this opening for fume ventilation through the bed?

  • What is the max thickness of material that the 80W laser can cut in plywood?

    An 80 watt laser can cut plywood up to 1/2 inch thick. Make sure to use a high pressure source of air to knock out all of the charring during the cutting process so the laser can work efficiently.

    Additional Information:
    I have a Chinese 80W laser. Just finished a cut test with 1/2" plywood. It cut through at 95% power 7-4mm/s with significant charring after two passes with no refocusing done between passes.

    Additional Information:
    That's great information. What is your PSI of the air assist on your laser? What focal lens distance do you have? And where did you place the focus of the lens (at the surface, or within the material)?

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    What is the max thickness of material that the 80W laser can cut in plywood?

  • For the XL Vertical Laser Machine I see it won't cut metal as it is only 80w. However, I noticed that you are working on 100w and 130w versions so will that be sufficient to cut through sheet metal? If so, how much longer until those are available?

    Cutting metal with lasers even at 100W and 130W is difficult. The main problem is molten is a byproduct of lasing, which can severely damage the laser.

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    For the XL Vertical Laser Machine I see it won't cut metal as it is only 80w. However, I noticed that you are working on 100w and 130w versions so will that be sufficient to cut through sheet metal? If so, how much longer until those are available?

  • I was wondering what the max depth is for something to go into the 40W C02 Laser cutter and engraver with blacktooth

    Hello, I was wondering if the Blactooth laser cutter can engrave in 3d, different depths in the same piece of wood?

    Additional Information:

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    I was wondering what the max depth is for something to go into the 40W C02 Laser cutter and engraver with blacktooth

  • I am interested in your Black Toe (24" X 48") machine, and am wondering if using two medium motors on the "X" and "Y" axis makes sense relative to power and alignment (racking). What would you recommend?

    it is possible to install 2 motors on a single axis but you will require another driver and motor, but wire it directly to the same pins on your breakout board. Also the orientation of your motor since it is opposite side of the original so getting it to move accordingly to the original motor it will need to be orientated correctly. The slight shift could be the cause of the rod not being completely flat where the set screws are suppose to tighten the sprocket to the rod, so sanding it to a flatter surface might fix the shift in directions.
    Currently do not have a kit or schematic available.

    Click the link to respond:
    I am interested in your Black Toe (24" X 48") machine, and am wondering if using two medium motors on the "X" and "Y" axis makes sense relative to power and alignment (racking). What would you recommend?

  • can I control the speed of a 2.2 spindle through your 5 axis breakout board with relay?

    Yes, you can control the speed of the 2.2 kW spindle, and the other spindles we sell, through Mach3 software. It requires making some changes to the settings in Mach3 and in your inverter. It also requires an additional part, which is called a USB to Serial Converter, found on our site here:

    https://www.buildyourcnc.com/item/Interfaces-newbiehack-Interfaces-TTL232R-USB-UART-Serial

    I have some additional instructions, that I will send upon request, by email. I will also be adding a complete tutorial and video, to the website, on how to do this soon.

    Additional Information:
    20

    Click the link to respond:
    can I control the speed of a 2.2 spindle through your 5 axis breakout board with relay?