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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?

  • 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.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    I am interested in getting your 40W laser system. How difficult will it be to increase the size to 48" x 48"?

  • 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 add information to this solution:
    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?

  • 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.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    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 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.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    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 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 add information to this solution:
    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?

  • I am interested in purchasing your 4 axis combo package. Is it compatible with MeshCam

    Our electronics and machines are compatible with all non-proprietary CAM programs. MeshCAM is a standard CAM package so it will work with our equipment. The electronics are more related to the control program (such as Mach3, LinuxCNC, etc) that you select for the machine rather than the CAM program.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    I am interested in purchasing your 4 axis combo package. Is it compatible with MeshCam

  • 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 ?!

  • What is the bill of materials included in the build your own laser 2' x 4' 40 watt

    The general bill of materials for the blackTooth 24"x20" laser system is as follows:

    - The structural components (MDO and Plastic parts)
    - The hardware to assemble all of the structural and mechanical parts
    - Mechanical parts like v-groove bearings, bearings for shafts, shafts, pulleys, belts, etc.
    - All of the motion electronics like motors, drivers, and laser controller
    - Wire to connect all of the electronics
    - All of the laser components including the laser tube, mirrors, mirror mounts, nozzle and lens
    - Pneumatic components including the air pump and tubing
    - Hydraulic components to cool the laser tube including a water pump and tubing

    blackTooth 24"x20" Laser

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    What is the bill of materials included in the build your own laser 2' x 4' 40 watt

  • Interested in the greenLean -- I need to be able to achieve 400 ipm on plywood-- is it possible?

    With our machines the ipm capable is very dependent on the bit/end mill (the more flutes you have the faster the material will be cut) you are using as well if it is with a router or a spindle, as well as the density of the material. If those items are taken into effect reaching 400 ipm would not be a problem with the greenLean/other machines equipped with our 2.2 kW spindle, and a decent end mill.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    Interested in the greenLean -- I need to be able to achieve 400 ipm on plywood-- is it possible?

  • BUT DIDN'T SEE ANYTHING ABOUT COOLING THE LASER OFF - IS YOUR SETUP LIKE MOST OTHERS NEED BUCKET OF DISTILLED WATER TO PUMP THROUGH MACHINE?

    Cooling is not as tricky as you might think. There is 3 ways to approach this, only 2 really matter for a low scale 40w setup. First one is the cheapest and easiest. The higher the temp of water the worse your performance will be, from what I understand anything in the 30C range is about the most tolerable it gets. Lower is better. But not frozen...from what I've been told a very experienced cutter, he found 8C was the highest power he achieved.

    1. Use a 5 Gallon resovoir system which gives you a fairly large space of water to heat up before you need to tend to it. Add about a cup of anti-freeze to the mix of DISTILLED water. You don't want ANY minerals in the water that might build up in your system. The anti-freeze works to keep algae and other ickies from growing in your water.

    2. Use a smaller resovoir system (or even closed loop) and install 1 or more radiators found in CPU cooling systems with 120mm fans attached. This will continously cool your water system to ambient room temperatures, but with a tiny resovoir it will be difficult to add things like ice-packs to drop the temps if the ambient is quite hot.

    3. Using an industrial coolant system. Overkill and unless your cutting A LOT, this is a very expensive option to take. You can also explore the idea of Peltier cooling but it is extremely expensive electricity/BTU wise compared to an industrial cooler.

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    BUT DIDN'T SEE ANYTHING ABOUT COOLING THE LASER OFF - IS YOUR SETUP LIKE MOST OTHERS NEED BUCKET OF DISTILLED WATER TO PUMP THROUGH MACHINE?

  • I am interested in buying the greenBull 5X Long Z CNC Machine Kit, but it is not clear for me what is included in this kit. Is there anything else I need to get the machine work?

    The greenBull 4X comes with all of the components and electronics to assemble the gantry of the machine. You will need to build the table. We provide the rails and roller chain for the X-axis (along the length of the table for full 8 feet of travel). You will need to provide some wire to connect the electronics and a computer to run the machine. You will also need to purchase the software that you will need to run the machine that matches how you will apply the machine. We suggest the mach3 control program. The CAM program is up to you as there are many options out there.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    I am interested in buying the greenBull 5X Long Z CNC Machine Kit, but it is not clear for me what is included in this kit. Is there anything else I need to get the machine work?

  • 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.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    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 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 add information to this solution:
    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?

  • 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 add information to this solution:
    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 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

    Gcode or digital files are not available for our machines.

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    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 add information to this solution:
    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 MOST EASY WAY TO HOOK UP MILL IN THAT AUTOMATICALLY STARTS WHEN CYCLE STARTS, AND STOPS GCODE THROUGH?

    Does your breakout board (interface) have a relay? If so, you can connect one of the router/spindle's ac lines through the relay. The M3, M4 and M5 codes are used to control the router/spindle. Typically, the M codes are automatically added to the g-code regardless if you configure this in your CAM software. If you have the breakout board from buildyourcnc, you can go to the product page for the breakout board and the relay connection diagram and narrative is in the instructions on that page.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    WHAT IS THE MOST EASY WAY TO HOOK UP MILL IN THAT AUTOMATICALLY STARTS WHEN CYCLE STARTS, AND STOPS GCODE THROUGH?

  • I am interested in buying the water cooled 2.2 KW spindle for $339, how much does it weigh?

    The weight of the 2.2kW spindle without the VFD (variable frequency drive or inverter) is 11 lbs or 5 kg.

    The 2.2kW spindle with the VFD is 15 lbs or 6.8 kg.

    Additional Information:

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    I am interested in buying the water cooled 2.2 KW spindle for $339, how much does it weigh?

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