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Question #: 9047

Question: What is the largest thickness of material that the BlackTooth can accomodate

Current Solution

A standard 40W CO2 laser will cut up to 1/4" thick of material, be it wood, acrylic, card stock, leather, fabric, foam, cork, etc. (Decent speed and final cut are heavily dependent on a strong air assist upgrade)

Metals cannot be cut due to the power level and wavelength of the CO2 laser. But it can be marked with special solutions like Cermark or Thermark.

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Other Possible Solutions to this Question

  • I'm considering the purchase of your Blacktooth laser. I will be engraving on my wood blocks that are two inches in thickness. Will the Blacktooth accomodate this thickness material?

    Yes, the blackTooth actually has a base that is open, so you can set the blackTooth laser cutter on a surface that is depressed as much as you need so you can accommodate a work piece with very large heights.

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    I'm considering the purchase of your Blacktooth laser. I will be engraving on my wood blocks that are two inches in thickness. Will the Blacktooth accomodate this thickness material?

  • WHAT THICKNESS OF MATERIAL CAN THE BLACKTOOTH LASER CUT?

    A standard 40W CO2 laser will cut up to 1/4" thick of material, be it wood, acrylic, card stock, leather, fabric, foam, cork, etc. (Decent speed and final cut are heavily dependent on a strong air assist upgrade)

    Metals cannot be cut due to the power level and wavelength of the CO2 laser. But it can be marked with special solutions like Cermark or Thermark.

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    WHAT THICKNESS OF MATERIAL CAN THE BLACKTOOTH LASER CUT?

  • 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)?

    Click the link to respond:
    What is the max thickness of material that the 80W laser can cut in plywood?

  • I am looking at buying the blacktooth-laser-cutter-engraver-40w. Can you give me some idea of the types and thickness of material this machine will cut and/or ingrave?

    Considering that "materials being lased by may emit gasses that are harmful to humans (corrode human tissue and cause damage to respiratory organs). Always read the MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) for the material to be lased. You can find these MSDS from manufacturer websites for the material you are considering for use in the laser system."
    We successfully have worked on Thin sheets of Brasswood, glass, foam, plexi-glass. The thickest materials you will be able to successfully cut is 1/4".

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    I am looking at buying the blacktooth-laser-cutter-engraver-40w. Can you give me some idea of the types and thickness of material this machine will cut and/or ingrave?

  • What is the Max thickness of wood that can be placed in the 4x8 cnc milling machine?

    Tricky question. That depends on the way the table is built. If the table is built with a step down area, you can put as thick a material as you want. If the table is flat, the clearance is 6 inches. Now, the thickness depends on the size end mill you insert into the collet. If you use an end mill that has a 2 inch cutting length, then your material thickness is 4 inches without a spoilboard. If you need to mill thick material, I would suggest that you fashion the table accordingly so the table can accomodate any thickness you desire. That's one of the great aspects of the buildyourcnc machines, adaptability.

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    What is the Max thickness of wood that can be placed in the 4x8 cnc milling machine?

  • I have been using a Blacktooth for some time, with Vectric2d and Mach3. I have always found that the laser burns a hole before moving off. I have always set material thickness at actual value. Should it be set very low? Also, of the many post processors supplied with 2d, which is best for Blacktooth?

    If you have the laser firing using the Z direction, then you want to make sure that the thickness and clearance plane is extremely small. The time it takes for the software to think that the z axis has lowered to the depth set in the design is causing the laser to stay on in a single position for too long. Make sure that the depth is extremely small, like .0001" or the smallest amount allowed by the Vectric software. Also, make sure the clearance plane (the height that the z axis would raise to clear any protrusions like clamps and the such) is extremely low.

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    I have been using a Blacktooth for some time, with Vectric2d and Mach3. I have always found that the laser burns a hole before moving off. I have always set material thickness at actual value. Should it be set very low? Also, of the many post processors supplied with 2d, which is best for Blacktooth?

  • How thick can the material to be engraved will fit inside the BlackTooth machine

    The thickness of material that can be cut or engraved is addressed in other CSL answers.

    The thickness of material that will physically fit into the machine is limited by the distance from the bottom of the cabinet to the laser nozzle, which needs to be at a distance from the workpiece determined by the focal length of the lenses used. (2 inches is standard in our machine.) The standard cabinet of our blackTooth has a cut out section about 25 inches wide designed to allow a sliding tray to be used to easily change workpieces. You could allow for material of any reasonable thickness by adjusting the thickness of this tray so that the surface of your workpiece is the proper distance from the nozzle. You could also modify the cabinet as needed to accommodate special sized work.

    If you need to lase very large workpieces, you might consider our Vertical Laser XL, found here: https://buildyourcnc.com/item/cnc-machine-vertical-laser-xl, or adding a laser tube to the spindle of one of our conventional CNC machines, such as this: https://buildyourcnc.com/Item/cnc-machine-laser-spindle-combo-head.

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    How thick can the material to be engraved will fit inside the BlackTooth machine

  • WHAT CAN ADD TO MY BLACKTOOTH LASER CUTTER MEASURE THE TIME OF USE?

    Hour meter. This will tell you exactly how long your system has been 'on' giving you a more accurate bead on the length of your tubes life.

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    WHAT CAN ADD TO MY BLACKTOOTH LASER CUTTER MEASURE THE TIME OF USE?

  • For cutting with the BlackTooth, what is the best type of clear plastic/acrylic to use, and can you recommend a source?

    The blackTooth will cut acrylic very easily. The type of acrylic (cast or extruded) is not important since the acrylic itself has 100% absorption with CO2 lasers. Any plastic retailer, even the home improvements stores will have sheets of acrylic.

    Avoid using plastics that will off-gas toxic and corrosive fumes. One example is PVC which is Polyvinyl Chloride. The burning of that material will exhaust chloride into the air and combine with the hydrogen in the air causing a chemical reaction yielding hydrochloric acid which is corrosive and highly toxic to humans.

    Always read the MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) for any material that you intend to burn with the CO2 laser.

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    For cutting with the BlackTooth, what is the best type of clear plastic/acrylic to use, and can you recommend a source?

  • WHAT SOFTWARE CAN BE USED WITH THE BLACKTOOTH LASER CUTTER?

    If you take the standard parallel cable BoB (Break Out Board), then you will need control software (Mach 3 or EMC2) and CAM software to make your G-Code (such as CamBam). Personally I use CamBam and Mach 3, they work beautifully but don't expect to turn them on and know how they work out of the box. Give yourself a few weeks to get familiar with the basics. CamBam is VERY powerful software for it's price. I'm surprised how much I keep learning on what I can do with it...I highly recommend it if you want as much control as possible.

    Mach 3 + CamBam as a bundle costs $310. EMC2 will give you a free replacement for Mach 3 and is exclusively for Linux.

    If you use the USB BoB, it will cost an extra $75 + $75 for the software. This is an all-in-one package so no need for Mach 3 or CamBam.

    For etching rasters (jpeg, bmp, tiff, non-vectors, photos), I highly recommend PicEngrave. It has been a labor of love for the past 9 years and John has done a wonderful job with it. It easily compares in quality compared to software that is in the $200-$300 range. John's software runs $40 and can be found here: http://picengrave.com/ (don't let the modest website fool you, this stuff can do amazing things). DotG and the Mach3 engrave plugin are two other options and instructions can be found on Dustans page in the gallery on buildyourcnc.com website.

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    WHAT SOFTWARE CAN BE USED WITH THE BLACKTOOTH LASER CUTTER?

  • WHAT SOFTWARE CAN BE USED WITH THE BLACKTOOTH LASER CUTTER?

    I would say mechanically, between the official build instructions, Warren's awesome blog (http://blacktoothlaser.blogspot.com/) and the tips in the forum, the blackTooth is a really simple build. The challenges come with electronics and software. There's a number of different ways to drive the laser and motors. A decent understanding of electronics and computers is a must.

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    WHAT SOFTWARE CAN BE USED WITH THE BLACKTOOTH LASER CUTTER?

  • WHAT IS D.O.F OR DEPTH OF FIELD FOR THE BLACKTOOTH LASER AND LENS?

    Depth of Field. This is how far the focal point goes before re-expanding again. With a 2" lens, you have approximately 2-3mm of DOF. This means that you'll have 2-3mm of perfectly focused laser before it starts to re-expand again. If you have a 4" lens, you will have up to 7mm of DOF.

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    WHAT IS D.O.F OR DEPTH OF FIELD FOR THE BLACKTOOTH LASER AND LENS?

  • What are the acceptable materials that I can cut?

    The machines on this site can cut a wide variety of materials. If there is an end mill (cutting bit) that is available on the market, the machine can cut it. The thickness is only limited by the end mill length. This is possible with these CNC machines and other machines on the market because the machines can be controlled in such a way that the material can be cut using depth per pass, feed rate, and spindle RPM.

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    What are the acceptable materials that I can cut?

  • what is the size/width of pulley and timing belt used in Blacktooth laser cutter ?

    The blackTooth uses MXL timing belt with 1/4" MXL Drive Pulley 20 teeth.

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    what is the size/width of pulley and timing belt used in Blacktooth laser cutter ?

  • Can we order a preassembled version of the blacktooth laser cutter and what would the lead time be.

    We do have the option of assembled blackTooth CNC.
    For further information on lead time and quote; please email (customerservice@buildyourcnc.com)

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    Can we order a preassembled version of the blacktooth laser cutter and what would the lead time be.

  • what is the physical size of the blacktooth area with the working size of 20 x 23"?

    The blackTooth work-space area and travel (X and Y axis travel) is 20" x 24"

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    what is the physical size of the blacktooth area with the working size of 20 x 23"?

  • whatt is the physical size of the blacktooth area with the working size of 20 x 23"?

    To allow a 4'x8' stock to be used by a blackTooth laser system, you will need to cut the large sheet with a standard woodworking tool such as a hand saw, circular saw, table saw, jig saw, etc. Alternatively, you can purchase our very affordable 4'x8' vertical laser systems that allows a 4'x8' sheet stock.

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    whatt is the physical size of the blacktooth area with the working size of 20 x 23"?

  • What is the footprint size of the Blacktooth laser machine?

    The footprint of the blackTooth laser machine is:
    Length: 37"/ 939.8mm
    Width: 33"-3/4"/ 857.25mm
    Height: 11"-1/8"/ 282.575mm

    The height will change with the doors that open to retrieve your material/project the highest point will be 28"-1/4"/ 717.55mm

    Additional Information:
    what is the maximum cutting depth of the blacktooth laser on plywood

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    What is the footprint size of the Blacktooth laser machine?

  • What is the dot resolution (size) of the BlackTooth laser?

    The dot resolution of the blackTooth is a combination of two specifications of the machine:

    - The steps/inch (or steps/mm) which is the resolution but not the dot size
    - The size of the actual dot, which is not specifically related to the resolution.

    The steps per or resolution can actually be a range, since the driver microstepping can be modified.

    A simple formula can be used to determine the resolution:

    step per inch = (motor steps * microstepping) / (travel at one turn of the motor in inches)

    if microstepping is set at 16 (1/16 on the driver) and you are using a pulley that has a pitch of .08 inches and 20 teeth on the drive sprocket

    = (200 steps * 16 microsteps) / (20 teeth * .08 inches)
    = 3200 steps / 1.6 inches
    = 2000 steps per inch

    To increase the resolution, just increase the microsteps on the driver.

    The actual dot size will depend on the lens you are using, the material being lased, the time period that the laser energy is applied to the material, and the focal height of the lens to the work surface material. The energy from the laser will converge to a point and create a dot on the surface (which is different than the kerf of the laser cut into the material).

    The dot will appear in different sizes depending on the material because, say wood, will burn causing a dot that burns the fibers of the wood and spreads a bit. The dot lased on the surface of a plastic, say Plexiglas, the dot will be smaller because the energy is absorbed only at that point, but since Plexiglas is a thermoplastic, a bit of the energy will melt the dot edges depending on the time frame (period) that the energy is applied to the surface.

    The focus of the laser energy from the lens looks like a cone converging to a point, then diverges outward after that point. Depending on the distance from the lens to the surface of the material, the dot will be bigger or smaller. You want to find focal point (where the energy is focused into a point). You can use the technique where you lay a material on a slope and lase that material along the slope to find the sweet spot (dot) and that will be your smallest dot, or kerf location. Remember that the kerf will widen or narrow within the material thickness depending on the focal length lens specification (the cone will be shorter or longer depending on the lens focal length).

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    What is the dot resolution (size) of the BlackTooth laser?