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Laser Engraving and Cutting

A guide to PPLD's laser engravers/cutters

Note

PPLD reserves the right to prohibit any material, especially those that produce noxious odors, excessive flames and/or smoke, or any byproduct deemed hazardous to people or the machines as determined by the staff on duty.

Unusable

These materials are prohibited under all circumstances. 

Materials containing vinyl/polyvinyl - When heated by a laser, vinyl releases chlorine gas, which is hazardous to humans and the machine. This includes plastics that contain vinyl, such as PVC. Many plastics do not contain vinyl, however it is not always labeled on the packaging. All plastics must be cleared with a staff member, who can help you find the Materials Safety & Data Sheet (MSDS) which will contain a list of all components in the material. If vinyl or polyvinyl is listed, the material cannot be used. Also, many synthetic leathers contain polyvinyl. Synthetic leather is not allowed to be used on the laser. 

Food - Even though the laser cutters are cleaned, they are not sanitized. Therefore anything put into the cutter can become contaminated by debris such as wood, glass, and plastics.

Body parts

Fiberglass and Polycarbonates - These create large amounts of noxious fumes and produce low quality results.

Any project that requires circumventing the safety features of the machine

Unrestricted

These materials can be used at all three locations without any special restrictions

Cutting & Engraving Engraving only Safe Plastics
  • Wood
  • Thin veneer
  • Cork
  • Matboard
  • Cardboard
  • Foamboard
  • Depron foam sheets
  • Silicone
  • Glass (including mirrors)
  • Stone
  • Ceramic
  • Brick
  • Painted metals
  • Delrin
  • Polymide
  • Mylar
  • PETG
  • Styrene

Special Restrictions

Extra Attention Needed

Due to the higher than average fire risk from cutting these materials, you must watch the machine during the entire cutting process. Simply being in the room is not enough.

  • Balsa Wood
  • Paper
  • Fabrics (e.g. cotton, fleece, denim, microfiber)
  • Felt
  • Twill

Allowed, But Not Recommended

These materials are non-hazardous, but generally do not work or produce very low quality results:

  • Non-anodized, unpainted metals
  • HDPE
  • Nylon
  • Polyethylene
  • Polypropylene