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The Rules of Laser Cutting

The Dos and Don’ts of Laser Cutting

Laser cutting is a technique used by many trophy stores, including Trophy & Medal Boutique, for engraving or etching. It uses laser technology to etch a logo or phrase into different materials.

However, did you know that there are actually certain rules as to what you can and can’t cut? Yes, certain materials are perfect for laser cutting, while others are simply a no-go for a multitude of reasons.

Materials That Are Perfect for Laser Cutting

Let’s start by discussing what materials you can engrave using a laser and some things to look out for when you do. Most types of wood can be engraved using a laser. It is important to note, however, that oily or resinous woods should be avoided as they are extremely flammable. Some of the most popular materials, which are safe to cut, are glass, stainless steel, stone or crystal, and real leather. We here at Trophy & Medal Boutique specifically offer engraving services that make use of many of these materials, such as engraving done on wooden plaques and doctor’s plates.

Other materials that cut well are paper and cardboard and they are very quick to cut through with the laser. Once again, though, it is important to watch out for potential fire hazards. Cork can also cut quite nicely, though this does depend entirely on the thickness. An important rule of thumb: the thicker the material, the more difficult it will be to cut.

Materials That Should Never Be Used for Laser Cutting

While laser cutting is a super effective technique, it is important to know that there are limits to what you can safely use material-wise. The first type of material to avoid is plastic as it melts very easily and is incendiary. Other highly flammable materials to avoid would be most types of foams and polycarbonate.

Flammable materials aren’t the only things to be avoided though. There are also materials that can emit toxic gases when cut, especially with something like a laser, and these can be harmful to your health. Examples of materials that do this are PVC and most types of fake leather which emit chlorine gas, fibreglass, coated carbon fibre, and ABS which emits cyanide gas.

As you can see, laser cutting is a technique that requires skill, knowledge and craftsmanship to employ. There are precautions that need to be taken to ensure the safety of everyone involved. This is why we suggest you always use a professional when you want items engraved. And, you need not look any further than Trophy & Medal Boutique! Founded in 1989, we have the skills and experience to be able to deliver phenomenal services. So, contact us today to get a quote or find out more about our services.

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