Laser cutting metal is nothing new, but recently it’s becoming more and more accessible to the average hobbyist. Follow these simple guidelines to design your first laser cut metal part! In short, a laser is a focused beam of light, concentrating a lot of energy on a very small area. When this happens, material in front of a laser will burn, melt, or vaporize, making a hole. Add some CNC to that, and you get a machine that can cut or engrave very intricate parts made of wood, plastic, rubber, metal, foam, or other materials. Every material has its limitations and benefits when comes to a laser cutting. For instance, you may think that a laser can cut through anything, but that’s simply not the case. Not every material is suitable for laser cutting. That’s because every material requires a particular amount of energy to be cut. For example, the energy needed to cut through paper is a lot less than the energy needed for a 20-mm thick steel plate. Keep this in mind when buying a laser or ordering through a laser cutting service. Always check the laser’s power or at least what materials it can cut. As a reference, a 40-W laser can cut through paper, cardboard, foam, and thin ...