Laser cutter

From MidsouthMakers - Memphis Area Hackerpace
Revision as of 13:58, 4 August 2022 by Critter42 (talk | contribs) (→‎Location)
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Laser cutter
Owner Midsouth Makers
Tool Category Tool
Model Redsail X700
Purchased On 10/2014
Cost 5000
Status Available
Availability Training required to use

Read The Freaking Manual.svgDo Not Hack.svg


Link to the manual location




The two big red things in the Nerdery.


  • Red Sail X700
  • 60 watt
  • Water cooled
  • 700mm x 500mm cut area


  • Never let the machine run unattended especially when its cutting!
  • Always use approved materials. Some materials can release chlorine gas or catch fire.
  • Remember to pull bed leveling knob before running a job.
  • Run the machine with the interlock on. The interlock is a key switch that will override the option to turn the laser off when the door is opened.

If a fire Occurs

  • Immediately stop the laser, this will more than likely extinguish the fire.
  • If fire still exist, try to blow it out.
  • If fire still exist, spritz it with the water bottle. Notify the board.
  • All else fails, use the fire extinguisher. Notify board.

Testing Plastics for Chlorine

A blow torch and copper wire will be needed for the test.

  • With a pair of pliers heat up the end of the copper wire and burn off any residue.
  • While still hot, touch a sample piece of the plastic you would like to cut with the hot end of the copper wire.
  • Place the wire back into the flame and burn the plastic. If the flame is blue/green the material is not safe and will emit chlorine gas when cut.

Approved Materials

Note: If the material you want to cut isn't listed on this page, email the mailing list.

Material Safe to use with a laser cutter? Can you cut it? Can you engrave it? Notes
Acrylic Safe! Yes Yes
Wood Safe! Yes Yes
Paper/Cardboard Safe! Yes Difficult
Foamcore Board Safe! Yes Difficult 1/4" maximum thickness!
Craft Foam/Foamies Safe! Yes Difficult use quick speeds, low power
Vegetable Tanned leather Safe! Yes Yes
Steel Safe! No Yes (oxidize)
Titanium Safe! No Yields a rainbow of colors depending on power.
Anodized aluminum Safe! No Yes (removes anodization)
All other metals Safe! No Yes, if you use Cermark or other marking chemical.
Glass Mostly safe, don't breathe the glass dust. No Yes

Disallowed Materials

Under NO circumstances should the following materials be cut on the laser cutter:

  • Nylon
  • ABS
  • Polyethylene
  • Lexan/Polycarbonate
  • PVC
  • Vinyl
  • Teflon/PTFE
  • CF/Carbon Fiber
  • Foamcore Board >1/4" thick

Feeds and Speeds

Different materials and thicknesses will require different cut speed and power. Table below is a good starting point for some common materials.


Material Power (%) Speed (mm/s) Notes
Acrylic (1/8in)
Acrylic (1/4in) 100% 10 mm/s
Acrylic (1/2in)
EVA Foam (~1/8in) 40% 75mm/s
Foam Poster Board (3/16in) 25% 100mm/s
MDF (1/4in) 100% 6 mm/s
Poster Board 45% 150mm/s
Vegetable-Tanned Leather (~1.5mm) 40% 50mm/s
Wood (5mm) 55% 10mm/s
Wood (1/4in) 95% 15mm/s
Wood (1/2in) 75% 3mm/s


Material Power (%) Speed (mm/s) Notes
Wood 23% 300mm/s 0.2mm Depth
Acrylic 30% 20mm/s 3.5mm Depth
Acrylic 30% 50mm/s 1.3mm Depth
Acrylic 30% 100mm/s 0.5mm Depth
Acrylic 30% 150mm/s 0.3mm Depth
Foam Poster Board 15% 250mm/s Surface drawing
Foam Poster Board 27% 160mm/s 3/32in Depth (half way on 3/16 foam board)
Glass 20% 20% cut lines
Glass 20% 40% cut lines
Vegetable-tanned Leather 30% 300mm/s


Maintenance Log

  • 11/16/2014 Laser Init.
  • 11/17/2014 Alignment and lens cleaning
  • 12/08/2014 Booster and external ventilation completed.
  • 05/01/2016 Cleaned Mirrors/lens
  • 05/02/2016 Laser realigned


  • Mirrors/Lenses. They are replaced when worn/scratched/damaged $160
  • Laser Tube. 3,000 HR runtime. $410

Authorized Users

See list located in space

Authorization Course

  • We provide laser cutter usage lessons a couple of times a year.
  • Those who take this class and successfully complete it become authorized users of the cutter
  • Upcoming courses will be announced via our Meetup page
  • Slide Deck for Authorization Course can be found here