Laser cutting abilities

I have noticed some bricks by the laser that appear to have been etched by the laser cutter. does anyone know if it is

a. safe to cut stone/concrete or other rock/rock like materials?
b. is using different materials (such as stone) a trial and error method, or is there somewhere to ‘look up’ compatible materials to use with the laser cutter?
c. I have a wide variety of stone/minerals as I have a lapidary hobby and have dozens of different slabs I would like to try?
d. I build and fly RC airplanes and I am interested in scanning (or otherwise digitizing) plans to laser cut balsa. I have already test cut a few pieces of balse and laser works great for that. can anyone help me get my plans in digital form?

Welcome mr_fisherman. I etched the brick as an experiment, just trying various settings to see what worked.

I have a theory that the most important factor is the speed of the carriage. Most materials burn away in the beam, but not masonry. It fractures into dust and gets blown away by the air stream. I think the laser gets a fracture forming in the brick, and when the speed of the carriage matches the speed of the crack propagation, you get a good result. So I would suggest using scan mode at full power and varying the speed of travel. It may take multiple passes to get to a good depth.

I don’t think there’s any safety issue to worry about. The air stream from the nozzle should keep anything from getting up into the optics.

As for your airplane plans, how big are they? One of the printers is also a scanner for 8.5x11 pages. You could then bring that into Adobe Photoshop, which we have on the lab computers, and clean up the scan and turn it into a vector format. Then bring that into the laser cutter software. I realize that’s pretty vague! But if you can get your plans into some kind of digital form, we can manipulate it into something the laser cutter can work with.

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