Materials
 
Materials determine the type of laser system.  One laser is not better then another nor will a single laser process all materials  

A laser beam will do one of two things on any given material:  "bounce" or "absorb"

Be VERY aware of the smoke produced from a laser!!

  CO2 Laser Fiber (or YAG) Laser UV Laser
Plastics      
Nylon cut and engrave    
Polycarbonate (Lexan) Thin PC cuts decently, not thick PC Marks very well Marks well 
Acrylic Cut and engrave very well No   No 
ABS Engraves with no contrast   Marks with contrast  Marks with contrast 
PEEK   Marks very well  
Polystyrene   Marks well  
Polyethylene     High Density mark well
Pebax Engraves with no contrast  Mark OK Mark OK
PVC (Kydex) Hydrogen Chloride gas will cause health issues and rust any metal and cause bearings to seize   Be Careful
White Delrin Engrave whitout contrast Does not mark well  
Black Delrin Engrave without contrast Marks very well - white or yellow Marks Well
Rowmark (for laser)       
       
       
Metals      
Steel No mark (directly) Engrave or surface anneal Surface Anneal
Aluminum No mark (directly) Engrave or surface anneal Surface Anneal
Brass No mark (directly) Engrave or surface anneal Surface Anneal
Copper No mark (directly) Engrave or surface anneal Surface Anneal
Silver No mark (directly) Engrave or surface anneal Surface Anneal
Gold No Mark (directly) Engrave or surface anneal Surface Anneal
Titanium No mark (directly) Engrave or surface anneal with colors Surface Anneal
       
       
       
Coated Surfaces      
Anodized Aluminum Marks well and can bleach Marks well and can bleach Marks well and can bleach
Painted Surfaces Ablate paint Ablate paint Ablate paint
Powder Coated Surafces Ablate power coating Ablate power coating Ablate power coating
       
       
       
Other Materials      
Wood Cut and engrave very well No No
Paper Products Cut and mark very well No No
Kapton (polyimide) cut and skive with scortching No Cut and Skive very well
Marble and Granite Engraves well Surface removal well Surface removal well
Stone Engraves well at high power No No
Ceramic  Engraves with high power Marks well   Marks  OK
Glass Engraves well, no cutting No Engraves very well
Rubber Cut and engrave well Can cut and can engrave Can cut and engrave
Fiberglass Engraves with no contrast No  
Leather Marks, engraves and cuts well No No