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Our CNC laser cutter/engraver is the most commonly used tool in our existing space.  It features a 100 watt laser with a work area of 4ft x 3ft.  It can cut through wood, plastic and foam sheets up to 3/8in thick in a single pass.  It can etch most materials, including glass and anodized aluminum.  Using this laser is about as simple as sending a document to a printer.  This is an amazing tool for artists who want to cut out large stencils, crafters who want to engrave wine glasses and beer coasters or inventors who need early stage prototyping.  Here are a couple examples of some things Audrey has made on it.

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Our most commonly asked question though is: “Can it cut a sandwich?”.

UPDATE:  It turns out I was wrong, no one has actually ever asked if the CNC laser can cut a sandwhich…lame.

So in the name of science, I used the last two pieces of bread in my house to make a sacrificial PB&J.  The video below shows the laser running at 100% power and traveling at a speed of 12 mm/sec while it attempts to turn a 2 second knife task into a 30 second engagement!

Due to the thickness of the sandwich it took, 3 passes to cut through the sandwich.  not because it didn’t have enough power but because the laser’s focus was too far from the bottom of the sandwich.  To make the final cut I had to lower the laser head for the final pass.  I call that a win for science!!!!

Extra Credit:

For those of you who have also shared the nightmarish feeling of  assembling a sandwich and then realize you forgot to toast the bread…I tried out the etching operation 😉

BOOM! I should have etched Elvis Presley’s face and sold it on Ebay…next time.

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-Corey