We are pleased to announce that QWERkeys will soon be offering Laser cutting and etching services. For now we will be doing limited runs each month, so please get in touch with your requirements. Due to the bespoke nature of laser cutting and etching, please contact us for a quote.

Below is a list of the materials with their properties and restrictions when it comes to cutting. If you would like more detailed information, please get in touch.

Mild Steel

Mild Steel

All types laser cut – CR4, S275, S355, P&O etc

The cut quality is excellent, the level of detail achievable high, and the versatility of the material means it is used across a very wide range of industries.

Max. part size 3000x1500mm
Min. part size Very Small – depends on material thickness
Max. thickness 20mm
Min. Thickness <0.5mm
Min. Detail Detail can be less than the material thickness but caution is advised as the thickness increases
Cutting Tolerance <3mm - +/-0.1mm 3-6mm - +/-0.15mm 6-12mm - +/-0.2mm >12mm – +/-0.3mm
Effects of Thermal Cutting The cut edge can become hard – the higher the carbon content the harder the cut edge
Common Grades  CR4 / S275 / S355
Sheet Sizes 2000x1000mm/2500x1250mm/3000x1500mm
Applications Sheet Metalwork / General Fabrication / Structural / Architectural / OEM / Tools / Models / Sculpture / Art – the list really does go on!
Stainless Steel

Stainless Steel

All grades can be laser cut – 304, 316, 321, 430

The cut quality is excellent using Nitrogen assist gas and the level of detail achievable higher than mild steel. It’s obviously more expensive than mild steel, but its decorative finishes combined with its corrosion resistance make it widely used across many industries. 

Max. Part Size

3000mm x 1500mm

Min. Part Size

Very Small – depends on material thickness

Max. Thickness

15mm

Min. Thickness

<0.5mm

Min. Detail

Detail can be less than material thickness

Cutting Tolerance

<3mm - +/-0.1mm
3-6mm – +/-0.15mm
6-12mm – +/-0.2mm
>12mm – +/-0.3mm

Effects of Thermal Cutting

The cut edge on thinner sections is smooth and even – the edge quality degrades a little as thickness increases

Common Grades

304 / 316 / 430. The surface finishes vary by type and thickness but include mill finish, brush polished, bright annealed and mirror polished.

Sheet Sizes

2000x1000mm/2500x1250mm/3000x1500mm

Common Applications

Any application requiring a degree of corrosion resistance and / or a decorative surface finish.

Aluminium

All grades laser cut – 1050, 5083, 5251, 6061, 6082 etc.

The quality of laser cut aluminium is excellent, and we use special techniques to protect the surface of the soft material from scratches.

Max. Part Size

3000x1500mm

Min. Part Size

Very Small – depends on material thickness

Max. Thickness

12mm

Min. Thickness

<0.5mm

Min. Detail

Detail can be less than the material thickness

Cutting Tolerance

>3mm – +/-0.1mm
3-6mm – +/-0.15mm
6-12mm – +/-0.3mm

Effects of Thermal Cutting

The cut edge on thinner sections is smooth and even – the edge quality degrades a little as thickness increases

Common Grades Stocked

1050 / 5000 / 6082. There are lots of others – tell us the application and we’ll try to recommend a suitable grade.

Common Sheet Sizes

2000x1000mm/2500x1250mm/3000x1500mm

Common Applications

Any application requiring a lightweight but strong component.

Brass

We can cut up to 6mm thick, but it takes a lot of skill and power to make sure the edge quality is spot-on. Difficult to laser cut, but we manage

Max. Part Size

3000x1500mm (but usually limited by sheet size of 2000x1000mm)

Min. Part Size

Very Small – depends on material thickness

Max. Thickness

Brass – 9mm.  Others – Please ask us

Min. Thickness

<0.5mm

Min. Detail

Detail should not be less than the material thickness e.g. minimum 3mm diameter hole in 3mm thick material

Cutting Tolerance

>3mm – +/-0.1mm
3-6mm – +/-0.2mm

Effects of Thermal Cutting

The cut edge on thinner sections is smooth – the edge quality degrades as thickness increases. Discolouration of the material can occur.

Common Grades 

CZ108 –  There are lots of others – tell us what you need and we’ll try to find it.

Sheet Sizes

2000x1000mm, possibly less

Common Applications

Decorative products / special engineering components / electrical / others

Acrylic

We can cut acrylic parts up to 3,000 x 2,000mm, 25mm thick and with a polished edge. We keep stocks of various types and colours and can usually get sheets quickly. There is a vast range of colours available (normally in 3 & 5mm thick).

Don’t forget acrylic is an excellent material for laser engraving

Max. Part Size

3000mm x 2000mm

Min. Part Size

Very Small – depends on material thickness

Max. Thickness

Up to 25mm  

Min. Thickness

0.5mm

Min. Detail

Detail can usually be around 10% of material thickness.

Cutting Tolerance

>3mm – +/-0.1mm
3-15mm – +/-0.2mm
>15mm – +/-0.3mm 

Effects of Thermal Cutting

Cut edge quality is excellent – no further finishing is required

Grades Stocked

Perspex, Plexiglas, Irpen, Policril, Lucite, Repsol, Altuglas

Sheet Sizes

2000x1500mm, 3000x2000mm

Applications

Sign, Display, Decorative Panels, Point-of-sale, Promotional Items, Jewellery – the list goes on!

Wood (MDF/Ply)

Laser cut MDF is possibly one of the most versatile products around.

Max. Part Size

3000x2000mm (but usually limited by sheet size of 2440x1220mm)

Min. Part Size

Very Small – depends on material thickness

Max. Thickness

Around 18mm

Min. Thickness

<0.8mm

Min. Detail

Detail should not usually be less than 30% of the material thickness e.g. minimum 3mm diameter hole in 9mm thick material

Cutting Tolerance

>6mm – +/-0.1mm
6-12mm – +/-0.2mm
>12mm – +/-0.3mm

Effects of Thermal Cutting

Because these are organic materials the cut edge chars and is covered with carbon – the thicker the material the more pronounced the effect.

Grades Stocked

Most grades and finishes are available – waterproof, fire resistant, veneered etc. are usually available in most thicknesses.

Sheet Sizes

2440x1220mm; Occasionally 3000x1500mm

Common Applications

Decorative Panels, Exhibition / Theatre Sets, Stencils, Restoration, Engineered Components and just about everything else!