Materials for laser engraving

Hi everyone.
I would love to hear from anyone who’s laser engraved successfully on materials other than wood and leather using the original lower powered laser module.
The idea is to have a list of all materials that can be used successfully for laser engraving.


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Aside from the wood and leather that you mentioned already, I have successfully burned polycarbonate phone cases from different manufacturers as well as matte board.

What power did you set the laser to for those materials?

70% / 80% for both. The cases take a little experimenting since they all seem to have their own coating. Always buy two… one for testing the laser settings and the one that you plan to actually use.

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Packaging foam (I too the one from the Snapmaker enclosure box):
Here a quick 20 piece puzzle (80x80 mm) cut at 100% with 200 mm/min in about 5 minutes.
Maybe you can go even faster…
I used the 200 mW engraving module since my 1,6 W hasn’t arrived till now.


This is exactly the kind of question I was asking myself as well. Any possibility to engrave any kind of metal? I’m looking to stock up on some materials to play with before my SM 2.0 arrives :slight_smile:


According to the Snapmaker people, metal and glass are not supported with the current laser module, but someone posted to the forum a long time ago who succeeded in engraving coated metal (metal water bottles) with the Snapmaker Original, so something like anodized aluminum might be worth trying.

Things you can engrave, or should be able to engrave (not tested personally by me):

  • wood and wood products (plywood, MDF)
  • paper and cardboard
  • some types of foam, as demonstrated by rojaljelly above
  • sheet acrylic plastic, and some other types of plastic (be careful, though—there are plastics that can poison you or destroy the laser head.)
  • fabric (stick to cotton and other naturals to avoid noxious plastics.)
  • real leather (fake leather is vinyl and can emit chlorine gas under a laser)
  • flat foods like tortillas
  • possibly ceramic

For some of the more flammable items, you may want to keep something that can extinguish small fires on hand, just in case.

Further reading:

Snapmaker2 Laser FAQ

ATX Hackerspace Guide to Laser Cutter Materials


Thanks @ElloryJaye for this great overview, link and tips! This will come in handy for me and doubtless other newbies like me.

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I have used the laser module on two additional materials:

  1. Used the laser module to fuse CerMark Laser Marking Spray to crystal glassware using the SnapMaker 1.0 + a remixed 3d printed rotary adapter. The result is a black graphic fused to the glass like powder coating.

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  1. Used the laser module to cut latex (NOT VINYL!) waterproof mailing labels to create a mask for etching glass. I set the laser power and speed to cut the latex but not the wax paper backing, transferred the mask using Cricuit transfer tape, then stuck it on the glassware. Filled the mask with etching cream to make my own custom logo crystal rocks glasses as a gift for my business partner. The result looks like professionally etched glasses with our company logo.

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Hey I just unpacked my Snapmaker and was looking through the Forum and all over the web for some answers on this exact question you posted here. Have you had any luck engraving metal? And if you have, was it silver colored and or very shinny/mirrored metal? I want to laser engrave metal pens but are wondering whether they have to be coated (COLORED) or just not plain metal. Thank you!

It can’t engrave metal.
It can remove coatings.
It can ‘mark’ stainless steel with marking spray or dry moly lube.

I tried ceramic tiles. The back of the tile (pure baked ceramic ) works perfectly. The front (glazed side) doesn’t work. Although i spraypainted the front and lasered the paint away. Works well

Oh… and it works also when you aply diffrent colors of spraypaint. It lasers (about) 1 layer at a time


So I tried to laser on some COTTON.

Fastest setting (10W laser) 6000mm/min. Vector engraving. @30% strength =

FAILURE. (~59min. burn time)

Going back to test a different material (duct cloth)

Will be trying a ROCK next week. Will let y’all know.