kerf width

The kerf width (or the material loss as a result of the laser cutting) varies from one material to the other. It is listed for each material at the materials section on this website. For most materials the kerf width is approximately 0.2 mm.

The smallest holes you can make are as biog as the kerf width of the laser. Rather than a circle you would have to draw a very small line of just 0.1 mm.

The laser cut will be right at the center of the line. This means that the kerf width is equally divided between both sides of the line.

An example with a kerf width of 0.2 mm
If you draw cutting lines in the shape of a rectangle of 2.0 x 4.0 mm:
- the opening of the cut-out will be 0.1 mm bigger on all sides;
- the overall dimensiosn of the opening will be 2.2 x 4.2 mm;
- the cut rectangle will be 0.1 mm smaller on all sides;
- the cut rectangle will be 1.8 x 3.8 mm.

You can compensate for the material loss, for example when you are making a slot fit. Based on the example above you can compensate like this:
- To achieve a rectangle of 2.0 x 4.0 mm you need to draw a rectangle of 2.2 x 4.2 mm;
- To achieve an opening of 2.0 x4.0 mm you need to draw a rectangle of 1.8 x 3.8 mm.

Please note that most materials have a varying thickness. The tolerance range for each material is listed in the materials section on this website.