Can I use 500mw 808nm Infrared IR Laser Diode for engraving and cutting of wood, plastic and metal?ASER
closed as off-topic by Chris Stratton, RoyC, Marcus Müller, laptop2d, Dave Tweed♦ Feb 24 '18 at 20:11
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No. 500mW at IR wavelengths cannot cut Metal. Reflection issue aside, it cannot produce the heat needed in the time needed to cut through it. The metal will absorb the heat and dissipate it away too quickly. At best, if you angle it, and paint it black or use tape, you may, may, lightly etch it.
That laser may cut balsa wood, very very not dense material, with multiple passes.
Plastic depends on the plastic type, how deep, etc. Keep in mind that some plastic has chlorine in it, like PVC, and it will damage the lens.
In short, a 500 mW laser is best used to engrave, and can only really cut paper. I struggled to cut poster board, and most cardboard, even the 1/16 inch stuff was too much to cut. I myself own one of these lasers.