10 Great Materials for Laser Cutting

Ponoko’s most popular materials for laser cutting with pricing info, pros and cons, and example project ideas

The Ponoko Materials Catalog offers a wide variety of high quality sheet materials for laser cutting. From those awesome new Premium materials down to plain old (but ever-so-useful) cardboard, there is a material option for every making scenario. Each material is thoroughly tested to ensure that it cuts cleanly, engraves nicely and just generally looks good. With all these great materials on offer, how do you know which one to choose?

Here is a snapshot of the top ten materials available for laser cutting in your Ponoko Personal Factory. Each material overview includes a price range for the Ponoko sheet sizes, the number of varieties to choose from, and also important information about pros, cons and suggested usage scenarios.

1. CARDBOARD

Pricing: 50 cents to $4.00
Varieties: 4 different types
Pros: Inexpensive, recyclable, easy to paint, easy to join (tape, glue, staples)
Cons: Low durability, not suited to raster engraving
Great for: early prototypes, package design, crafts, kids projects
Make something with cardboard!

2. ACRYLIC

Pricing: $2 to $86
Varieties: 30 different types + colors, up to 6 different thicknesses
Pros: High quality look and finish, high level of detail possible, engraves well, affordable
Cons: Can crack under stress, can scratch
Great for: jewelry, hardware/electronic enclosures, signage, ornaments, wall art, mobiles
Make something with acrylic!

3. BAMBOO

Pricing: $3.50 to $33
Varieties: 2 different types, 2 different thicknesses
Pros: High quality look and finish, affordable, renewable resource
Cons: Engraving results are inconsistent, large sheets are prone to warping
Great for: jewelry, coasters, clocks, ornaments, picture frames, boxes, wall art, mobiles
Make something with bamboo!

4. PLYWOOD

Pricing: $3.50 to $34
Varieties: 2 different thicknesses
Pros: Affordable, engraves well, easy to stain
Cons: Slightly rough unfinished surface
Great for: crafts, models, home decor, kids projects
Make something with plywood!

5. FELT

Pricing: $7 to $45
Varieties: 15 different colors, up to 2 thicknesses
Pros: 100% wool, high quality look and finish, renewable resource
Cons: Strong burn smell, dark burned edge color
Great for: jewelry, coasters, trivets, crafts, ornaments, lining
Make something with felt!

6. MIRROR ACRYLIC

Pricing: $6 to $58.50
Varieties: 3 different colors
Pros: Reflective, interesting effects possible, high quality look and finish, engraves well
Cons: Can crack under stress, can scratch, prone to warping
Great for: jewelry, signage, home decor, wall art, ornaments
Make something with mirror acrylic!

7. CORK

Pricing: $4.50 to $26
Varieties: 1 type
Pros: Flexible, renewable resource
Cons: Does not raster engrave well
Great for: cushioning/padding, coasters, crafts, kids projects, pin boards
Make something with cork!

8. WOOD VENEER MDF

Pricing: $3.50 to $26
Varieties: 3 different types
Pros: High quality look and finish, engraves well, solid/substantial feel
Cons: Inconsistent thickness between supply batches
Great for: clocks, magnets, puzzles, coasters, ornaments, jewelry, picture frames
Make something with wood veneer MDF!

9. LEATHER

Pricing: $13 to $104.50
Varieties: 5 different colors
Pros: High quality look and finish, flexible, soft suede on back side,
Cons: Expensive, low in-house inventory
Great for: bracelets, bags, wallets, book covers, glasses case, iphone/ipad cases, zipper pulls
Make something with leather!

10. MELAMINE MDF

Pricing: $2 to $11
Varieties: 1 type
Pros: High quality look and finish, wipable melamine surface on both sides
Cons: Only 1 thickness available
Great for: countertops, tabletops, placemats, shelving
Make something with melamine MDF!

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NEW Materials: Three New Premium Veneers

Three new premium wood veneers for your premium products

EDIT: 7/15 – To celebrate the launch of these new premium materials, we’re throwing a design competition with over $2,500 worth of prizes up for grabs!

Left to right: 3.5mm Maple, Cherry & Walnut Veneer

We’ve expanded our material selection in the US with three new premium wood veneers.

These high quality veneers have a wood laminate on each side which is sanded smooth and finished with a clear coat. The premium appearance makes these materials ideal for jewelry, coasters, clocks, or other high end products.

Click on the images below or head over to the materials page to get all the details on our new premium woods.

Premium Veneer MDF – Cherry:

Premium Veneer MDF – Maple:

Premium Veneer MDF – Walnut:

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NEW material: 3 ply blonde bamboo for laser cutting

available at the Ponoko US laser cutting hub

We’ve expanded our wood material selection with a thick, 3 ply version of our blonde bamboo.

This 3 ply bamboo is 6.7mm (about a quarter inch) thick with a thickness tolerance of +/-10% , making it a great option for home decor designs like coasters, clocks, table top surfaces, and wall art. It’s double sided, so you could also make bangles.

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NEW material for laser cutting — anti-static acrylic

In the Ponoko USA materials catalog

Attention all you DIY electronics geeks, we’ve just added a new material perfect for your enclosures.

This clear, anti-static acrylic has a special surface coating that will help keep your electronics safe from damage caused by static discharge.

Any enclosure or insulator has a tendency to build up a static charge when it’s moved. If the electronics are assembled in an enclosure and never messed with again, regular acrylic materials are fine.

But if you’re moving the electronics around a lot and accessing the internal circuits with test equipment on occasion, static build-up can be a problem for those sensitive electronics. Anti-static acrylic will help keep your electronics development running smoothly, even when software engineers start digging into the hardware.

It also attracts less dust, so your projects will be lookin’ clean.
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NEW lasercutting material: Gold Mirror Acrylic

A little steaze for New Year’s Eve.

Announcing our 100th material available from Ponoko USA…
Gold Mirror Acrylic!

Our new Gold Mirror is the latest addition to our catalog of lasercutting materials including our two other mirror acrylic options: bronze and plain silver-ish mirror.

That means you can make your own set of Olympic medals, a wide range of faux bling, and best of all… your own version of will.i.am’s KING hat featured in the pretty unbelievable video below:

We sayin’ gold we gold we gold we gold!

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NEW material: Black Ceramics for 3D printing

Available in gloss AND satin finishes!

Introducing our popular Glazed Ceramic material for 3D printing now in badass BLACK.

The new black comes in both a classic slick gloss finish and a stealthy lookin’ satin finish. Prices for both blacks start from $0.19/cm2 for Ponoko free accounts and are based on the surface area of your object (not the volume).

Black Glazed Ceramic (plain/gloss)


Black Glazed Ceramic (satin)


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NEW material: bronze acrylic mirror

new lasercutting material for Ponoko USA

We’ve got a shiny new material in stock — bronze acrylic mirror, perfect for fake Olympic medals, commemorative plaques, novelty license plate frames, and ironic bling.

It’s got a reflective backing with a warm bronze/champagne-ish tint to it, and you can get some neat effects with engraving. If you want to see the material in person before you try it out, you can purchase a sample for $2.50.

One major key way important thing to remember is that your design has to be flipped or “mirrored” because we cut the material face down. For complete info on how to use mirrored acrylics, be sure to read the material page.

Bronze not your color? We got silver acrylic mirror too!

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Glazed Ceramic for 3D Printing now in 7 colors!

plus 10% off all Glazed Ceramic orders through July 29


We LOVE 3D printing with Glazed Ceramic. It’s got the perfect hint of gloss; it’s safe for food and drink; it can take some serious heat; and best of all — it’s now available in seven oh-so-lovely colors.

White | Green | Pale Blue | Peach | Periwinkle | Teal | Yellow |

Today, we added 3 brand new ceramic colors to the bouquet:
Yellow, Green, and Pale Blue.

It’s hard to choose just one, so we’ve lowered pricing on *all* Glazed Ceramics through July 29. You’ll save 10% (price automatically reduced) on all Glazed Ceramic orders in any and all available colors.

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NEW material for 3D printing: white plaster

Our lowest priced 3D printing material ever!

Been looking for a way to test out your larger 3D designs without having it cost a fortune? We have just added White Plaster to our materials catalogue and your 3D product can be made for as low as $.69 a cubic centimeter!*

Because of this low price, white plaster is a great material to evaluate the aesthetics of your larger design before committing to a more expensive material.

See the material page for all the details and design specs.

*Designs 30cc or higher are $.69 a cc for Prime members and $.73 for free accounts. Pricing for this material is on a graduated pricing scale where the price for smaller parts reflect the true cost of printing these parts. For more information, see chart here.

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NEW material: bendy plywood available in NZ

Flexible timber for your curvy projects.

We’re welcoming Bendy Plywood to the Ponoko NZ materials catalog with a big hug. And it can kind of hug us back.

That’s because Bendy Plywood can curve and undulate within a radius of 250mm+. It’s an interior grade plywood made of 3 veneer layers of Fuma wood. The total thickness is about 5mm, and price starts at $2.97US for a P1.

Bendy Ply is great for model making, cabinets and interior fittings, joinery, and partitions.

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