CO2 lasers produces a beam of infrared light to cut and engrave flat sheet materials, see one in action here:
Laser cutting uses a computer to direct light at the material to be cut.
The material then melts, burns, or vaporizes leaving an edge with a high-quality finish.
See material edge finishes and thickness tolerances on our material pages
The laser beam is guided by the lines in vector design files. Ponoko cuts on the center of the lines in your file.
Dimensional accuracy of laser cutting is +/-0.005"
Average Kerf (amount of material burnt away) is +/-0.004"
The beam of light has a cone like shape, therefore edges are not always perfectly 90 degrees and squares and circles will not be perfectly symmetrical (this is more noticeable on our thickest sheets of material) .