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Ponoko Manufacturing Standards
Ponoko Manufacturing Standards
Dan Emery avatar
Written by Dan Emery
Updated over a week ago

CO2 Laser Cutting Capabilities (Non-Metals)

  • The edge to edge cut tolerances is a factor of the machines’ positional accuracy tolerance (+/- 0.005”/0.12mm) and the material specific kerf (varies per material and thickness). Refer to this chart for overall tolerances.

  • Material thickness tolerances are independent of cutting tolerances, as they rely on the raw stock material’s tolerance range from the manufacturer. Refer to individual material pages for the specific thickness tolerance.

  • Parts made on thicker materials may have a tolerance deviation on the bottom face due to the tapered/conical profile of the laser’s beam.

  • Extremely fine, intricate, or dense geometry may result in tolerances outside of the normal range due to buildup of heat resulting in a larger heat-affected-zone.

  • The edge condition of parts cut from sheet materials will consist of vertical striations, rather than smooth edges. Acrylics & plastics will have a laser polished/melted edge whereas non-plastics will have a carbonized edge.

  • Textured sheets, such as matte acrylic only one side with the cosmetic finish. This is typically the top side of the part as it is arranged for cutting.

  • Materials with a grain will be oriented at Ponoko's discretion, typically with the grain running along the x-axis (horizontally as display on screen)

  • Ponoko cannot guarantee material flatness as this relies on the raw stock material. Material flatness may affect cut quality and angle.

  • Small holes will not be perfectly round. It is recommended to ream holes if precision is needed.

  • The laser edge is not perfectly square to the top surface due to tapers inherent in laser cutting. Edge angle is +/- 2 degrees

  • Materials will be delivered with protective paper on unless finishing services have been selected.

Sheet Metal Sheet Fabrication

  • The edge to edge cut tolerances is a factor of the machine tolerance (+/- 0.005”/0.12mm) and the material kerf (varies per material and thickness). Refer to this chart for overall tolerances.

  • Material thickness tolerances are independent of cutting tolerances, as they rely on the raw stock material’s tolerance range from the manufacturer. Refer to individual material pages for the specific thickness tolerance.

  • Parts made on thicker materials may have a tolerance deviation on the bottom face due to the tapered/conical profile of the laser’s beam.

  • Holes of 0.100” or smaller in diameter may be slightly larger on the top face than standard tolerances due to the cutter piercing the material near the hole's cut line.

  • Extremely fine, intricate, or dense geometry may result in tolerances outside of the normal range due to buildup of heat resulting in a larger heat-affected-zone.

  • Ponoko cannot guarantee flatness callouts for sheet cut materials except on materials labeled as precision ground.

  • A small bump or divot in the material or a different edge condition may be present at the lead-in and lead-out in a cutting profile, and/or where micro-joints are required to secure parts during cutting.

  • Pre-finished or textured sheets, such as brushed or polished stock may have only one side with the cosmetic finish.

  • Parts may be shipped with protective film still applied to prevent damage of cosmetic finishes.

  • The edge condition of parts cut from sheet materials will consist of vertical striations, rather than smooth, polished edges.

  • Some cut materials may show a small halo discoloration from vaporized material overspray near the cut edges.

  • Lasers cannot cut extremely fine or intricate geometry in thick materials. As a rule of thumb, the size of features should be equal to the thickness of the material.

Sheet Metal Bending

  • Simple, single bend parts will have a +/- 0.015” (0.38mm) tolerance, bend to edge.

  • Multi bend parts +/- 0.030” (0.76mm) Bend to edge. Each bend adds at least .015” (0.38mm) tolerance.

  • Linear dimensions excluding locations to bends: +/- 0.010".

  • Angularity: +/- 1 degrees for parts up to 24” / 610mm and +/- 1 degrees for parts greater than 24” / 610mm.

  • Some bulging at the ends of the bend will be expected.

  • Witness marks from the bending process will be visible. These can become deeper and more noticeable depending on the material.

Fiber Laser Marking

  • Positioning accuracy (edge of part to marked artwork) is +/- 0.010” (0.25mm)

  • Marked artwork size accuracy is +/- 0.005” (0.12mm)

Tighter Tolerances

Tighter tolerances may be available depending on design, material and manufacturing process. If this is needed, speak with our sales engineer to determine what is right for your project.

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