[Question] Small Flashes of fire when laser cutter cuts acrylic

Greetings Guys : )

Am a new member of this forum, and to DIY/Maker in general, so please forgive my ignorance.

I have recently purchased a 80W CO2 Laser device. So far I am very impressed with the device, but I have a point of concern. When the item is cutting acrylic sheet (between 3 to 5mm) flashes of fire can be seen on the acrylic surface.

Is this normal, or should I be concerned?

Pictures of a flash attached below, flashes appear irregularly but frequently, each flash lasting less than a second.

Cutting parameters is: 15mm/s at 80% of 80W Laser power.

Material is Acrylic with protection paper not removed.

Distance of laser head is approx 1.5cm from surface (machine uses auto-homing function, so I may be a little off).

Laser head has air assist and water cooling (not sure this is relevant).

Many thanks for any advice offered : )

I have baught a CO2 fire extinguisher just in case.

Greetings and welcome to the forum :slightly_smiling_face:

That is typical for cutting acrylic. You are basically vaporizing the acrylic so sometimes the vapor will ignite a bit and flash. Nothing to be overly concerned about and having a CO2 extinguisher handy is always a good thing for safety.

1 Like

Ahh, tyvm for your advice!

It is good to know that this is not unusual. Since I plan to cut soft wood in near future I think I will heed your advice and retain the fire extinguisher : )

Worth keeping this in mind:


tyvm for your advice! I will definitely bear that in mind.