These light sabers made by Michael Murphy illustrate how two-dimensional laser-cut parts can be stacked to create three-dimensional pieces. If you look closely at the black cylindrical parts in the light saber handle, you can see that some of them are assembled from two-dimensional circular parts (similar to the ones shown in the layout on this page) that we laser cut from sheets of ABS plastic.
ABS is a relatively strong plastic that resists cracking, so it is appropriate for mechanical parts that need to withstand some stress or impact. We stock black ABS in several thicknesses: 1/4", 3/16", 1/8", and 1/16". If you are mainly concerned with how a part looks, or if your part does not need to be particularly sturdy, you might consider using acrylic instead: it is protected with paper masking, it comes in a variety of colors, and it is cheaper to laser cut.
To get started with laser cutting your own parts, see our custom laser cutting service page.
Laser engraving is a great way to personalize anything, including a handgun case, as shown here.
We raster-engraved this walnut handgun case using the red “Colt” logo shown below. During raster engraving, the laser burns away a very thin layer of material to create a recessed area in the specified shape. Since the laser is burning the material, the wood might get darker or even charred depending on the type of wood and any stains, glues, or other chemicals that have been applied to the wood. In this case, the laser roughened the surface a bit but did not leave it looking charred.
If you are concerned about charring, you can always start by having us engrave a small sample, first. You might also be able to remove some of the charring by sanding. Note that many plastics including acrylic/Plexiglas do not char from the laser
When laser engraving a prefabricated piece such as this handgun case, we align the engraving by eye; although the logo might look well-centered, it could be off by a few millimeters (or even more) in any direction, depending on the details. Alignment is not an issue if we are also laser cutting the edges of the part.