Holy Mola, Laser Cutters! If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably seem some pretty cool projects coming out of my freshly arrived Glowforge laser cutter. But laser cutters are not all sunshine and cool, wooden hinges. Laser cutters were, until very recently, the domain of industrial fabrication shops with extensive safety systems. As a new generation of low(er) cost, hobby and household cutters enter the market, we need to step back an think critically about the potential health and safety impacts of these incredible machines. Like I did with 3D printers a few years back, I’m taking a deep dive into the hazards of laser cutters in the home and how to avoid them. First, the issues of least concern (not because they aren’t bad, just that they’re far less likely to occur). Fire. Lots of materials can catch fire, including, to no one’s surprise, wood. A fire safety plan will go a long way, but you can avoid ruining your laser cutter by being aware of what materials frequently catch fire. ABS, HDPE, polystyrene and polypropylene, and anything with poor thermal properties is going to ignite rather than cut cleanly. And then you’re going to have a bad day. Beam escape. If your m...