Material thickness and density are important factors to consider when laser cutting. Cutting through thin material requires less laser energy than cutting the same material in a thicker form. Lower density material typically requires less laser energy. However, increasing laser power level generally improves laser cutting speed.
In general, CO2 lasers with 10.6 micron wavelength are primarily used for cutting non-metal materials. CO2 and fiber lasers are both used for cutting metals. However, as a rule, cutting metals requires substantially higher power levels than non-metal materials.