Step 2: Materials - Part 2 - The Hardware
Cast Acrylic - can be etched and cut (has a nice frosted appearance).
Extruded Acrylic - can be cut (does not frost when etched).
Laser safe plastic such as ABS and polycarbonate - can be both etched and cut.
(PVC and vinyl are not laser safe - see step 4)
Anodized Aluminum - can be etched (Black anodized aluminum provides best contrast out of all anodized aluminum)
Brass - un-coated brass can not be etched with a laser, it needs to have some kind of coating (such as paint).
Glass - can be etched. This includes bottles (both full and empty) drinking glasses, and plain flat glass. Requires a more special technique to etch well.
Wood - can be both etched and cut
Too High of a power can distort engraved images.
There are also several materials that places won't tell you you can cut, such as: