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If you hit a piece of paper with a powerful laser inside a vacuum, what would happen? It sounds like it should not "burn" and have a flame spread over the paper, as there is, of course, no oxygen.

Would it perhaps turn the paper into a thin sheet of charcoal where the laser makes contact? If so, perhaps one could make a cnc-type machine within a vacuum chamber that automatically cuts out stencils.

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    $\begingroup$ One doesn't need vacuum to cut paper with laser. It's been about a decade since affordable laser paper cutting machines appeared on the market, I remember there was a little spike of interest in that area, but then 3D printing took the mind of the masses. $\endgroup$ – andselisk Jan 14 at 23:34
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    $\begingroup$ chemistry.stackexchange.com/questions/49827/… $\endgroup$ – Mithoron Jan 14 at 23:49

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