Data are presented on experiments in which micron-sized holes are produced in thin aluminum films on Mylar with an argon laser. Three-dimensional heat-flow calculations indicate that the temperature of the film need only reach the melting temperature with sufficient energy to also supply the latent heat of fusion in order for material displacement to occur. Vaporization does not seem to play a role anywhere in the formation of the laser-produced hole, contrary to other recently reported work. Additional evidence of melting is presented from scanning electron micrographs of regions after laser irradiation. © 1972 The American Institute of Physics.