504,500 active members
3,514 visitors online
Register for free
Login
Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    Registered
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    18

    Co2 laser and plastics

    Hi all. I am looking to cut polycarbonate and petg on a co2 laser to develop our capacity.

    A machine supplier was a bit non committal about cutting these materials.

    Can I get some feedback on this? I.e ease of use, problems raised etc.

    Tia

    Rich.

  2. #2
    Registered
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Posts
    119

    Re: Co2 laser and plastics

    Edge quality is pretty poor with laser cut polycarbonate. Also the smoke is horrible. I've never tried petg though.

  3. #3
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    4816

    Re: Co2 laser and plastics

    I think polycarbonate is on the "don't try this at home" list for laser cutters. PetG is better; here's some information on cutting it: On the Cutting Edge with PETG and Lasers: Plastic Distributor & Fabricator
    Andrew Werby
    Website

  4. #4
    Company Representative
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    819

    Re: Co2 laser and plastics

    Yes. Very horrible smoke. It is not suggested to cut polycarbonate

    https://www.automationtechnologiesin...ser-engraving/

  5. #5

    Re: Co2 laser and plastics

    PolyCarb is definitely on the "DO NOT EVER LASER CUT" due to the toxicity of the smoke/off-gas. (The off-gas is in the Chlorine gas family and very toxic.) PETG will laser cut with a beautiful edge. It looks polished and very smooth. (We cut it at about 150 IPM with a 200W CO2 laser for .080 - .177" thick material.) If you have a CNC Router, it is best to use that for processing the PolyCarb. We use a Onsrud 56-625L 1/4" double "O" for processing Acrylics, PETG, and PolyCarb. Speed & Feed is dependent on material thickness. (I do a lot of .080 to .177 thick Acrylic & PC @ about 275 IPM / 20,000RPM)

    **Note: I am replying to this in case anyone else reads this and may wonder the same thing. I realize this is an older post.**

  6. #6
    Registered
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    18

    Re: Co2 laser and plastics

    Thanks for the feedback guys, Greatly appreciated.

  7. #7
    Registered
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Posts
    353

    Re: Co2 laser and plastics

    For what its worth, I am getting some parts in 1.5mm rubber sheet being cut by a rubber supplier using a water jet machine at an absolutely ridiculous (cheap) price. I'm only getting 2 parts x 2 designs (4 total). So cheap its not worth my while getting them done by my supplier in China and cheaper than if I tried to cut them by hand out of sheet rubber. Costing me AUD $29 including our GST tax.
    Rod Webster
    www.vehiclemods.net.au

  8. #8
    Registered
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    18

    Re: Co2 laser and plastics

    HI Rod,

    Thanks for the message. I use a water jet company for some items we produce. Waterjetting can be cheap, but the outlay for the machines is high (approx £250,000 per machine). I am looking at developing another production stream for our engineering business and I can see fab and forming of PETG in particular to be a great area to develop.

    all the best,
    Rich.

  9. #9

    Re: Co2 laser and plastics

    Rich,

    If you have a choice between PolyCarb or PETG, stick with PETG. Your finishing options are greater, since you can laser cut PETG along with a number of other mechanical methods. My only suggestion is get a supplier that will provide you with "good" material. We mirror ours using vacuum deposition, so the quality of the initial product is quite important. We also use it for some unmirrored parts that are formed and whenever I have gotten "cheap" stuff, I can tell the difference in surface quality every time. Price difference is minimal and you may have to get on the supplier once in awhile if they try to substitute grades.

    Ray

Similar Threads

  1. Recommend a laser cutter w/ at least 12"x12" cutting area to cut very thin plastics
    By Laserkid in forum General Laser Engraving / Cutting Machine Discussion
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 02-28-2015, 02:27 PM
  2. Laser for cutting plastics
    By sanjo87 in forum General Laser Engraving / Cutting Machine Discussion
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 11-25-2013, 04:46 AM
  3. Johnston plastics for HDPE and other plastics in canada
    By dustin1706 in forum Canadian Club House
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 10-27-2010, 06:05 AM
  4. Laser Engraving plastics
    By ImanCarrot in forum General Laser Engraving / Cutting Machine Discussion
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 10-06-2010, 03:34 PM
  5. cutting plastics Mitz 2000w laser
    By junckerl in forum General Laser Engraving / Cutting Machine Discussion
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 05-18-2010, 02:48 PM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •