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  1. #1
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    Dec 2005
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    67

    Question: CO2 Laser for cutting Polyethylene Foam?

    I have a general question for this helpful community of laser owners;
    Is a CO2 laser a good tool for cutting Polyethylene (PE) foam? If so, what wattage and laser head is needed for 2" thick foam to cut it cleanly?

    To be more specific, I want to cut 1/2", 1", and 2" thick White PE foam to be used for packaging products. Typical foam blank will be 24x24", so I know that's one of the bigger laser sizes such as 1060 etc.

    I know other tools used are CNC routers with specialized bits and or reciprocating saw heads. I also know this can be done by hand with electric knives and hot wire but we need to make a large number of foam cut outs and have them look clean and professional.

    Any and all input will be helpful, especially from laser owners who have cut white PE foam.

    Thanks
    Andy M.

  2. #2
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    Dec 2005
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    67

    Re: Question: CO2 Laser for cutting Polyethylene Foam?

    Is this the right thread to ask this question?

    115 views but no one has responded. Anyone that has a CO2 laser can throw a piece of 1/2", 1", or 2" thick piece of PE foam on and do a test cut and let me know.

    Thanks,
    Andy M.

  3. #3
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    Jun 2008
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    475

    Re: Question: CO2 Laser for cutting Polyethylene Foam?

    Quote Originally Posted by amasters View Post
    Is this the right thread to ask this question?

    115 views but no one has responded. Anyone that has a CO2 laser can throw a piece of 1/2", 1", or 2" thick piece of PE foam on and do a test cut and let me know.

    Thanks,
    Well I'm not sure if I have any PE foam or not, I don't really know how to tell by looking at it or I'd be happy to try it for you. I'd like to cut some also.

    I did find this video that may help...
    https://youtu.be/u1-OvJNNaOs

    And I put this into google...
    "Laser cutting PE foam" and got a lot of info such as...

    "Foams made of polyester (PES), polyethylene (PE) or polyurethane (PUR) are well suited for laser cutting, laser engraving and laser marking. Foam is used for suitcase inserts or padding, and for seals."

    Hope that helps some

  4. #4
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    Dec 2005
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    Re: Question: CO2 Laser for cutting Polyethylene Foam?

    Thanks SScnc, that does help.

    Do you have a laser? and if so what wattage is it?

    To everyone:
    I would be willing to send some PE foam samples (roughly 12x12") to people with CO2 lasers to do some test cuts.

    I am looking at several factors;
    How easy was it to cut? single pass or multi pass, wattage and speed used etc.
    How cleanly does it cut? This may take some experimentation to get a clean cut that would be suitable cosmetically for product packaging
    Can 1" and 2" thick foam be cut easily or is a special laser focal head needed?

    i don't need the samples back, just decent phone pictures will do.

    I would like to sample a couple of people who have a good amount of experience with different materials and who can hone in on a good recipe of power and speed. I would also be willing to pay a fee agreed upon in advance for this service.
    Andy M.

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