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Laser cut vinyl?

Discussion in 'Vinyl' started by stoneandtle, Nov 22, 2010.

  1. stoneandtle

    stoneandtle Member

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    Nov 21, 2010
    Can you attach vinyl to an acrylic substrate and then laser cut it without affecting the vinyl?
     
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  2. John L

    John L Very Active Member

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    I can't say it cannot be done. But our experiment did not turn out well. Melted the translucent vinyl back away from the edge a little which didnt work for our needs on the particular job.

    I'm the router guy here and I was traveling at the time, so we had a local laser guy try it.

    Ended up finishing the job with the router when I got back.
     
  3. astro8

    astro8 Active Member

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    Yes you can, method varied depending on the vinyl and thickness of the acrylic, power of the laser. Thin acrylic 1/8" - 3/16" can be cut with the vinyl already applied with a 50w laser. 1600w can cut up to 25mm with the vinyl already applied.

    Thicker stuff on a 50w (where the laser would slow and do what John L mentions) I mainly cut the acrylic then apply the vinyl right on top of it dry while it's still on on the laser bed. Another fast pass to cut the vinyl.
     
  4. CanuckSigns

    CanuckSigns Very Active Member

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    it can be done but there are a few things you have to do, first off any PVC product (like vinyl) can harm the inner workings of your laser when cutting, I wouldn't reccomend doing any large amount of this.

    second, I would mask the vinyl with transfer tape and cut in multiple passes so you don't heat up the vinyl too much.
     
  5. CES020

    CES020 Very Active Member

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    I agree with the above post. It can be done, it works well, it could destroy the inside of your laser if you did a lot of it (cutting vinyl releases chloride gas, I think that's what it is), which is corrosive and deadly.

    I also agree that you should mask it with application tape before doing it.

    If your laser is under warranty, I wouldn't publicly say you are doing it, as it voids all warranties from most all major laser manufacturers due to the corrosive gas.

    I've seen photos of the inside of a laser that cut PVC. It wasn't pretty. Not how I'd like to treat a $20,000 or $30,000 machine, it looked like the inside had been exposed to salt water. Completely rusted and corroded so much it looked like nothing would move.
     
  6. stoneandtle

    stoneandtle Member

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    Nov 21, 2010
    Hmmm. Interesting. Thanks for the comments.
     
  7. jiarby

    jiarby Major Contributor

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    cutting pvc (like sintra, etc..) and cutting vinyl now & then is completely different!

    If you are cutting so much vinyl that it messes up your printer then you need to buy a vinyl cutter!

    The acrylic smoke will kill your lens alot faster than the thin later of vinyl will.
     
  8. CES020

    CES020 Very Active Member

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    I did say "if you cut a lot of it" :)
     
  9. V-ENGRAVE

    V-ENGRAVE Member

    It is actually safe to cut polyester based vinyl. Stay away from PVC as mentioned above. It is harmful to you and laser if used frequently.
     
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