Due to limitations of space, our vent for our glowforge pushes some of the smell out to a playground on our campus. We want to avoid materials that are hazardous to be in proximity to as much as possible. Many teachers are asking to laser etch plastics, but because of our limitation, I have been uncomfortable approving anything but actual wood pieces and plywoods with soy based binding.

Obviously a corn based material isn’t going to eliminate all off-gassing complications from cutting plastic, but is there a more ecological plastic that is safer to breathe after it has been cut and aerated? The output is over 1,000 feet away from the playground, but we have a wind tunnel from an overhead bridge that forces the smell out to the playground. Just trying to be cautious.

10000 ft? Almost 2 miles? Not likely any smells at that distance. Did you mean 1000? Even that is a long long way.

The contents of the wind tunnel from bridge traffic would be a larger concern to me than the contents of laser exhaust, but either way I would not worry much about it out in the open air.

About 90% of acrylic’s mass vaporizes into gas and quickly disperses into low concentrations, there is not nearly the amount of particulate and soot that woods or papers generate.


My bad… 1,000.

Every source I have found says that the emitted combustion particulates from acrylic are carbon, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and water. It is considered to be as safe to breathe its combustion byproducts as those from wood or paper.

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This question is outside our team’s scope. I’ve moved it to the Beyond the Manual section so the discussion can continue there.

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