HI. So I plan to make a bioplastic or maybe an eco friendly resin. It would have some type of cellulose fiber infused in it but I don’t know if that is safe for laser cutting.
If anyone has any info they could share for more research I could do
or if someone knows if its safe please let me know.
In general you want to look at combustion products on the msds. I’m by no means the world’s expert on reading them but if you find the sheet and post it here people might have comments.
Almost all plastics give off some measure of toxic chemicals, you are really mostly on the lookout for things that might damage your machine, chlorides and the like. They’re the ones that will potentially destroy your machine. PVC is the chief offender here, as it releases chlorine that can bind up and form acid inside your Glowforge and thoroughly kill it.
Most likely your biggest challenge will not be chemical but more physical, lots of plastics are too flammable or melty to be good laser materials.
So art resins have had mixed results in the laser, if you search for resin projects here you’ll find some prior work that talks about it.
The most successful projects seem to be the ones where you laser up a form and then pour the resin into it as a final step, check out @Whengeekscraft’s maps and other projects. Here’s one for example.
Search the forum for “resin stained glass” for more examples by them and others.
As for the MSDS’es, they list carbon monoxide and other phenolics as combustion byproducts. CAVEAT: I’m by no means an authority, I am just a rando on the internet with a laser, but if it were me, I would not worry about trying to cut this in terms of destroying your laser chemically. I would, however, be sure my ventilation is well sealed and watch it like a hawk to be sure it doesn’t catch fire or melt into my tray. Start with a small test for sure.
No worries. The forum is so full of info, sometimes it’s hard to know where to begin looking. Searching for just “resin” might be a bit too broad but I bet you’ll find it all interesting since you’re a resin artist.
Get a nice drink and read read read, you’ll be amazed at what people have tried and pulled off with the laser. @jules engraved a grain of rice. @rbtdanforth engraved a deeply woven wooden pattern. @elsieh makes crazy cool gingerbread houses. @shop makes awesome guitar embellishments. Heck I even engraved a rat skull.
If there’s an upper limit we haven’t hit it yet. I look forward to seeing what you make
I’m still curious if anyone knows anything about bio plastics. to be honest I get lost in the other threads talking about PLA. I’m making a simple bioplastic that anyone could find on youtube. It’s made with Potato Starch, Glycerin, and Vinegar. Food dye if I want a special color. I guess I’ll start with looking deeper into the ingredients.
Also I wonder if I should make like a cellulose fiber and acrylic fusion?
I never recommend putting resin in a laser… Always plan to put it in your piece after it has been lasered. I use a lot of UV resin for small stained glass pieces because it cures a lot faster but if it’s gunna go in a window, check out alumilite clear cast plus. It’s ment for uv stability in the sunlight.
What I’m really trying to figure out is the best way to make a fiber hard like a piece of board and possibly also usable in the laser cutter.
So the base is the fiber and the main thing its made out of and its sealed or hardened with something like resin acrylic plastic. But it has to be eco friendly. I like the idea of using the laser cutter to cut a mold that I could then pour the resin into but probably only if I could then pop the resin out of it.
None of the ingredients you’ve mentioned are laser-dangerous. The chemical reactions aren’t creating toxic (to humans or electronics) by-products.
My daughter (biochemist) says if you could get it to burn (and that’d be difficult), you could dance in the flames. Not sure why she’d think you’d want to but there is that Bottom line is it’s safer than standard matches even.
BTW, no concerns about the cellulose. It’s not related to the very flammable plastic known as celluloid. You’re burning that in the GF every time you drop in a sheet of any kind of wood products.
It was my understanding that celluloid was made from cellulose and turning cellulose into a bioplastic might have issues (think nitrocellulose). I was not concerned about using cellulose fiber as fiber for binding, nor was aware of a biodegradable plastic we could use in the Glowforge starting from liquid,
Others here are far more knowledgeable than me so I will shut up now.