Can the Glowforge cut a CD?

So we’ve just moved house and going through the boxes I’ve found a ton of old home-burned CDs that I was about to throw out. Then I began to wonder if the Glowforge could safely cut a CD, because the shiny side is cool and could make interesting jewelry or other decorative objects. But, if I remember correctly, a CD’s surface is meant to reflect a laser beam, that’s how CDs work, right? So, y’know, I don’t fancy just sticking one in my brand spanking new Glowforge to try, if it’s going to bounce that laser beam back at the head and explode the whole thing (ok, slight exaggeration, but still, you know…)
I guess in a similar theme, can it also cut other reflective surfaces, like mirrors or mirror-backed acrylic sheets? I have seen these cut by laser cutters in the past, but just wondered about the Glowforge specifically.

Put paper or tape on the top surface and cut through.

Mirrors that reflect visible light generally don’t reflect Glowforge infrared, and vice versa. The bigger problem is the composition of the plastic. I can’t tell you that one but it might not be laser compatible.

1 Like

A quick google search says CDs are made with polycarbonate. This is very much like Acrylic in many respects, but cuts horribly.

CDs are thin enough you might be okay. But chances are decent it comes out pretty ratty looking.

1 Like

Thanks for the answer, guess I’ll just have to try them out when I get a chance!

It would be interesting if it did cut CD’s because they would make great hanging decorations - if cut into a snowflake for instance.

1 Like

Could finally be a use for all those Burn failures, instead of coffee toasters…

1 Like

Back when AOL’s mission was to cover the Earth in a foot deep layer of CDs the lady at the end of the block decorated a spruce tree in them for Christmas. After six months of exposure to the elements they look pretty ratty too.

Moby Disk - a piece made out of a lot of discarded CD’s by a group of artists in our studio complex…


I just did a search and saw this post from back in November. When you get a new ‘tower’ of CDs or DVD’s there are clear disks on the top of the stack. For some weird reason, I hate to throw them out. Are they made of the same material as the disks themselves…would they be a candidate for lasering…and do you think they would also come out looking ‘ratty’?

1 Like

Assume the blank plastic is made of the same thing as the CD/DVDs. CD/DVDs are polycarbonate which I understand is a big no-no in makerspace lasers.


"Can the Glowforge cut a CD? "

Only if someone else holds the mic…

Glowforge’s Greatest hits…

:grin: (My mind must be wired differently…)


Thanks…exactly what I needed to know. I’ll either invent another use for them or toss them.


Of course, your mind is wired differently, which is why that made me laugh! Boo…hiss…loved it!



1 Like

Good excuse to take up turning