Does anyone have any info on this particular material?
First of all: Is it safe to laser?
I know I should take the protective plastic off, but do I have to apply some other protective film to avoid burning or melting? Also, any tips on settings would be awesome.
From the HD website there is a link to a page on care and cleaning which has another link to the company website for that product. Under the brand “Optix” they state this:
Acrylic is slow-burning or even self-extinguishing, and does not produce harmful smoke or gases in the presence of flame. I don’t see a link to the actual MSDS however but from there you can contact the company.
If it’s not polycarbonate, but an acrylic, you then need to confirm if it’s cast or extruded. Cast is what you want–extruded acrylic might work for cutting with the laser (though most laser companies don’t recommend it), and never try etching. (Guessing too low melting point and risk of flames/fire).