Cutting CDs and vinyl records

Ok so I know we all have CDs and vinyl records we regret purchasing that one hit wonder, so I was wondering if the GF would be able to cut these types of material so we could upcycle them.

My concerns are

  • CDs and their refractive nature, will I get hit with a ‘fricken laser beam’
  • Record vinyl any off gassing from the cut process.

Any words of wisdom from the GF team on these?

Ps cant wait to get my Pro version already making room for it.

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Search the forums. Both of these topics have been discussed. I can’t remember what the consensus was on CDs and DVDs. I know I have over 100 waiting for some kind of upcycle use. Vinyl records are out. Cutting them releases chlorine which is bad for you and for the machine.

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In case you have trouble with the search function, a very quick recap. Vinyl records, NO, don’t cut anything vinyl due to chlorine released. CDs? maybe, they tend to be from safer material but may or may not cut well.

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If you want to pretend to cut things out of records you can always take a piece of black acrylic, etch a giant spiral vector onto it, and then cut out whatever design you wanted originally

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That’s a great idea!

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I think that CDs are polycarbonate. The reflection would be the problem. Probably worth a try. They could be etched. I know that the writing process of a CD-R uses a 1-2 watt laser to etch the reflective surface, so I am guessing the higher power laser on the GF would cut through the metallic foil, though you would want to protect yourself from any possible reflection. It should be minimal though, since the laser vector should be normal to the CD surface.

I know it gets confusing but a CO2 laser is at a different wavelength than CD-r or Blueray. Different materials are transparent or opaque to different wavelengths.

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Would it work if I cover a piece of coloured paper or something that would decrease the problems of CD reflection.

Oh good poInt

This tread discusses cds/dvds too:

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That is BRILLIANT!!

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Hmm food for thought I guess

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That is just awesome.

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Does it Glowforge? For DVD’s, no. At least not for me.

Here is a pic of my DVD test with the settings. On almost all settings the laser would mostly burn through, but I never could get separation. It appeared the plastic was hot enough to melt and re-bond.

Happy forging!

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I think thats the video that inspired this guy to try to laser engrave a CD to play on record player. Results were… Dubious. But that seems pretty par for course with most of his projects :blush: I fell down the rabbit hole yesterday of youtubers making terrible, useless robots and inventions. People are funny.

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