Cutting Contact Paper for Glass Etching Stencils


#1

I have seen in other threads that cutting contact paper may be harmful to the laser.

Is this true @dan?

Is there a product that people can recommend?

Thanks


#2

In general, maybe. The rule is that if you don’t know the substances that comprise the product you are trying to laze then you are at risk. Some contact papers might be fine, but the concern is that there are some that are known to have pvc vinyl backings… and PVC is one of the hard NOs as it releases chlorine gas when it burns.

I’ve used Mylar for laser cut stencils to great effect.


#3

Two fold whammy. The chlorine gas, and that mixes with atmospheric moisture and results in hydrochloric acid. That will eat your machine.

Here is a burn test to identify chlorine.


#4

As someone who used the Con-tact brand in the past, it is also prone to shrinking, peeling, and bubbling since it definitely isn’t paper. (That was in a maker space and I was definitely not doing my part in making sure I used safe materials. :slightly_frowning_face: )

I will not be using it again, even just based on its disappointing performance.


#5

Here’s an option for sandblasting type etching. They have it in other widths as well, including 12" wide.


#6

That looks like the stuff!


#7

Rayzist has a similar product which MAY be capable of resolving finer detail.

Note that these products go ON THE WORK PIECE and then you laser away the material where you want the etch to appear. If you want to create a mask that you can apply to a work piece that won’t fit in the GF, then you need something like mylar and transfer tape.


#8

Anchor makes a laser-safe sandblast-resist as well, product T136… I’m waiting on a call back from them to tell me where I might actually find it, and how the price compares to LaserTape and Rayzist LaserMask.
STN_T136_TDS.pdf (86.4 KB)


#9

Please post a followup when you learn more! Etch masking is definitely on my to-do list.


#10

Found a message from IPG in my voicemail this morning, which said

“while we do use PVC in many of our adhesive products, it is not used in ANY of the Anchor Brand Sandblast Stencil Products, and they should all be safe to cut in your laser.”

So that’s nice to know… although it seems a little weird to me that on their product info pages, the T136 is the only one that specifically states its laserability.