Cutting formica, yay or nay?

I haven’t tried this yet. I am concerned with any toxic fumes or damage to the equipment. Does anyone have any input on this? I cut formica with my CNC router now and then and can make some pretty cool stuff with that material. I was thinking cutting with a laser could add a whole new level of detail to it.


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Bottom line is it produces formaldehyde. With really good ventilation, and no susceptibility to it, you might be good to go. Your decision.

You might be interested in this post.

If you don’t want to click through, the relevant information is this MSDS from Formica. They do specifically address laser cutting and formaldehyde on page 7.

Hey guys, I moved this discussion to Beyond The Manual since it discusses non Proofgrade.

Carry on!


An extensive MSDS.
The paragraph on page 7 states that the risk of thermally release formaldehyde is no greater than the risk of wood dust.


And search is your friend. It’s usually quicker than waiting for someone else to do the search. My post above is a copy and paste from a post I had forgotten about. I found it doing a search using the search term Formica.

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Thanks guys (@AhnoldZ). I was trying to decypher that paper myself and came to the same conclusion. I have my Glowforge vented to the outside so I don’t think the riskof any formaldahyde inhalation is very high.

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hi I think that MSDS is for flooring, made by Formica. When people talk about Formica they usually mean HPL - the stuff you glue to make countertops.

Good catch.

Here’s the MSDS for melamine, which is the laminating plastic in Formica according to Wikipedia.

From the MSDS: During a fire, irritating and highly toxic gases may be generated by thermal decomposition or combustion.

But with good ventilation I’d still use it. Your mileage may vary.