Cutting silicone mats and EPDM rubber

I’ve found lots of potential in these materials. Silicone jewelry was one of the first uses I ran into, and then I found out that Nervous System used EPDM rubber for their designs.

Though since then I’ve used the silicone to cut custom gaskets for kitchen jars among other things. I also want to try making some embossing mats for clay work at some point like this artist does and perhaps making some food safe silicone stencils for cakes and muffins (I don’t know much about EPDM and food safety).

Picture above by Leah Buechly on Instagram.

Here is a project that I made recently using EPDM:

I made a video about it that includes some additional tips and tests:

I’ve bought silicone from amazon and eBay. It’s mostly sold as kitchen mats but some suppliers will have larger pieces. Most of the kitchen mats I’ve bought are around 1/32" and I also tried some 1/16" off of eBay though my basic struggles a bit with it even with 2 passes.

In the video above I used the following materials:

And these were the cut settings I arrived at, as usual your mileage may vary:

  • EPDM Rubber Sheets:
    • 1/64" - 300/50
    • 1/32" - 300/100
    • 1/16" - 150/full , 2 passes
  • Silicone Rubber:
    • 1/32" - 200/85

Notes and tips:

  • EPDM does smell a bit like burnt rubber but it’s really not as bad as I expected
  • EPDM is left with black soot after cutting but it washes away easily with soap.
  • Silicone is left with some white powder and sometimes with burn marks but both wash away with soap.
  • Some silicone sheets warp a bit while cutting, masking tape on both sides of the material fixes this problem

I’d love to know what you make with this stuff and other tips you might have :slightly_smiling_face:

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I’ve never tried the material, but you make a great case for yet another rabbit hole!

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All of this information will be quite helpful. Thank you.

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Cool stuff! I haven’t tried even silicone mats…on my list now:-)

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I have rolled leftover silicone caulk (you can’t save the tubes) between two sheets of wax paper to make sheets, and cut them on the GF. Use bamboo skewers on each side to get a uniform thickness. The idea was to make flexible coins but I could never get acceptable engraving results. The cuts were clean, though.

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This is awesome! Thanks for all the info and the video. On my “to-do” list!

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This is one of the main reasons I love/hate this forum. Others have such great ideas on things to cut with my :glowforge: that I never thought of, but my wallet winces every time it hears me say “wow, I’ve got to try that”. Thanks for sharing.

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I know, I’m of course not helping but my stash of materials is also growing out of control. :stuck_out_tongue:

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I like this a lot. Something to do with some of those leftover tubes.

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I did a repair job re-mounting a sink for my ex a few days ago and it pained me to toss the half-tube I had left. I hate waste!! I have no explanation for why I didn’t bring that one home and roll it out for use in the future.

Wascally Wabbits!

Federico, this is all extremely helpful and beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing and for the awesome video.