Defocusing the laser to "print" on fabric

That looks like the screen display on my fish finder. :smile:

2 Likes

Yeah, wouldnt care to try with HTV. I doubt the laser could produce enough heat, long enough needed for adhering, without vaporizing it anyways.

1 Like

From everything I’ve read, Most if not all Heat Transfer Vinyl is safe to laser. The name isn’t really accurate, as it throws people toward thinking it is laser toxic like other adhesive vinyl. I also don’t think it would adhere with a laser. While heat is probably a problem without vaporizing, pressure is also a big component of good adhesion. I might cut some on the laser, but only designs that are one piece so that I can cut through. Then use my heat press to adhere.

7 Likes

Yep, there’s been a thread somewhere on laserable heat transfer not-vinyl. But all about cutting/engraving the patterns before putting on a shirt.

2 Likes

KITTEH!

The heat-transfer films that I use look exactly like vinyl when on the roll. Generally a PU material. It cuts nearly the same as vinyl does on my plotter, and come in many “flavors” (stretchy, shiny, glittery, metallic, matte). Some of them are a pain in the tookus to work with and some of them are an absolute joy. One thing to keep in mind is that it requires heat and pressure apply to materials.
I would worry that some of the more stretchy films would react badly to cutting with heat (shrinking) but those are often on a adhesive backing, which might help keep everything in place.
The materials can handle some very good detail, although weeding intricate designs is a chore, and they absolutely do not last forever. The films also don’t do a great job when fabric shrinks or stretches over time.
The lasered designs on fabric should last the life of the fabric, stretch and shrink with the fabric, and require no weeding! For one-color designs, I think it could be incredible. Can’t wait to play. Also curious about what it does to various dark fabrics. Will a lasered design on a black t-shirt show up as white-ish (bleaching of the dyes) or pink/purple (whatever the base color used to make the black), or will it seem invisible?

8 Likes

This is brilliant–what a great idea! Definitely will try this!

1 Like

Good point - I almost forgot the second half of the name “heat press” (and I have one ! :grin:)

1 Like

When you “de-focus” the laser, is that simply changing the bed height from the focus level? You don’t actually adjust the beam itself or set it in software do you ?

OH never mind - I saw this answer in Ryans “Hello World” thread… :relaxed:

1 Like

I am thinking that moistening the fabric might be the way to go for better control of not burning the fabric too deep. Also being able to do this with a a heat set dye or ink if there is any such thing would be awesome.

2 Likes

@smcgathyfay has done some experiments with using laser printer toner powder in her cutters. I don’t know how well it would sick to fabric, but it’s worth a try.

It only worked when I engraved a deep pocket to put it in…cant really do that with fabric so I dont see it working in this case…needs a thick layer

2 Likes

I just have trouble seeing laser toner and fabric working together that well (unless going through the laser(printing).

14 Likes

WOW!!! Practice! Practice! Practice!

1 Like