Since ordering my Glowforge I kept running into to many ideas of things I wanted to try making so I started using a laser at my office I was able to get access to. I figured I’d share what I got out of my Corian (http://www.dupont.com/products-and-services/construction-materials/surface-design-materials/brands/corian-solid-surfaces.html) tests with the group in case anyone was interested. For anyone unfamiliar with Corian, it’s a synthetic stone type material made out of acrylic and aluminum ore (as I understand it). You normally see it in countertops and bathrooms as the maintenance is really low on it. I had come by a ¼” thick piece from a friend who had a scrap lying around and wanted to make a cutting board for my brother for Christmas. Inspired by one I’d seen on thinkgeek (http://www.thinkgeek.com/product/ilrv/?srp=6) I set out to work with the piece I had available to me after checking the MSDS.
I first tried etching some small pieces and those worked out well, nice clean lines in them and good relief. I was using an Epilog Helix 60W, so I’m curious to know if the Glowforge 40W can handle the material as well, just at a slower speed (GF folks, Home Depot has sample squares ^_-). I tried various settings and finally got down to 100% power at 2% speed for 1/4" and 1% speed for 1/2" material.
As usual, the bulk of the time was spent in the rastering phase to etch the lines in, but it turned out pretty clean as seen here:
Knowing that I didn’t want food getting stuck in the etched areas I’d planned to try filling the space with the solid surface adhesive which is more like an epoxy in a funky 10:1 caulking gun. I was able to find the adhesive and borrow a gun from a local bathroom/kitchen contractor. I taped up the sides of the ones I’d cut (best to do more than one in case something goes wrong) and mixed up some of the adhesive (which I quickly found to be pretty smelly, best to do this outside with lots of air circulation) and spread/scraped it over the top of the surface with a metal paint scraper to fill in the etch lines. I had about 5-10 minutes or so time to really work with it before it started setting.
After an hour or so the smell had died down and I let it cure a bit more before sanding it down that evening with a sanding block (maybe 140 grit or so?).
After that I was basically done and pretty happy with the result. It goes through the dishwasher and is pretty durable.
It made a great Christmas present for my brother who’s putting it to good use