Newbie here, I just got my Glowforge and feel like I will ask 1000 questions. In the past I have used my Cricut to cut out items to chalk on. I would like to replace my Cricut with my Glowforge but am reading mixed reviews as to if I can us my Glowforge to cut the materials I have on hand. Currently I have Grafix Craft Plastic Sheets that are 12"x 12" and .020" I also have Cricut Clear Acetate Sheets (I am assuming I will have to finish these up with the Cricut) I would love to be able to use the Craft Plastic with my Glowforge as I have a huge amount left but have read some reviews that say it could be toxic and ruin my machine. Any assistance would be much appreciated.
You need to determine what they are made of. Anything with PVC (which includes most traditional vinyl but many other products) is out of the question.
Manufacturers provide “safety data sheets” that will tell you the composition of the material.
I have literally bee searching all day for what they are made of and this is all I can find from the company:
Use Grafix expanded the line of Craft Plastic to create 3D elements, embellishments, stencils and as a mixed media surface that will coordinate with any artistic project. The Craft Plastic product line now has a variety of finishes and thicknesses for a range of applications.
Crystal Clear .007” and .020” film is an ultra-clear surface perfect for journals, cards, embellishments, and stencils – decorate, die-cut, layer and more. Easy to cut with decorative scissors, craft knives, and many die-cutting machines. Great for decorating with markers, rubber stamps, glitter, rub-ons, and adhesives.
NEW Frosted Food Safe .005” and .0075” film is reusable, perfect for sugarcraft stencils, baking, and chocolate work. Easy to cut with decorative scissors, craft knives, and many die-cutting machines.
NEW Opaque White .010” film can be used with a wide range of mediums and techniques, including watercolor and alcohol inks. Strong, smooth, waterproof surface, wipeable, heat resistant and fun to use.
NEW Translucent Blue and Frosted Laser Cuttable .007” and .010” film is a durable Laser Cuttable film for cutting in multiples to create stencils and templates.
All style sizes are available in 12×12”, 12×24”, 18×24”, and 24×36” in packages of 4 (only the 12×12″) and 25 sheets. (Opaque White Craft Plastic is also available in a pad, click on Dura-Bright White to learn more).
Here is the only other thing I’ve found:
What are plastic sheets?
Plastic sheets are defined as a continuous form of plastic material thicker than .010″ (.25mm) and usually wound on a core, but mostly cut into sheets. Anything thinner is considered plastic film.
There is a HUGE universe of plastic film materials, from those made of a simple single plastic material, to complex structures made of different materials and coatings designed to meet the needs of specific applications. Plastic sheets can be manufactured out of different plastic resins, each of which has its own unique physical properties. If you’re not sure what you need, please talk with us! The easiest way to do that is to use the start an inquiry button.
In addition to all the different materials plastic sheets can be made out of, they can also be clear, colored, smooth, rough, functionally embossed, opaque, or semi-transparent, depending on the needs of the application. When one says “plastic sheets”, there’s not really a whole lot of specific information being communicated.
If you know you need plastic sheeting, but don’t know any of the specific details about which material would be best for your application – it’s helpful to start by thinking about what you are planning to do with the material, and how you expect it to perform. Next, you’ll want to understand the size and quantity of material that is required. Finally, it’s important to ask about the film’s expected life span, to know whether it will continue to serve with the longevity your application requires.
Often, we hear, “oh just me give any plastic sheet, I’m trying to protect a window on a display we’re installing in a piece of machinery, it doesn’t have to last long, it just has to be cheap.” Not a prob. However, if you examine the actual circumstances in which the plastic needs to perform, you’ll find that not all plastic is created equal. For example, if the sheeting has to protect that window from certain chemicals, then we’ll need to make sure that the specific plastic material you want to use is resistant to those chemicals. Not all plastic materials are resistant to the same chemicals, especially when it comes to solvents. Or if the window is outside, and needs UV protection, then the project will require a plastic material with UV-resistant properties.
Here at Grafix Plastics, we are expert at helping you select the optimal products for your specific needs. We stock a wide variety of different kinds of plastic film products in a variety of thicknesses and finishes.
There’s your source, right there. They can provide you with a MSDS, and should be able to tell you whether each product is laserable.
Every time I do start an inquiry I just get a spinning circle that never stops lol. When I say I have been trying all day I mean since 9 am this morning!
I would be reluctant to use materials from a company that makes it so hard to get their (legally required) safety data sheets, but if you want to risk it, you can check for PVC with a “flame test”. Tons of info on the web on how to perform that test.
And burning stuff is always fun!
You can always do the wire trick. I pulled this off the internet:
Take a copper wire, heat it up and touch the plastic. Then take the copper wire with the plastic residue into a flame. In the case of PVC you should see green color in the flame because copper chlorides are relatively volatile under such conditions. You even don’t need a spectrometer. This is a classical method for detecting organic chlorine.
Not sure how you’re searching but if you google “ Grafix Craft Plastic Sheets ” the first thing says they’re acrylic (which is very laser safe)
Ekla, I did see that but there are 5 reviews that say that is not true. I did however get a response back from them saying “Grafix Craft Plastic is a polyester material” so I’m assuming that is ok
Yes, polyester is ok
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