I would love to cut old CD’s to make jewelry, etc… What would the settings be? I have tried to use the pre-set thin acrylic seettings but got some significant burn marks that are unsightly. Also, I am afraid to experiment too much for fear of damaging my laser.
If you have tried it and were successful, please share your settings and processes (masking, etc.) here.
Tricky thing about CDs is that they’re made of polycarbonate.
Polycarbonates are a family of plastics so it’s hard to say exactly which one it is, but as a rule they’re not highly recommended as a laserable plastic. From what I recall the general gist is that they’re prone to melting.
You might like this post, particularly #4 and (if you want to keep trying)) #6. They are about material safety and how to determine good settings, respectively.
As an alternative there are many types of mirrored acrylics out there, you can google or search the forum for a lot of info.
I spent days back when I first got my GF trying to nail down settings for CDs and DVDs. I had very little success – I think I got one clean cut, and then the same settings failed to ever work again.
I still have a huge box full of DVDs from a friend who reviews movies for the Academy Awards that I’m someday going to make mosaics with, but my Glowforge won’t be involved, unless it’s for cutting backings for them.
I managed to get a pretty decent cut a year or so ago, but decided not to pursue the material due to the nasty fumes you see on the mask.
I didn’t record any settings but as I recall it took 3 passes at lower power to do it without it melting badly.
Like any unknown, testing is required to dial it in.
I donated the hundred or so CD’s after giving up on the idea.
Probably the best retasking of them I have seen involved breaking them up and covering a bar table with the pieces and a resin covering. The color spectrum it showed was striking.