Hi there! I’m currently looking for materials and have found a couple of places that I plan to check out soon. However, I am also thinking of checking out home depot/lowes and wondering if anyone has tried their acrylic? Are these laser safe? Does anyone have a list of materials they have used from these places that they can share? I would greatly appreciate any help! I am still new to GF and a bit hesitant to try materials outside of the proofgrade materials.
I am thinking of getting something like this:
That’s extruded, not cast. Try it and you’ll cry…the stench when you burn it is enough to gag a maggot. (Won’t hurt you, but your nose and your neighbors will not be pleased.)
Moved to Beyond the Manual, as it is not proofgrade.
If it is just acrylic, it should be laser safe, though as @jules pointed out, extruded would be extra stinky (and it doesn’t engrave well, though cuts fine).
Thank you so much for your feedback! Wondering how you were able to tell that it is extruded and not cast?
Thank you for moving this to the correct category
It’s not foolproof, but extruded acrylic often comes with a plastic protective coating, cast acrylic often has paper masking. It may not always be like that, but it can be a clue. What part of the US are you in?
I used that when I made my venting window. I wanted to use the scraps so I checked and it’s not laser safe
I understood all acrylic has the same chemical composition and is laser safe. (Extruded is typically less useful for lasers, but still safe.) What did you find out about this product that made it unsafe to laser?
Here is the MSDS for Optix brand acrylic sheets:
Nothing in there, glancing through, would make me hesitate to cut it.
Yeah, that’s what I saw too so cindy’s comment made me curious. Acrylic is acrylic unless there’s some weird additive in it. So unless something is mis-labeled, it should all be safe.
Polycarbonate (Lexan) is different. A lot of times it seems like the labeling is vague on hardware store supplies. Lexan would be bisephenol (BPA). And diphenyl carbonate, which isn’t good for you (or others). And NOx, which isn’t good for you with long-term exposure.
I totally agree and that’s why I threw in the warning of being mislabeled or misidentified. I’ve had an employee hand me a sheet polycarbonate that was in their “acrylic” bin before. When I pointed it out they had no clue there was a difference. They can;t know everything, but their ignorance could be harmful to someone .
I found the compamy website and asked the supplier / factory direct. It is plastic but not all are laser safe.
It was too bad as I had a lot of scrap too
It’s possible the guy was wrong but I’m not a expert
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