Laser Soft Plastic

I am trying to etch the top layer of a polyethylene sheet ( https://www.kingplastic.com/products/king-colorcore/ ) but am not getting good results. I have tried different speeds and powers but either it does not etch through or seems to melt the plastic. I tried 3 passes at a lower power and speed but still not great results (see attached). Anyone have any ideas on what to try. Most appreciated.![

glowforge%20U25

I have not tried to cut polyethylene but, from what I understand of it, it’s got a very low melting point which can yield unpleasant results when cut by laser due to the likelihood of melting back onto itself rather than vaporizing cleanly.

That said, you’ll want to experiment. Run off a test sheet of various speed/power settings. Then you’ll know how it will look with all of the various settings.

You may find you’d rather use something like delrin rather than polyethylene. Several users on this forum, including myself, have used it with excellent results. It’s available in a wide variety of thicknesses. Personally I’ve gotten nice, clean cuts and sharp engraves out of it.

Good luck with it though! I hope you’ll post your best settings when you find them!

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Much appreciated.

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This material is intended to be engraved mechanically, with an end mill on a CNC. I didn’t see anything on their website that suggested it is laserable.