Lasering DTF ink?

Is DTF ink laser safe?
I was thinking of applying DTF prints to acrylic and wood boards. One technique I was thinking of was covering a white acrylic board with a sheet of black DTF. This way when it engraves, the engraving part will be white thus eliminating the need to paint the engraving. I’ve seen companies that do this with UV printers which at this time a uv printer is out of my price range. The companies that sell sheets of UV printed boards charge $20 an up. I’m seeing a company that can provide gang sheets of DTF at 3 cents a square inch making it extremely affordable for me to do it myself with DTF.
I’ve tried looking for the ingredients in some of these inks and found them listed as “trade secret” on the specs sheet.

So does anyone know if I can apply the dtf to a board and then cut and engrave on it safely? Has anyone tried this before?

Look for the SDS rather than the ingredients list for the ink your DTF print vendor uses. That will tell you if it contains hazardous materials, especially when combusted.

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okay, the SDS is where I was looking at. This stuff is like a foreign language to me. :joy: :joy: :joy: :joy:
Not sure what I am supposed to me looking at to see if anything makes it not laser safe.
But this is what I found.
DTF-SDS-merged.pdf (1.2 MB)

The portion of an SDS most relevant to laser cutting is any section on combustion products (i.e., what gets produced if you burn the material).

Unfortunately this SDS contains no information about combustion. It does tell us (sort of) what’s in the ink:

Unfortunately they don’t say what pigments they use (aside from the white and black inks, which list titanium dioxide and carbon black as the pigments).

Diethylene glycol is safe to burn; its main combustion products are carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and water. As for the pigments, titanium dioxide (white) and carbon black (black) are fine.

As for the other pigments… who knows? Could be some heavy metals, but probably not enough to worry about. There’s unlikely to be anything that could harm the Glowforge and as long as you have a good exhaust setup I wouldn’t expect it to be harmful to you either.

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