We have our Glowforge (YAY!) We are interested in making some stencils to use for painting a design on a focal wall in our home. Typically these are made with the semi-opaque Mylar sheets (approx 7mm thick) that are flexible and light. Blank mylar sheets are available to purchase, however, I am not finding anything that is “proof-grade” and I am not sure that the mylar is safe to use in the Glowforge. Anyone know?
There is proof grade acrylic, but this is thicker than is useful for stenciling (unless I am not seeing the right stuff). My spouse suggested masking material (such as comes on the “proof-grade” material), or even buying the blue painters tape that is sold in sheets (often used in 3-D printers). Anyone with knowledge on these items or making stencils with the Glowforge, please respond!
Thanks for the link. It looks like this product is made of paper with a sticky back, and may work for my purposes. I’m not familiar with vinyl transfers or how this kind of sticky paper is used, but will look into it more. One of the reviewers indicated that they used this with their laser (unknown brand) as a masker product for wood to help prevent burn marks.
Apologies to correct you @jkopel but I think you are thinking of polyester drafting film (aka matte mylar drawing film). If you pick up vellum at the art supply store you’ll get a paper product made of wood pulp and cotton (or calfskin if you’re at a fancy book bindery).
vellum is a term that gets thrown around loosely to mean a whole lot of different things. it rarely means the same thing to two different people who haven’t had a conversation about it before to clarify.
I’m using 4 mil mylar sheets to make PCB stencils. These are basically letter size ( just a bit smaller) so I put a sheet of 110 lb 8.5 x 11" card stock underneath it and secured them both with magnets. Using a focus height of 0.01" it works perfectly. Since the card stock also acts like a wasteboard, I can tell that the laser power is dialed in perfectly as it cleanly cuts all the way through the mylar but not all the way through the card stock.
Stencil cutouts: Manual Engrave 650/45
Embossed text: Manual Engrave 650/15
Stencil cuts: Manual Cut 500/45
Again, material height of 0.01" (lowest setting).
Use the cuts judiciously as it’s pretty easy for the material to fly off the bed once cut.
I personally did a stencil cut at : Manual Cut 500/70 and put a 13x19 100lb card stock underneath. I tried the 500/45 and it didn’t work as well and didn’t cut through as well throughout my piece. I also changed the material height to 0.02". It worked perfect and when I peeled off the mylar all the excess stayed stuck to the paper. Speeding up that process as well.
(see example attached)