I am trying to engrave on some ritchey ear tags. They are three layers of plastic.
The problem I am having is that when I cut into them the color from the top is bleeding
into the white in the middle and it hides the design. Has any one tried this before ?
Don’t mean to be rude, but that’s so incredibly vague I’m not sure how to help. Are you trying to make these tags or do you already have tags and are just trying to engrave? What exactly is a ritchey tag and what exactly are you trying to accomplish? If you can, posting a picture would be very helpful as well.
Don’t have a photo. Ritchey is an ear tag for cattle that is already cut out . I am just trying to place a design on the tag and use it for a key chain. the tags are 3 layers of plastic the top and bottom are the same color and the middle is either white or black. They show people using a dremel to engrave on them. I was wanting to do a little nicer design on the tag.
Before you try to cut one of these tags, you need to find out what kind of plastic it is. Some kinds of plastic (like PVC and most vinyl) are dangerous to burn with a laser. They will corrode your machine by creating chlorine gas. Others will just melt and not work well. Others can catch fire easily. You’re burning plastic, so you need to do a little more research first. (Try to get the MSDS for it to find out what it is.)
Support can’t respond to this question since it deals with non-PG materials, so I’ll shift it to the Beyond the Manual section so you can maybe get some ideas from the other users.
Or consider getting some of the thin, two-colored laser-safe plastic and cut your own cow tags. Johnson Plastics sells it, among other places.
Ritcheyear tags are made from Polyurethane, you can engrave it but it has a low melting point so you should adjust your engrave settings (increase speed or decrease power) to keep from melting the top layer. Since you’re working with a material prone to melting, I would work with less power than normal, but use multiple passes to remove the material in layers.
also, sometimes a low power/high speed pass at the end will clean up any residue. just enough to obliterate the top color residue on the inner core from the original engrave.
maybe it would be easier for you to buy the materials and make your own ear tags, I am sure the material is easily gotten. and that will solve all your issues.
here is some info on human / animal safe plastics
Nearly everything we eat, drink, or own contains plastic or is contained in plastic . Some plastics , like those that contain BPA or other harmful chemicals, can negatively affect our bodies or the world we live in. Polypropylene, a complex plastic , is generally considered safe for humans .Sep 23, 2020
High-density polyethylene (HDPE): 2
Other miscellaneous plastics: 7
Polypropylene (PP): 5
Polyethylene terephthalate (PET): 1
just make sure its laser safe! - you can scan a ear tag in and use a program to make a ‘outline’ of the tag, then you can import that into the glowforge to cut the tag to perfect size! with all the holes, etc cut by the laser!
I might give that a try .
I did it for you
And the .svg (what glowforge needs)
ear tag 3".svg.zip (3.4 KB)
oops here is the ‘cut’ file to make your own tags
tag outline.svg.zip (4.1 KB)
I’m not going to let my husband know i could do this out of acrylic…he might ‘make’ me:-)
Hi Brenda, something else for you to think about, I am IN LOVE with this two layer laser acrylic, its the thickness of 2 credit cards, this stuff may be the perfect stuff for your project
Check THIS out.
Thank you I am going to try and get some . Do you know the best place to buy blank cutting boards for engraving.
Have you done engraving on walnut?
really best place… WALMART!! (of all places)
Bamboo is the hardest wood I have cut into, so I’m not experienced in walnut yet, (but PLENTY PEOPLE ON HERE ARE!!!)