Pulling my hair out here. Everything I’ve tried is either so hot it melts the heck out of things, or not hot enough and the cut actually heals itself. Anyone got any advice here? I’m a relative newbie, but this is definitely the most sensitive stuff I’ve tried to cut. Heck, low density EVA foam is easier than this!
Sorry to be of no help. Everything I have read said HDPE melts rather than cuts.
HDPE is not a very laser friendly material. It melts and does not cut well and catches fire easily. If you need a thin plastic that does cut well try Delrin.
Honestly your best bet may be a low power score on the lines to make them easier to follow when you cut it with a knife…
Does anyone know of a source for 1/32" Delrin sheet? I can’t find any that thin.
What @wilsonpf said. Unless it has to be HDPE give Delran a try.
I’m with you. I assume LDPE isn’t any better than HDPE? I have some 1/16" LDPE that might work, but 1/16" Delrin will be too stiff for the application I’m almost sure.
And FWIW, I guess I should have asked before buying. I saw that HDPE and LDPE were laser safe, but it didn’t occur to me that they still might not really cut with it. Duh.
Now Johnson Plastic sells a modified acrylic that might do the trick for you?
No, the modified acrylic is just a hair too brittle.
I know I’m turning this into a two-step process but if HDPE is perfect for your application make a template with the glowforge and then cut with a router.
Well dang. Another great idea. A better idea would be to get my stupid Inventables router finished and working, since it’s like 97% done.
I’ll bet the folks following this thread can answer an unrelated question without me creating another thread: What’s a good mask material I can buy to just put on something like a piece of wood where I just want to use engrave settings to cut the mask away like a stencil and then paint? Ie. I’m not really trying to engrave the surface of the material below, I’d just engrave an outline, peel what I want painted, and paint.
Did you search for masking?
There are tons of threads about it.
You might try an engrave. I found that Delrin had a tendency to melt like that, but lots of passes fast and low power eventually did the job.
Before you ask the next question about kiss-cutting masking, I find that a power of 15 and speed of 500 cuts through the masking all the way, but leaves a slight line in the material. Power of 5 and speed of 500 leaves no line in the material, but you wind up with more of a perforated line in the masking. Power of 10 and speed of 500 will sometimes leave you no lines and cut all the masking and sometimes leave a spot here and there of the masking uncut.
If you annealed it after cutting, that might make it good enough.