Settings to cut plastic folders (pure polypropylene)

I bough these folders on amazon and i’d like to cut them with my Pro, one side at a time

100% pure polypropylene

Any advice is appreciated!


Maybe someone knows this material, but I am not familiar with it. If you move forward using it I would keep a sharp eye on while the laser is heating it up.

First thing that popped up.

This below was from a CNC site.

Polypropylene has a high thermal expansion coefficient which limits its high temperature applications.
Polypropylene is susceptible to UV degradation.
Polypropylene has poor resistance to chlorinated solvents and aromatics.
Polypropylene is known to be difficult to paint as it has poor bonding properties.
Polypropylene is highly flammable.
Polypropylene is susceptible to oxidation.

There is a search function at the top of every page.

Some “plastics” are a poor choice for the laser, but some people appear to have cut polypro. with success. Your specific material would require testing to come up with settings that work for it, assuming you are confident it contains no damaging/harmful components. Use any of the many testing approaches provided here. I just take a simple shape, and work my way up in power in steps until I find what works.

Thanks - I looked through all the posts before posting my specific question. :slight_smile: I found one that was engraving - I need it to cut. I haven’t done any testing outside of the typical GF materials and settings. :slight_smile: This would be my first test and i’m weary of trying my first test cut… as any other person might be who is a new owner. :slight_smile:

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That is a good approach. Bad things can happen.

I would strongly advise becoming familiar with the machine and custom settings on traditional (proven) materials before trying something as potentially hazardous as this.

I personally would not try working with a synthetic material based on a description in an Amazon listing. I would want a MSDS, which is unlikely for a cheap consumer product like this.

It may be just fine! It may cut like a dream! I just wouldn’t risk my machine to find out, or trust that settings from people that cut “something like it” would be correct.

You’re probably going to have to experiment, but Yupo is polypropylene, so this should give you a starting place. Obviously the folders are thicker, so you will have to experiment. There are a few threads on here that have files you can use for testing cut settings but basically try cutting a small square at the lowest reasonable settings and increase power by 5 or 10 each time until it cuts through. You can also play with the speed to balance out the power.

Anyway, start here: Anyone try Yupo Paper?

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Thank you! Very helpful

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For those interested - I got it to cut! 230/80 1 pass
After testing a few at 415 and bumping the power by 10, I realized I just needed it to slow down. The corners were cutting but not the edges… which is why I thought to slow it down.
It’s so light I needed to print more honeycomb clips… I kept the size at .07. although I dont know the real thickness - is there a rule I could possibly print? That’s next… anyway here’s the result!

For those wondering why im using these for ear savers - because at first glance I thought the design on acrylic would be way too rigid… so i wanted to create out something flexible. Before I had a glowforge, I use my die-cutting machine and this plastic was simply too thick for it to cut… and be efficient. I’ve given many of these to my local communities and they all love them. I wish my S design would work - because these just get stuck in your hair… maybe i’ll think of another way but for now I’m cutting the original design.


If you’ve got a different design you’d like to try cutting in your Glowforge and need help converting it to a suitable form, I’d be happy to take a stab at it for you. You can either post the file here, zipped into a .zip, or send it to me in a PM.

It’s just a normal S. I got it to cut perfectly, but it’s just too flimsy to be practical :frowning: I guess i’ll just have to wait until tomorrow for my acrylic shipment :slight_smile:

You might want to take a look at this S-hook design:

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Curious if this is all OK… :slight_smile:

  1. Does this smoke seem normal… ?
  2. The residue is on the honeycomb bed - is that OK?

saw that design, too. I asked a few of my friends in the essential business and they all wanted a simple S or something along those lines. Seems to be the most comfortable and simple plug/play without any instruction.
My other thread about my S is here Help nesting my "S" for ear savers

Check out the designs here:

The Medical Mask Clip D- Vector Cut was the first one a nurse friend grabbed.


Yes and Yes.
Some materials smoke more than others. Rubber stamp and MDF are the worse.
Others are quite smelly. The laser is literally ablating (vaporizing) the material.

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Yes, unfortunately it will accumulate over time with all the different stuff we cut. I like the PolyPropylene item. I bought the same item but I want to just score it. Will share the creation when it’s done…

Thanks for the info! I was also able to cut mostly transparent 0.5mm polypropylene - there was a matte and glossy side and I tried both, not sure if there was much of a diff but the tests with matte side were slightly better but that could just be due to the settings I used on that pass.

Results (0.5mm focus):
230/80 1 pass (matte side up): decent but the cuts were pretty thick
230/40 2 pass (glossy side up): tried 1 pass but didn’t cut all the way through so did a second pass, still wasn’t entirely cut but was easy enough to push out
230/70 1 pass (matte side up): best pass, but I found if the laser was in an area for too long the PP would start to rise up a little – if I were to try again, I would speed up the cut so it won’t spend so much time in a single area or use some other method like tape to keep the PP down on the grill


Thanks for writing this up! Worked like a charm (same folders + the rounded edge ear savers from Ear savers with some human friendly tweaks)! I did have to wash them off from some of the smoke but soap and water was enough. PXL_20201231_185309458|666x500