Solution soluble masking

I know this might be a bit out there, but a masking for proofgrade that is soluble via some solution, whether it be alcohol, acetone, water, or whatever could be really cool for those detailed engraves that you dont want to have to peel every little tiny piece off of (or cant because the parts are too small/fragile).

Like the old m&m slogan =P

Just a thought


Liquid Frisket. But I have no idea how laserable it is, and its expensive. :+1:


I was hoping for something that required no rubbing or pulling. The first wolf engrave I did, I chose a deeper engrave setting, and when I went to pull off the masking from some of the smaller details, they just broke off.

There are a number of water/solution soluble 3d printing filaments out there for supports where you can just throw your print in after its done and itll dissolve all of the supports without having to dig into the model to try to wrench them out.

If there was something similar to that which didnt impede the laser too much it could be a really cool fix for that particular problem.


Gelatin? Might even smell good if you used lime flavor. J/k. All you have to do is block the air from the wood.

I would also consider very dilute wood glue - that wouldn’t need to be removed after.


Perhaps PVA film. Soluble filament is PVA based and dishwasher capsules that dissolve are also made from it.


I read somewhere, at some point, that, instead of using tape, using a damp paper towel will work really well. It’s something I’d definitely planned on trying, specifically for the detailed situation you’re describing.

  • Tom


You can get liquid PVA too, it’s used for a mold release for fiber glass.


Yes but it is just white wood glue and would soak into the wood if applied as a liquid.

1 Like

As @palmercr points out this is problematic on wood. Any liquid you put on is going to soak in unless you treat the wood first, and even if you treat it you are still going to expose the engraved parts to the masking plus the solvent.

I think you would be better off hunting down a less tacky paper masking tape to use instead of the GF supplied stuff.


Hmmm… probably would, I’m normally spraying in on non porous materials.

1 Like

I was just pondering this situation this morning! One of the project ideas that I’m especially excited about will require masking, but because it’s a small item with intricate details, I’m worried that I’ll have to do a whole lot of peeling and scraping to remove the masking… which could potentially damage the item.

So, perfect timing for this thread. I’ve got it bookmarked and will be reading the suggestions with great interest :slight_smile:


My argument from ignorance is the wet paper towel idea may have potential. cheap, easy to weed.
Flattening, perhaps rolling it into intimate contact with the surface i would think could protect the surface from smoke, and with an added benefit of moisture for flairs.
Maybe not on long engraves, because of blowing around when dry, and some woods swell when they absorb moisture so you probably wouldn’t want it to dwell there too long.


This sounds like something @volivaa would have some valuable input on!

1 Like

Is there anything less-aggressive than ductape that would work for weeding by just pulling stuff off? Because all you need is a little more tack on top of the bits than on the bottom.


there are all sorts of masking tapes with similar but varying strengths


Vinyl transfer tape. The secret is to brayer or burnish it down well and peel it straight back on itself flat. The tape bits will come up without putting force on the wood. You’re actually pressing down on the wood.

Video of the process:

She’s actually being pretty sloppy with it…the tighter you can keep that leading edge, the less likely you are to lift anything but the tape bits off. Vinyl transfer tape is pretty sticky…more than masking tape, less than duct tape.

It’s all in how you peel it off though.


A damp paper towel would also quash any flare ups.
edit : Didn’t read far enough to see that @printolaser already mentioned this potential. I need more patience.


It’s something we’ve been investigating, but haven’t found a formulation that works well yet.


What if you were to spray the ‘back’ of the masking paper with a light layer of adhesive before lasering ?
Then applying a light pull adhesive paper to that, would increase the pull on the masking paper.
Hope that makes sense.