I am wondering what I am seeing in the ARS video when making the coaster. A sticker is being peeled off the finished product. What is it? Is this needed on every material? (because I have seen it on plastic as well). All the materials I see in the demo video being placed in the GF don’t appear to have a sticker/ label applied. Please let me know what and when this is required.
It’s just a protectant against staining by the smoke. This has been asked a number of times. You can find some nice examples googling around online. It’s basically never required, you can buy it yourself online (or use masking tape, likely) if you buy your own laser materials), and you can mitigate much of the smoke staining with a cleaning or light sanding afterward.
thank you for the quick reply!
Have you found a site that actually sells it? I’ve been googling and haven’t found a good site that does it (except tiny strips) in sheets/rolls
It also helps with laser focus if I am not mistaken! (on clear stuff)
I found some on the laserbits site:
Awesome. Thanks for the super quick reply. I was googling the wrong term. What is the difference between paper masking and polyester masking?
I’m no expert, but based on the pictures there, I am wondering if the polyester masking might also be reusable after lasering to mask something else for some other process (i.e. a chemical etch or spray painting). Can someone with more knowledge of these materials chime in on the relative merits of paper, polyester, and liquid masking for both of us?
The paper masking is just like masking tape.
The polyester masking is similar, but with plastics that can survive more demanding applications like etching or powder coating, for example. It’s not going to be any more reusable than regular masking is, and it’s probably not anything you’d ever need for the laser.
So could I just use blue painters tape? I’m new to this whole thing.
Painters tape works great from what other laser users say.
Also you can buy rolls of “Transfer tape” in various widths (4"-48") from sign making supply shops that sell vinyl for cutting on plotters… painters and low tack masking tape works well also. http://www.signwarehouse.com/blog/beginners-guide-to-application-tape-for-103012/
Yeah, this is a great stuff to use.
@Brandon_R you for sure could. the downside is that if you’re engraving (as opposed to cutting), you’d need to be careful to line up your tape and not overlap, else you risk changing the final result. Wider tapes would prevent that.
Blue painters’ tape works great. If you buy transfer tape or similar, be sure to check the MSDS for the adhesive - some of it’s not laser compatible.
Transfer tape is also called “application tape”.
You would want low-tack or medium-tack, and stay away from the “clear” (that’s a vinyl product)
There are a bunch of brands out there, so like @dan said, check the MSDS. I am trying to get info from the brands that I have used in the past, I will report on what I find