Vulcanized Rubber

Has anyone actually cut vulcanized rubber? I found a couple of references to it searching, but no actual “i engraved/cut this and here’s how it turned out.”

moving beyond apple watch bands, i was thinking i could engrave actual watch bands. I have a couple of silicone watch bands coming in to play with, but in the watch community, actual rubber is far more popular than silicone.

some google searching didn’t turn up a lot, although FS Laser shows it as engrave/cut in their materials list.

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I used to make rubber molds for wax injecting. It’s been almost two decades ago, I think RTV compounds have replaced vulcanizing, with good reason. It’s a bit of a pain.

Raw latex has to be in a mold frame under some pressure and heated where it expands and flows, then the rubber has to be carefully cut open to remove the item you made an impression of to control where the parting line will be.

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I cut a small gasket from what I think was pure rubber (inner tube) early on. It flamed and produced a dark smoke, and smelled bad. Never tried again.


soooo… you’re saying you don’t think there’s much vulcanized rubber out there?

i do see watch straps advertised as vulcanized rubber.

“REAL Rubber. Not silicone. We use vulcanized rubber.”

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I don’t think it will harm the machine.

That said, “don’t think” isn’t enough for MY machine… lol.


makes me wonder if there was anything added to the gasket material you cut. i wouldn’t think a major laser cutter manufacturer would list it as a safe material if it wasn’t. but we all know that some of these things can have variation in chemical composition.

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I don’t think it was unsafe. Just flamey and smokey. I’ve cut worse.

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No, but for the process I described there are better alternatives.
I misunderstood your question. Need more coffee.
I haven’t cut it on the laser, but it won’t harm the machine except I would anticipate it to be messy.

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hopefully engraving or scoring might be slightly less messy, since it would be higher speed. i don’t plan on cutting anything.

still debating whether i want to try. and getting a decent strap to test on would be $30ish, so it wouldn’t be a $7 apple strap.

The original rubber was cured with sulfur. I have no idea what is happening now with little natural rubber anymore anyway but ionic sulfur would be as bad as ionic chlorine I would think,