Maybe a material to try?


@spike .Interesting but I doubt it is laserable. Would be awesome if it was.

@FeliaJ Last line of the official Worbla FAQ says it can be laser cut. And here’s the FB post that entry links to.


It’s come up here before.


Thanks for that.

Wow, this looks perfect for something I am fighting with right now. I am making aerodynamic fairings for one of my airplane projects. For some of them I have 3D printed forms and laid up fiberglass to create the fairings, but now I am down to a few locations that don’t lend themselves well to that approach. I think this will be just the ticket! I will keep the scraps for playing with in the laser… Thanks!


@rpegg Thanks for finding that post. I never saw it. I was just on Tap plastics site looking around for other things and came across it.

Heres a write up of a process that involved laser cutting worbla from one of the coolest prop makers out there:


“Another cool thing I found out about Worbla is that you can cut it with a laser cutting machine! I will say the amount of smoke it puts out is pretty significant (similar to cutting MDF or other woods) so it’s a good idea to clean the mirrors in your machine afterwards. Still, being able to make super intricate shapes like this after tracing the patterns in Illustrator saved me hours of cutting time.”


Pretty cool. Since it’s a thermoplastic, it can be welded with the welders you see at Harbor Freight. Those are handy to have around the house. Best fix so far: lawnmower tank repair.

Welder under $20, New Tank about twice that.

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FYI Coloradans: there’s currently only one place in the state where you can buy it offline, Moon Rabbit Cosplay.

There are a number of other similar thermoplastics out there with slightly different properties: sintra, wonderflex, terraflex (tandy leather co), and black worbla. each has differences, with terraflex and black worbla being the newest stuff out there.

sintra is harder to work with but a lot stronger and more durable. usually used for base layers. the other materials go on top for fine details
black worbla has a lot less texture than regular worbla, and can be crafted with finer detail than the older worbla.
terraflex comes out a smoother than both of those


@takitys Sintra is expanded PVC foam. If you laser it, you will destroy your machine. And maybe fill your air filter with hydrochloric acid.

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@fan-of-glowforge, [quote=“fan-of-glowforge, post:12, topic:1153”]
Please at least Google your materials before posting.
Easy there big fella…

@fan-of-glowforge, [quote=“fan-of-glowforge, post:12, topic:1153”]
Sintra is expanded PVC foam. If you laser it, you will destroy your machine. And maybe fill your air filter with hydrochloric acid.
Scott, It’s always a good idea to look up the MSDS on anything you put into your GF.
Many people here have posted about many products and it will be up to you on the “risks”.
Some plywood is toxic, some is safe. some hardwood is toxic, some is safe, some bone is toxic. I even read a post about someone burning weed in the GF, and I thought I heard of everything! The list is just to long to list every possible combo.

So, relax a little and please don’t jump on someone’s back because they listed a material that they like to use for something.

And there is also a lot of misinformation being posted on this forum. Sintra is not “slightly different” from thermoplastic, and it is likely to destroy our machine if used. It is our obligation to flag those posts. Even Dan did that when someone wrongly posted the Forge warranty period. I agree, though, my original knee-jerk reaction was a little harsh, which I edited.

@fan-of-glowforge, That’s all I was asking.

When we disagree on something, we all can learn something if we stay open, but when we start to make demands or name call, it goes to a bad place fast.
If you see a product that might be bad, please point it out in a way that dose not offend. Provide a link to the MSDS or a site that shows the risks. Don’t just say it’s bad. We all want to learn here. Everyone here is just trying to help and offer as much as they can. Sometimes we post about products we use without thinking how they might affect other people or react under different conditions.

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I was just letting people know what other similar materials were out there. We use a lot of these commonly in prop making, and they work well together. I never endorsed these materials for use in a glowforge. There are a number of other threads already discussing the toxicity of pvc.

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