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can you use a laser cutter on plastic

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Can You Use a Laser Cutter on Plastic?
14th January 2022

There is a lot of information online advising against cutting plastics with laser cutting machines because some plastics can cause mirrors to gradually lose accuracy — as dust, smoke, and other tiny particles accumulate between the mirror casings and lenses. Whilst it can be beneficial to understand some of the pitfalls that can occur when cutting certain types of plastics, it's important to relate the question to the exact device you're using and the plastic you're cutting.

For example, our laser cutting machines are often used to cut and mark a wide variety of plastics, with the main types being Acrylic, ABS, laminated plastics, Mylar®, film, polycarbonate, polypropylene, Delrin®, nylon and more. With our leading-edge laser cutting devices, cutting plastic up to 25mm plus is easily achievable. Our higher-powered lasers make quick work of cutting acrylic, which is one of the most common laser applications, delivering a beautifully finished, clean edge.

We have outlined a full list of plastics that can be cut, marked and engraved with our lasers on our website, so you can quickly see whether the material you intend to cut is a good fit for one of our laser cutting machines. Whether you plan to cut metal, plastic, wood, leather, textiles, or MDF, it’s important to check your wattage and ensure it's powerful enough for the thickness of your material. You should also focus on the material and adjust your focal length for the best possible result. Generally, acrylic laser cutting is best achieved with relatively slow speed and high power. This process allows the laser beam to melt the edges of the acrylic and essentially produce a beautiful flame-polished edge.

With CTR Lasers, all of our laser machines come with our lifetime technical support, so we're just a call away whenever you need us, and we can always offer advice to ensure you get your workflow optimised for success.


What other materials can you work with?

If you've explored our products before, you'll know our range of laser cutting machines give you the ability to cut and etch many different types of materials, such as cardboard, cork, foam, MDF, silk, textiles and wood. You can explore some examples of the various materials that can be cut or etched on our website. Each of our machines comes complete with software that will accept the usual data formats — these can be produced by software such as Corel Draw, Photoshop and numerous 'free' graphics packages. All professional CAD software can output files used for cutting on these laser machines. Acceptable file formats include DXF, one of the most popular CAD file formats.

If you'd like any further information on our machines, or wish to learn more about the process of laser cutting, or the materials you can work with, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us today on 0844 800 4727.