Can you safely laser engrave a cured model?

I am a teacher and I have a unit where we simulate LASIK. I have been doing this on milled acrylic, but I wanted to try it with a clear print from the Form2. Are there any safety issues with fumes from laser engraving on cured model?



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That’s a very good question as my company just purchased a laser engraving machine last week! I’d be interested in knowing the answer as well, although I would assume the answer is going to be no…or maybe with extreme precautions taken regarding the fumes.

  • Kevin

You need to use extreme caution with the fumes for pretty much anything you put in a laser cutter except maybe wood. I doubt burning resin is any more noxious than burning acrylic.

A soldering iron will make short work of a printed part. The melting temperatures of the resins are pretty low. A laser engraver/cutter ought to do just fine once you’ve got the laser power tuned. I’d start with low power. The setting you use for acrylic will probably slice through a FL print in a heartbeat!

Check the material sheets, I do not recall if they list the chemical formulation but if it contains Chlorine, watch out.

Not to necrothread, but there are several ways to make this work. One is paint (acrylic paint if possible) then with low power settings you can vaporize the pain (under no circumstances should any paint with coloring - e.g. latex be used in a laser cutter as the released chlorine forms HCL with the water in the air which will destroy everything around it - luckily from a toxicity standpoint the deadly chlorine doesn’t stay around for more than a few seconds if there is any humidity at all). The HCL itself isn’t actually “toxic” since our stomachs are full of virtually pure HCL and as anyone who has ever belched is aware we breathe it not infrequently, but “toxic” and dangerous are totally different things since it can burn eyes, skin, laser cutter parts, etc.) but acrylic paints are generally safe (the fumes are icky so you hopefully have it vented)

Second method is to print a part in a light color and then dip the part into a pool of a darker resin now you have 2-layers that if you engrave off the top one you reveal the lower layer…

3rd technique (probably not for simulating LASIK) is design the model with proud lettering (even 0.5mm) and print in the translucent/transparent color and then paint black and sand it off. (Great for backlight lettering).

Print a mold of something more easily laserable and cast your part in that and then engrave (sugar in your case). Don’t try silicone since it lasers very poorly.

The use of laser engraving or laser cutting systems in many industrial settings can lead to regular exposure to a number of chemicals, gases and particulate matter. I suppose there are no safety issues.

Not only chlorine - any material containing halogens (bromine, fluorine, etc.) could be dangerous. Materials containing carbon and nitrogen might also be capable of producing cyanide. Check the SDS for products of combustion.

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