Cutting polycarbonate

Does anyone know the settings used to make these deep penetration? I have a sheet of polycarbonate 1/2” and trying to cut a 8” dia hole thru it. Is this possible? Tried setting of 100 power and 8 speed but only went 1/4” deep and looks like starting to bridge back together. Any help would be great.

Thats acrylic what you see there, polycarbonate doesn’t cut well at all on the laser it absorbs the light or whatever. you’ll have to CNC if you want to use polycarb


Thanks for the info. Will go to the CNC

Posting this here for reference for anyone that stumbles on the post:

Single O-flute endmill. Keep the feedrate up and there will be no melting.

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It’s primarily that polycarbonate does not simply ablate away into gas. Acrylic just turns into gas and vapor. Polycarbonate turns brown and chars around the cut zone but doesn’t really go away.

Polycarbonate is banned not just because you may not like the result, but because it produces stringy, sticky soot that gets all over the machine including the optics. The machine requires inspection and/or cleaning if polycarbonate is ever put on it. Dirty optics can be cleaned but if a laser is fired through dirty optics, it won’t just not cut as well. The heat from the laser stopping on soot will make enough heat to break the optic and can do so in a very short time.


Trying to cut polycarbonate was the cause of the one fire we ever had in San Diego.

The oozy pool of gunk caught fire, cracked the lens, melted all the plastic tubing around the laser head, and was a real hassle to clean off the nozzle and out of the honeycomb bed. Definitely to be avoided.


Sorry Danny. I did do 5 3” passes at 100 power and 8 speed on the Tarkin. Didn’t notice this material on the list on not to use