Please no polycarbonate in lasers

Just a friendly reminder- polycarbonate (Lexan) is a clear plastic that looks like acrylic, but cannot be laser cut. It’s not a matter of getting through it- it yellows, chars, and cracks, but it’s technically possible to get through a thin piece. But it’ll massively soot the machine and lens in seconds

That’s what killed Blue’s lens. There’s polycarbonate web soot all over, so that case is closed. No biggie I mounted a new lens that’s why we have spares.

Just be mindful of what you’re cutting, folks!

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What’s the right way to cut polycarbonate? CNC router?

CNC is an excellent option. Table saw, band saw, scroll saw, jigsaw… anything with the word “saw” in it

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Hey Jon. I would suggest making a template with the laser machine and then cutting it with a combination of a jigsaw to get close to the right shape and then the router. of course if the piece is small or you need a lot of them the cnc may be a better option, but most plastics are light and cnc machines are a little tricky to get to a setting that will not just throw your plastic or break your tabs in my experience. Also you will still have to finish the piece with either a router, a blade or sand paper. Good Luck!

If you use bluetape and ca glue as hold down. It works great for the cnc router for smaller lighter cuts. I would rather tape and glue than sand tabs. It is also a more even cut on thinner material which has a tendency to lift.

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I presume that by “ca glue”, you mean cyanoacrylate AKA super glue?

yes. the setup is tape - glue - tape. so you place tape on your material. you then place the glue on the tape on you material which should be the outer side of the tape. you then back tape on top of that glue. So place the tape with sticky side up then place material on the cnc bed. Or you could place tape on bed, then glue and place tape on it sticky side up. Then place material on top of the tape.

So you are making two sided tape but painters tape is easily removeable as opposed to commercially available double sided tape.

Also the use of compression, downcut or straight-flute will help prevent lifting.

Fun fact- compression bits in 1/8" for thin sheets are a thing

Yes. I use a super glue with accelerator.