Safety question: Stencil cutting on reflective street sign

Safety question: I have a blank metallic street sign. It’s reflective. What I want to do is cover the surface in edge lock tape, vector cut the tape with laser, peel away the tape, then paint. I’ve done this for lots of surfaces. But in this case, the sign is reflective. Does that reflection pose a problem for the laser? Or is it safe if I put it on low power that can just etch the tape?

Wow, THAT’S a new one.
I’ve definitely seen some concerns about steel, aluminum, and copper substrates. They reflect more than I had thought, and it’s less diffuse than I imagined. Not about these lasers specifically, any CO2 laser. The beam reflects quite a bit.

You’re hitting a more unique case- the sign’s not just reflective, it’s retroreflective, and that brings a whole new concern about returning reflected energy back down the optics path specifically. The retroreflective element is glass beads of a very specific size and could continue to exhibit retroreflection while being hit with the laser.

I’m picturing some red flags there

I have a drag knife if you want to cut it on the cnc router

When all you have is a laser, solve every problem with fire? :slight_smile:

I have a drag knife

I’m leaving town tomorrow… when I get back in a couple weeks, I’ll reevaluate this project. I may take you up on that idea.