Cutting Polycarbonate

New Home Forum Mostly Printed CNC – MPCNC Advice – MPCNC Cutting Polycarbonate

This topic contains 4 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Barry 7 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #50657

    JJWHarris
    Participant

    I’m looking at cutting thin polycarbonate sheeting;  1mm-1.5mm

    I’ve had a go with a 2.6mm single flute bit with reasonable results, but I feel like there is a bit of flex happening, increasing the cutting speed makes it worse and lowering cutting speed makes the edges gouge a bit.

    I’m cutting record blanks so they need to be reasonably circular, my previous attempts are leaving me with blanks that have rough edges and aren’t always circular.

    I’m considering trying to cut it was a 2.8w laser, but I’m not sure that’s going to be any better and I’m a bit suspicious about the fumes.

    Has anyone else had any experience cutting Polycarbonate?

    #50661

    Barry
    Participant

    Polycarb can be laser cut.  It just stinks, and the fumes can foul the optics if there’s not enough ventilation.  Not sure what the magic recipe is for cutting it with a router though.  When I did my acrylic parts I used a trochodial cutting path, and that gave some really good edges.

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    #50662

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    If you do want to cut it with the CNC make sure to use a down cutting bit on thin material. But that is pretty thin, laser really might be the best tool for the job.

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #50691

    JJWHarris
    Participant

    Do you think the 2.8w would be enough? Or would it be worthwhile stepping it up?

    #50692

    Barry
    Participant

    Do you think the 2.8w would be enough? Or would it be worthwhile stepping it up?

    Well, you can cut a 2X4 with a butter knife, just depends on how long you want to wait for it.  😉

    Honestly, I’m not sure how well it would cut.

     

    Okay, reading up on it some more, you’ll want to cut it with a router.  To cut the clear stuff, you’ll need a higher wattage co2 laser.  The little guys most of the folks here are attaching to their mpcncs are blue(uv) lasers and don’t have to power to cut clear polycarb very well.

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