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View Full Version : FR Plastic or plastic to cut with Laser to use sublimation ??



Marxiano Castillo
04-02-2011, 8:17 PM
Please help me to looking some plastic to make cuttings, i investigate and i can see UNISUB sell RF Plastics sheets so we told me this plastic cant be cut whit laser... only router or saw... i need some plastic can use until 400 F (210C) to use in Sublimation process... please i like hear you experience... Thanks...

Scott Shepherd
04-02-2011, 9:13 PM
Unisub makes a hardboard that works wonderful. You can cut it with the laser and then sub it no problem. Just look for Unisub hardboard.

Gary Hair
04-03-2011, 2:55 AM
Johnson Plastics has subliflex, a thin plastic, that's laser cuttable and sublimates at 350 degrees. Matte on one side and glossy on the other, really nice stuff.

Gary

Larry Bratton
06-03-2011, 10:31 PM
Gary,
I bought some of this stuff and the guy at JP told me 380 for 80 seconds. I put it in the press trying to get it flat at that and it warped badly. You say 350..that could be the problem..what's the dwell time and pressure setting?

Mike Null
06-04-2011, 5:09 AM
Larry

I have that occur on clt stuff. I take the hot plastic and put it on my metal shear table and hold it down with metal until it cools. I also use a heat gun then the metal sheet and press it with my hand.

Larry Bratton
06-04-2011, 10:36 AM
I am going to try lowering the heat to try and flatten it out. It cut fine with the laser and I cut a piece 8.5 x 14 to do a page of sublimation. I have a good heat gun too, I will see if I can get to relax and put some weight on it. This stuff is pretty thin so that contributes to the problem I think.

Gary Hair
06-04-2011, 10:58 AM
Gary,
I bought some of this stuff and the guy at JP told me 380 for 80 seconds. I put it in the press trying to get it flat at that and it warped badly. You say 350..that could be the problem..what's the dwell time and pressure setting?

Larry,
The time will depend on the size piece you are sublimating but I start at about 55 seconds for a small piece or a few small pieces, up to 1:20 for 12" x 18". I was told 350 by Kevin Lumberg and it works great for me. I use light to medium pressure. The settings I have on my press won't be relevant to yours since it's manual. Small pieces will stay pretty flat but larger pieces will warp. I have two 12" x 24" x 1/4" glass sheets that I use to flatten them with. I don't even take them off the transfer paper, everything goes in between the glass. Oh, and I use light tack spray glue to hold the pieces to the paper, it's way too much work to try to tape hundreds of pieces and even more work removing them.

Gary

Larry Bratton
06-04-2011, 2:56 PM
Gary:
Thanks for the info. I'll take your advice. I cannot imagine why that doofis in JP's Atlanta office told me 380 degrees for 80 seconds unless he just didn't know and was afraid to just say he would get back to me. I was on the verge of throwing this stuff in the trash, I'll take another shot at it. So, you just pull it out of the press, leave the paper on, put it between the glas and peel it after it gets cold huh? I use Conde's Pro Spray for hold down, heat tape is too much work. I'll try about a 4 on the pressure setting and see what happens.

Ruben Salcedo
06-05-2011, 12:48 AM
Larry,
Oh, and I use light tack spray glue to hold the pieces to the paper, it's way too much work to try to tape hundreds of pieces and even more work removing them.


Gary,

I haven't use the Subliflex material cutting out many pieces, but I have done it with the sublimation hardboard, I have a way of doing it that I think it will save you even more time, since you have to do only one registration for the whole bunch, I imagine that it's also tedious registering every little piece to the transfer, the way I do it is using the substrate as a jig, I use painters blue tape to hold the substrate and transfer together, is cheaper wider and has a little more aggressive tack than heat tape, if you like more graphical details I have a slide mini tutorial that I can share, let me know.

Ruben

Martin Boekers
06-05-2011, 9:55 AM
Johnson Plastics has subliflex, a thin plastic, that's laser cuttable and sublimates at 350 degrees. Matte on one side and glossy on the other, really nice stuff.

Gary

Gary, what the trick to cutting this stuff?

I gave it a good shot, but may just couldn't home in on the settings.

Larry Bratton
06-05-2011, 10:00 AM
Marty,
I used 30s,100p,2500f in Epilog 40. Use plenty of air because it will flame up. It cut OK, had a little scorchiing that I cleaned up with DNA. My problem came in when I put it in the press..too hot. I had in mind for using this stuff with a key tag project I'm working on, but not sure that's going to work. Hard to keep the stuff flat.

Martin Boekers
06-05-2011, 10:38 AM
I have a handful of clients that were looking for short runs of pins. I hoped this would be an answer.
I'll play with it a bit more before I call it quits. Does masking help at all with the scortching?

Gary Hair
06-05-2011, 1:10 PM
I have a handful of clients that were looking for short runs of pins. I hoped this would be an answer.
I'll play with it a bit more before I call it quits. Does masking help at all with the scortching?

I use 10 speed on my 30 watt so you may want to use something closer to Larry's settings for your 75 watt. As for scorching - I use transfer tape on the surface I'm going to sublimate and there is no scorching at all. If I'm cutting large pieces, or just a few small ones, then I don't bother masking and just use denatured alcohol to clean them up. The edges are going to get burned no matter what you do, if you need to clean them then I'd recommend simply scraping them with an exacto knife - it's pretty tedious for more than a few but works well. I tried lots of different things for larger batches but haven't found the "magic bullet" yet... I have an order coming up for about 300 1" discs and I'm not looking forward to cleaning the edges on all of them. Maybe I'll find a school kid on summer vacation and pay them $0.10 each to clean them up.

Gary

Gary Hair
06-05-2011, 1:15 PM
Gary,

I haven't use the Subliflex material cutting out many pieces, but I have done it with the sublimation hardboard, I have a way of doing it that I think it will save you even more time, since you have to do only one registration for the whole bunch, I imagine that it's also tedious registering every little piece to the transfer, the way I do it is using the substrate as a jig, I use painters blue tape to hold the substrate and transfer together, is cheaper wider and has a little more aggressive tack than heat tape, if you like more graphical details I have a slide mini tutorial that I can share, let me know.

Ruben

I would rather transfer the entire sheet and then cut them out but I can't get the registration as precise as I need it. For my latest job it may be worth it though, it's 300 (maybe 400) 1" discs. It won't take long to glue and place them but it would be nicer if I could press then laser. Send me your tutorial, or a link, I am curious to see how you do it.

Thanks,
Gary

Ruben Salcedo
06-05-2011, 1:57 PM
I would rather transfer the entire sheet and then cut them out but I can't get the registration as precise as I need it. For my latest job it may be worth it though, it's 300 (maybe 400) 1" discs. It won't take long to glue and place them but it would be nicer if I could press then laser. Send me your tutorial, or a link, I am curious to see how you do it.

Thanks,
Gary

Gary,

I used to do it that way, but it was time consuming to get it right, also for thin substrates such Sublifex become more problematic for the warping issue, with my new way of doing it is a lot easier faster and accurate, when I start doing it for one or two cutouts was OK, but when I start doing lot's of smaller cutouts it become a problem to flip it face up to transfer, the cutouts start getting out of place and messing everything, then I though of using transfer tape to hold them in place, that was a good solution for me, also I want to say that I use a piece of aluminum that is 12"x18" and is 0.375" thick and another thinner piece of aluminum that is maybe 1/16 thick that is bigger than the other one (not sure of measurements) to cool things down, man! aluminum is like a sponge for heat, it just dissipated it so quickly, if it's ceramics or something thick I just use a blower fan direct to the top piece of aluminum.

Here is the link (https://docs.google.com/present/edit?id=0Afk1hJRY1LXdZGNjczluZ3NfMGhja2dmamhk&hl=en_US&authkey=CP7av08) to my mini tutorial, I hope it works out for you and/or... anyone here, I will like to hear some comments about it, + or -, maybe it's old news, but I never see anybody sharing this before.


Ruben

Larry Bratton
06-05-2011, 4:25 PM
Marty,
I bought some product this morning called Sublidecal. The info sheet from JP says this stuff-.01 thick has an adhesive back, sublimates at 350, can be put on and removed a number of times, but after 72 hours becomes permanent and waterproof. I am going to give this stuff a shot applied to clear acrylic. Sounds like it may work for my purposes. Here is a link to the Tech Tips sheet on it http://www.johnsonplastics.com/Documents/Techtips/tt-sublimation-SubliDecal_Mylar.pdf I may end up spraying it with a clear coat to finish the tags to make them more durable if this works.