View Full Version : Rowmark/IPI question

Jeff Belany
06-09-2011, 12:17 PM
Please understand I've been a laser engraver for a long time but only with wood and have only lately been getting into plastics. My question is this -- a customer brought in some plastic names tags, with a logo already printed in color, I would assume dye-sub. He wants me to engrave names on them but I have no way to know if it is laserable plastic. I know I can/will ask him for one to try but I'm curious what happens when you laser plastic that is meant to be rotary engraved? Does is work at all or just poorly? All the plastic I have is laserable. I'm assumeing some of you guys out there have done this either by accident or to test. Just curious.

Jeff in northern Wisconsin

Rodne Gold
06-09-2011, 12:40 PM
Only the acrylic based material is laserable , the rotary material is abs based and it doesnt work well , engraves "melty"

Dan Hintz
06-09-2011, 12:45 PM
One way to make a rough determination is to look at the thickness of the cap layer... rotary will have a thicker cap than laserable material. Even so, some of the rotary stuff will work in the laser with a stronger beam, you just need to play.

Mike Null
06-09-2011, 1:01 PM
I don't have a problem laser engraving rotary material but cutting it is out of the question. It just burns. The cap thicknesses vary from about 1 mil to about 12 mil.

It is not likely they were dye subbed as that temp is too high. More likely screened or hot stamped.

Martin Boekers
06-09-2011, 1:11 PM
I do color nametags on dye sub material, if they were sublimated they won't work as they made from fiberglass resin.

Jeff Belany
06-09-2011, 2:18 PM
Thanks for the input. I'll have to wait to see if the customer comes back to get the names.

Jeff in northern Wisconsin

Michael Hunter
06-09-2011, 7:00 PM
Rotary sheet stock varies dramatically when lasered - some comes out perfectly (as good as LaserMax), some will engrave but cuts poorly and others cut OK, but wont engrave.

So - you will just have to play with a sample to see if it will work.

( I bought the stock of a rotary engraver who ceased trading - mainly to get his storage rack. Had lots of fun sorting it all out and finding which pieces were OK with the laser).

Bill Cunningham
06-09-2011, 10:15 PM
The rotary stock comes in colours that are not available in laserable material yet.. It's laserable with some testing on 'your' particular machine.. Usually lower heat, and two to three fast passes. I don't cut it, but do a fast vector score about 1/2 to 3/4 of the way through, then just snap them out.. This scoring works even better for laserable plastics.