View Full Version : Cutting CDs

Eric Allen
05-07-2008, 3:11 PM
Anyone know what CDs are made of? I'd swear I've seen some posts on the subject of cutting CDs and cases but for some reason the search won't bring 'em up. I'd like to chop up a few of my coasters (generic for "crapped out during writing"), I think they'd make some neat projects. I am, of course, given pause by the idea that they may contain that evil vinyl chloride:)

Brian Robison
05-07-2008, 3:39 PM
I believe they are PC and most of the cases are acrylic.

Joe Pelonio
05-07-2008, 3:42 PM
They are made of polycarbonate, so you can use the laser on them but you can expect smoke, flaring (use lots of air) and discoloration.

(and stinky!)

Eric Allen
05-07-2008, 3:51 PM
Thanks guys, kind of a shame about the discoloration, the best part would be retaining the nifty colors:) Guess I'll deep fat fry one of these babys and see what happens:)

Eric Allen
05-07-2008, 5:44 PM
In case anyone is interested in a follow up, I cut these at about 15/100/5000. El Stinko Grande, even with my big 'ole blower and air assist. That was a bit much, though they were still tough to seperate, but it seems close. There may not be a happy medium that doesn't scorch. The picture of the parts looked nicer than the parts actually do, there is a bit of yellowing in the shiny part of the cd pieces and black around certain areas of the outside. Ah yes, and it glows like the sun while cutting...

On another note, the one I was experimenting with was a Lightscribe cd, so of course, I had to see if 20+ minutes to write on the surface by my Lightscribe device could be beaten. 31 seconds, much better:) It's easy to overpower and go through the scribe media, so lower powers are key.

Lamont Ellingson
05-09-2008, 12:51 AM
I've cut CDs before. The trick to getting a good cut is to put a piece of wet newspaper on them then laser through that. This helps to keep the heat from scorching the CD around the cut.