View Full Version : lasering polycarbonate (lexan)?

Linda Kroeker
11-14-2008, 1:39 PM
Has anyone ever laser cut and rasterd on polycarbonate...I'v tried to search here on the site but couldn't find much info.
I laser engraved flames on a windshield for my Brother-In-Laws Harley...he cut it out...we thought maybe vector cutting would be faster and cleaner on the laser...NOT.
I wasn't sure what settings to use so I use epilogs manual guide for 1/8" acrylic. I think my power and frequency was way too high...what do you think? You guys know so much here on this site I've learned most of what I know thanks to you...
I have a 45w Helix Epilog and the settings I used was (don't laugh):
300dpi vector-15s 100p 5000f raster-100s 55p am I way off?
We thought we might have a market here...
Any info would be greatly appreciated.
A & J Engraving

Steve McKee
11-14-2008, 2:06 PM
Linda, check the information in this thread.


Linda Kroeker
11-14-2008, 5:12 PM
Thank you Steve...after reading the thread I'm still confused :(. Does sound like I won't get a good quality cut anyways, toxins or not.

Andy Wingfield
11-15-2008, 11:01 AM
Hello Linda,

If you send me your email address, I will send you some information on engraving Polycarbonate.


Andy Wingfield
Trotec Laser

Joe Pelonio
11-15-2008, 1:04 PM
I do it when I have to but try to avoid it, and suggest other materials or methods to the customer when possible. Just nasty stuff to work with.

Andy Wingfield
11-17-2008, 10:20 AM
Hello Linda,

The typical reaction of clear polycarbonate is that it turns dark when struck with a laser in the near infrared (YB, YAG, YV04) and melts with a laser in the far infrared (CO2). Colorants and other additives added to polycarbonate will effect the results when laser processing.

A Vanadate laser will give a good results when engraving Polycarbonate especially clear polycarbonate. It will give it a black mark on clear polycarbonate.

The second photo is cutting the same thin PC using a CO2. A near infrared laser (YAG, Fiber or Vanadate) would not accomplish cutting this nicely.


Andy Wingfield
Wanlaser Laser