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Thread: ABS Plastic

  1. #1
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    ABS Plastic

    Anyone cut ABS plastic about 1/8" thick? How does it cut?
    Dave Chase
    Versalaser 25W, Corel X3

  2. #2
    it stinks and melts. Does not give a good finish.
    I design, engineer and program all sorts of things.

    Oh, and I use Adobe Illustrator with an Epilog Mini.

  3. #3
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    And, 1/4 also cuts, but stinks and is rough and charred. The 1/16 does a lot better. If you use black it's not as noticeable as white.



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  4. #4
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    How about LDPE? It has such a low melting point that it kind of glues itself back together after it's cut and I haven't figured out the solution. Any ideas?

  5. #5
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    Margaret, are you using air? If it's melted, a high-pressure blast of air should keep the seam cleared of molten material. You'll have to find a balance between too high of pressure (cooling the material down) and too low (not blowing the material out of the seam).
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  6. #6
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    Weird - I am very happy with my ABS cutting. I have had good edges on black and white up to .090 (no charring on the white) and good results with 1/4" black. Cuts a bit slower than acrylic. I use air assist.

  7. #7
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    OK, we have a 120 watt ULS X-660. I think we need to set the power down to maybe 20% and increase the air to 50 psi or so. Not sure what to do with the ppi, I'll have to experiment. I almost always use the air assist but not at very high psi. This is .062" thick and we are trying to cut prototype parts to make sure the configuration is correct for our customer before tooling up for larger production runs. I've tried to cut this material before with little success, but the customer is the boss!

  8. #8
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    Martin,
    Can you provide some details about your methods and the system you are using?
    We would all love to be able to cut ABS well! I have some 1/8" I have tried twenty different ways and was nearly ready to give up on.
    Marc Myer
    Epilog 35 mini

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Margaret Turco View Post
    How about LDPE? It has such a low melting point that it kind of glues itself back together after it's cut and I haven't figured out the solution. Any ideas?
    Try making a second pass at a much faster speed/lower power.



    Sammamish, WA

    Epilog Legend 24TT 45W, had a sign business for 17 years, now just doing laser work on the side.

    "One only needs two tools in life: WD-40 to make things go, and duct tape to make them stop." G. Weilacher

    "The handyman's secret weapon - Duct Tape" R. Green

  10. #10
    Some of the Rowmark products have an ABS core and can be laser cut e.g. LaserMax Metals. But generally ABS is not as good as acrylic for use as a core material as it does not laser so well.

    I have cut regular 1/8" black ABS with a 30 watt laser. It cuts okay; the edge is rather rough with striations from the lasering. I have not noticed loose carbon deposits (char). I mask the backside or else it will have a lot of smoke staining (even on the black). It does generate a pronounced ridge on the top surface so often this needs to be manually deburred. As noted before, the worst part is the smell. The rubber component in ABS (butadadiene) will make the shop smell like burning tires even with a good exhaust system.

  11. #11
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    I have a Laserpro Explorer II 30W. I cut ABS at about the same speed as acrylic. I do use air assist. The material comes from TAP and has that giveaway hair cell finish on one side.

  12. #12
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    We also cut a lot of ABS on our Explorers and Spirits , all 30w.
    The secret is lots of air assist and VERY low freq or PPI - like 100 or 150. This perforates the ABS and stops the heat affected melty zone. Use a deburring tool or scraper to clean edges if your customer is uber fussy , but the edges we get are normally ok.
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  13. #13
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    I see this is an old tread but

    Has anyone tryed raster a pocket in 1/4 abs lik 3/16 deep? I need to do a 1/2" x1" pocket 3/16 deep
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  14. #14
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    That's a job better done by CNC...
    Hi-Tec Designs, LLC -- Owner (and self-proclaimed LED guru )

    Trotec 80W Speedy 300 laser w/everything
    CAMaster Stinger CNC (25" x 36" x 5")
    USCutter 24" LaserPoint Vinyl Cutter
    Jet JWBS-18QT-3 18", 3HP bandsaw
    Robust Beauty 25"x52" wood lathe w/everything
    Jet BD-920W 9"x20" metal lathe
    Delta 18-900L 18" drill press

    Flame Polisher (ooooh, FIRE!)
    Freeware: InkScape, Paint.NET, DoubleCAD XT
    Paidware: Wacom Intuos4 (Large), CorelDRAW X5

  15. #15
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    Yes but what if you dont hav a cnc?
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