anyone cutting heat transfer vinyl? I have boss ls 3655 150 watt. presently 4’ lens wondering where to start with settings it looks a little daunting afraid I’ll burn right throug everything
I’ve never done it but I saw a video of someone cutting HTV on her glowforge with a speed of 200 (out of 500) and power of 12. It’s not clear what the units of speed are but you can get a relative sense based on the maximum speed. The Glowforge I believe is a 40W machine so the window for your machine is going to narrow quite a bit. You’d probably want to start very low.
Also, be aware that not all HTV is safe to burn. Siser has a laser safe indicator in their brochures.
SISER brochure English-0421sm1.cdr (siserna.com)
I’d suspect you have little choice, but to run at a power level that is at the bottom of your range.
Depending on the thickness of the vinyl.
I run 10% and get a little over 4 watts out with a 50 watt machine (really about 44, 880mm tube length). That is more than sufficient to do most ‘thin’ material jobs.
Most machines have a bottom limit around 10%. Mine will not lase below about 9.4 on a warm day.
So if you have 10% of a 150 watt machine, that gives you about 15 watts out at the bottom end. You’re going to have to run fast as possible at low power or you will probably sizzle it. One of the disadvantages of a powerful machine.
Until hit by a buss… Just saying, that very few of us pick when…
Burning vinyl with laser is very toxic!
dont remain in the room where you cutting even if ventilated…
unless I am added to the will somehow.
I believe this is a vinyl cutting co2 laser. Don’t remember how long it had run, pretty short for the cost.
I think it started life like this Epilog EXT.
There is one around where they lady just got a new Chinese laser and did a cutout from a record on it. The next morning her machine was solid rust… Saw the picture, wish I had snagged it…
I cut siser easyweed htv on a laser. Vinyl cutters are designed to cut only the vinyl layer and leave the backing. Then you peel or weed the excess vinyl. I couldn’t consistently do that because it requires very low power levels that seem to be below the power level that the tube activates.
So I cut a mirror of the pattern thru the material then you have to position the material prior to ironing. If you burn thru you can’t cut intricate and unconnected pattern. My conclusion is that you can get by with a laser but a vinyl cutter is best, unless you can precisely control the engraving power. I wonder how well a diode laser works on vinyl?
They use them in the industry. I’d say, like previous that your machine has too high a power. They make machine that hold cutting knives, like you mentioned. Maybe a better option
P.S. If that 150 watt machine needs a home, I would welcome it… pay for shipping…
Siser Easyweed and others from Stahl’s, etc. are specifically designed to be cut with a laser, and do not contain any PVC’s, which is what causes the issues. So, there ARE “HTV’s” that can be cut on laser, but make sure with the manufacturer that they are laser safe.
You really need a metal tube RF fired laser like an Epilog or Trotec machine to do it well. You have so much more control over the power and speeds on a machine like that. I’ve seen some amazing things done with an Epilog and some Siser Easyweed.
One of the guys here has one. Supposedly control to the 1% level. That would be nice. Had a look at the video from one. What a noisy monster…
Yes, I’ve got an Epilog Fusion Pro 48 in the shop here as well. It’s a beast. 120 watts, can control it all the way down to 1% power, and it will run at 165 inches per second at max speed. (4191 mm/s) Love it…
Cool machine with so many uses. But obviously it can’t be justified for vinyl cutting. That’s why I was wondering if a laser diode would work.
Did someone say they were giving a machine away?
I’ve never tried cutting vinyl with my diode laser. I suspect it could be made to work with darker vinyl but I can’t imagine it doing very well with white or anything else light. Happy to hear otherwise from others.
Just start out low power and fast speed and move up from there.
I’ve lasered HTV, and plotted it with a normal Roland plotter.
The plotted stuff lasts longer on the shirts.
Somehow the laser residue I think affects adhesion, minutely, but surely.
Plotted HTV remains cleaner and sticks better - I have found.
Can you make any comment about the edge quality of the cut comparing the laser vs plotter?
bad idea: burning PVC gives toxic and aggressive fumes. Attacks any exposed metal quickly.
There is a lot of the “HTV” products now that are completely PVC free, and designed to be laser cut. Many of the manufacturers have switched to using to using Polyurethane based material so that it’s laser safe. Of course, you need to verify with the manufacturer that the particular produce you are using is PVC free, but as stated, many of them now are. The other reason for this switch is for child safety reasons and certifications.
I make mention of vinyl safety in my first response to this topic. Siser specifically marks laser safe vinyls. I’m sure other brands have similar certifications.
Thanks to all, It looks like I’ll stick with my plotter for HTV. I was not aware of the caustic fumes produced from cutting vinyl. I’ll be careful to stay away from that.