Is it safe to laser cut magnetic sheets?


I’m wondering if 1) is it even possible and 2) safe, to cut magnetic print sheets or rolls of magnetic tape with the 10w laser? The sheets are the type you can buy to run through an inkjet printer. The tape is typically almost as thin as the print sheets and one side has adhesive on it.

I did a bit of research, though noting everything was talking about CO2 lasers, and it appears some problems are the dust created by cutting the material, as it is magnetic, will stick to everything in the machine that is metal…which in the case of the SM that is just about everything. Apparently it is an absolute bastard to clean up. The other warning was not to use sheets made/coated with PVC due to the fumes and chlorine gas it gives off. In addition to being bad for your health, the gases can corrode components. The problem is it appears all the magnetic sheets I can find are PVC coated. I do have the very expensive Snapmaker Air Purifier, so I’m wondering if the PVC fume issue isn’t really a problem.

Anyone using these types of sheets/tape?

I wouldn’t cut PVC, ever. When I took a safety class to use a laser cutter in the past, PVC was a big no-no due to the chlorine gas fumes that are generated. They’re highly toxic and corrosive, you can do a quick search on “PVC laser” on Google to see what that does.

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Thanks for the really quick reply. I guess that rules out the plans I had to make magnetic drawer tags for my tool cabinets.

Your best bet to cut such materials would be with a drag knife if they’re not too thick, but unfortunately there’s no official module to do so. I believe someone made a 3D printed drag knife attachment on this forum though.

Yeah, I remember seeing a discussion about that at some point. I may just have to rethink how I’m going to make these labels. Thank you for your input!

If you can find one that isn’t PVC coated, I wouldn’t worry about the magnetics. My machine (an Original) is mostly aluminum, which is paramagnetic, not ferromagnetic. You shouldn’t have a problem with magnetic dust clogging things any more than regular dust.

Thank you for the reply. I remembered that later - my brain clearly wasn’t in gear yet when I first posted :slight_smile:

Not a lot of options when trying to find sheets not using PVC as it appears to be the standard.

I live in Europe and there it’s easy to find magnetic sheet without coating. My practical problem for the moment is that I tried to laser them (mine is 2.35mm thick) and did not get through. Anyone any ideas about the settings? I tried 2 passes; jog 3000 work 300 and power 100%. I guess I can lower work and try 3 passes but hoped somebody already tried this.

And I wouldn’t worry about the dust as the dust itself is magnetic and thus clings to the magnetic sheet and not the machine. You should clean your print wearing disposable gloves as it is very filthy material.

With the 1.6W laser you had a neat article which stated what settings to use with what material but I could not find an updated one for the 10W.