Laser cutting Acetate Foil

Hello everyone,

i have been trying to cut acetate sheets(foil that can be used for chocolate or cakes) with the Snapmaker2 and the 1600mW laser for a few days now. Unfortunately I only have success as soon as I put a piece of paper underneath. Then both are cut. But during the cut the acetate “merges” minimally with the paper. Does anyone have a tip for me on how I can best cut this acetate film?
The film alone cannot be cut, not even at 100% power and 40mm/min working speed. It does not even leave any marks

With the paper I cut with Power 100% and a working speed of 320-340 mm/min

Assumign the Foil is clear, the laser doesnt get enought absorbed to heat teh plastice neough to cut it, the paper below allows for that. Ive seen ppls suggest, when cutting a PVC sheet to apply a black marker so the laser can heat that and then cut it, not sure if thats food save though (from your mentionign cake).

You could try using a black sharpie and then remove any that’s left with alcohol.
Or a dry erase marker.


Disclaimer: I’m not a chemist, I don’t know if this would result in something toxic.

Rice paper is eadable, perhaps you can use that as the underlay.

Hello everyone,

thanks for all the tips.

ITmaze: Unfortunately I don’t have any rice paper here, but since normal paper is “edible” I would rather continue to use this. But as soon as I go shopping again, I will test it as well.

@Streupfeffer: yes, the foil is clear. I’m just surprised, because I saw a patisseur in a YouTube video who had cut out a pattern like this. Unfortunately you didn’t see much of what was under the foil. The idea with the marker is interesting.

@sdj544: Ok thanks. I will try the marker idea.

I have now tried 5 different markers. All of them I could be easily removed with ethanol. Then I put the color up the foil and tested it. Unfortunately the cutting results were quite bad. More melted than cut.
Then I put the color down. After that I started a new test series.
This worked much better.

In the test series I increased the working speed in steps of 20.
The best results I got with 100% power and 420mm/min working speed and 2 passes without depth increase. (Apparently 2 passes are better, so that the film does not melt but is separated)

Not Perfekt but good enough for me to work with.
If anyone have other ideas pls tell me.

I had an idea that doesn’t involve a snapmaker, unfortunately. We have a cricut vinyl cutter, and I bet either the small knife, or the roller cutter tool would work well for that.

I see no reason the small knife, or a similar one, which has a pivot in it, couldn’t be chucked up in the CNC collet, and use it as a vinyl cutter.

Thanks for your information. Jeah we are currently build a mpcnc and the roller cutter is one of the goals of my father. I just thought I could easyly do it with a laser too.

The faster you can cut the less material will melt.
When I do laser tests I usually change speeds by multiples of 2, until I get to 600
So 40, 80, 160, 320, 600, 1000, 1500, 2000. (I may start at 320 depending on material and past experience) Then I may decide to fine tune between two speeds. I may also set multipass to run two passes and try that.

You are using vector?
Just making sure.

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Keep in mind energy absorption is based on the laser wavelength. So they may have used a red laser or Green laser and that may be able to cut it without the need for the paper.

As for ideas, maybe try parchment paper? Another thing that could work is sugar, in a spray form would be best.

Are you actually using the acetate as part of the finished cakes or is it just being used as a stencil or some other way in the creation process?


Hey Atom, that ist this is also possible. the idea with the parchment paper is also good. the nice thing is, that with acetate sheets the chocolate falls off by itself, no matter how thin it is.

hey adj544, yes and no. the foil is used when i make chocolate patterns. these are made on the acetate foil, and as soon as the chocolate cools down, it can be easily removed. It is also used when making cakes, for example to increase the height of the edges (for dessert rings the height is often limited).

I must apologize.
After Brent113 mentioned the plotter, I watched the video a few times and in the few frames in which the device was shown, I realized that there was a cutter device like that. So I have to reject my claim: they used that in the clip as well".

My hope is and was to cut these acetate sheets with a laser. But that is not bad if in the end it does not work as I had wished. Since I am a total beginner in Laser cutting, I had to learn what is possible and what is not.
Thanks to you, i have already found a method, which I will try out for the few uses here with the acetat sheets.

Thanks for all the suggestions

Just to be clear I meant Use parchment paper under the acetate Because it might not bond to the acetate is much is normal paper. Also I know when doing acrylic people have used spray on type paints or adhesives so that might be another option is a spray on food colouring