Laser cutting adhesive vinyl

I have been using the laser module on my 2.0 350t. I just tried cutting adhesive vinyl like the stuff used in Cricut machines. The results were great. But I heard some talk about toxic fumes (chlorine gas) that turn into hydrochloric acid when it hits the humidity in the air. What if I mount a vacuum pickup at the module to vacate all the gases? I can replace the shop vac cheaply when its gives out. Will this save the machine from damage? I am considering making a vacuum hold down from sheet ABS with a shop vac and I can run the bleeder from its manifold to the module head. BTW, I am using the 1600 mw module.

My main question is, being the material is so thin and the cut so narrow, how much of an issue is the toxic gases produced?

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It would be safer to simply print a drag knife adapter and buy a cheap drag knife off Amazon.

Something like this:

And here’s the thread about the above.

No reason to risk your health, or the health of others, or the machine when a simple, safer option is easily available.

It still has to go somewhere. Where are you venting it to?

You can find pvc free vinyl (although technically its not vinyl then).


I suspect a used Cricut or Silhouette cutter off eBay costs less than having to replace the laser module because you eroded the lens with hydrochloric acid vapour. You’d have to vent extraordinarily well to keep that from happening over time.

Seems easier/safer to use the CNC blade adaptor approach for doing vinyl.

It’s the C (Chlorine) in PVC that’s dangerous. You can get types of vinyl without chlorine. Just be sure you check the chemical compound of the vinyl you choose.

I went through the same process two years ago… trying to figure out a way to cut vinyl with the Snapmaker Original. I ended up using polyester material instead. My needs were simple - I was trying to laser cut a mask to put over glass so I could use etching cream to etch the glass. The vinyl I ended up using was a waterproof mailing label from Avery. Obviously, they weren’t pretty colors and would not be sufficient to stick to a gift for someone. But they worked for my needs.

My main concern was the one expressed here already… it would take NO time at all for the chlorine gas to destroy the optics in the laser module. In fact, I had accidentally gotten a tiny bit of grease on the lens of the laser while trying to adjust it and it rendered it completely useless until cleaned. Chlorine gas would permanently damage it.

So, depending on what you’re trying to do, it would probably be smarter to do what the others recommend - a knife-draging solution with your Snapmaker for a few cuts, or a Cricut if you’re going to be producing a lot.