We sometimes hear from customers that they are afraid to cut their PatternPly® -- don't be! It couldn't be easier to cut and enables you to quickly create beautiful, finished products.
Do I need to prep the PatternPly® in any way before cutting? Should I mask?
Masking is optional with PatternPly®. The only PatternPly® that we suggest masking are those patterns with a lot of white/light colors or any white/light colored solids.
DO NOT put a wet paper towel under the PatternPly® when cutting. This creates steam and can cause the pattern to bubble or chip.
If my sheet arrived with masking on one side, do I need to remove it? Should I put it masking side up or down in the laser?
There is no need to remove the masking from your PatternPly®. Place the sheet masking side down in your laser, pin it down if necessary, and start cutting!
What settings should I use?
Settings will vary based on the core material you choose. All of our cut settings for a Glowforge Basic can be found here. We are actively testing the materials with other lasers to get an expanded range of settings. In the meantime, we recommend entering your laser type the search bar on our Facebook group. We are blessed with a fantastic community of thousands of makers who readily share their settings and designs in this group!
If your pattern chipped at the edges or bubbled, the sheet is getting too hot. Increase your speed and try again.
Is there anything I need to do after cutting?
If you are making earrings, an indoor sign, or most other projects, you are good to go as is. Nothing is else is needed to prep your PatternPly®. The only items that need extra prep work are outdoor signage, keychains* or anything else that is heavily handled or banged around. For these, we recommend spraying with Frog Juice to protect the surface.
If you have a little char around the edges, you can use some isopropyl alcohol on a paper towel to wipe it away. LA Awesome and window cleaner also work well!
*We recommend PatternPly® MDF over acrylic for keychains.