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10 Adhesives Used in Laser Cutting Crafts

10 Adhesives Used in Laser Cutting Crafts main article image
Posted on March 18, 2023 by Christy Madokoro
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A laser cutter is a useful tool in your projects because a variety of materials can be precisely cut or engraved with just one machine. Unlike 3D printers, which build layers upon layers in order to create a dimensional object, laser cutters can cut shapes from flat materials. So, to create a project with more dimensions or layers, you must cut each piece and adhere it with another in order to build your design.

With the large variety of materials that can be chosen for a laser cutting project, there are also a variety of options to consider when determining the right adhesive to use. While many adhesives can be multi-purpose, options exist based on the type of materials used and how they need to be joined.

Although this list is not all-inclusive, here are the most common types of adhesives to use with your laser-cutting projects.

Common adhesives to use with laser cutting

  1. Wood Glue
  2. Super Glue aka CA glue (Cyanoacrylate Glue)
  3. E6000
  4. Weld-On 4
  5. 3M Double-sided tape
  6. White Glue
  7. Epoxy
  8. Resin
  9. Hot Glue
  10. Fabric Glue

Wood glueWood glue creates strong bonds in wood and mdf laser projects.

As the name suggests, wood glue is an ideal adhesive to use when bonding wood together.  Its thick and tacky properties create a strong bond on porous materials, making it the ideal choice for creating sturdy wood projects. Given its slow cure time, it’s a forgiving adhesive that you can adjust in positioning before clamping the parts in place to let dry. Excess glue can be cleaned up prior to the setting but can also be sanded along with the project once it has dried.

Super glueSuper glue works well for the almost instant bonding of different materials.

Super glue is a good choice for an instant and strong bond. It is often sold in small bottles in either liquid or gel form. Since it can be used on many different types of materials, it can be a good choice when trying to bond different surfaces together, like wood or acrylic to metal. When exposed to the weather, it holds together well.

Super glue sets very quickly, so extra care must be taken when using it. It can cause fogging on the surface of the acrylic, especially if you try to adjust a part after applying it. Super glue gets brittle over time and the shelf life of an opened bottle is only about a month.

E6000E6000 applies and dries clear, and can bond different materials together.

E6000 is another strong adhesive that can be used to permanently bond a variety of surfaces. Unlike super glue, once applied, you have time to position your item in place. Because it dries clear, it is especially useful in jewelry projects like bonding laser-cut earring studs with metal posts or applying a photograph to a tray bezel.

E6000 is quite easy to clean up when too much is applied.  A few hours after application, excess E6000 can be easily peeled off while in its rubbery state. It fully cures in twenty-four to seventy-two hours. I’ve even used it to repair my favorite coffee mug when the handle broke off.

Weld-On 4Weld-On 4 is made to fuse acrylic together. It usually comes with an applicator bottle to squeeze the water-like substance into crevices.

Weld-On is a brand that makes a series of solvent cement for bonding acrylics and plastics. Weld-On 4 is especially useful when creating acrylic laser cut projects as this product is not a regular glue. When applied to acrylic, it softens the material and quickly evaporates. While it is dissipating, the acrylics fuse together, creating a very strong bond.

The consistency is water-thin, so acrylic needs to be placed exactly how it needs to be joined, then the solvent will be applied through a thin needle or syringe, and will spread on its own between the pieces to be fused. Care should be taken to not splatter the solvent because although it is clear and less prone to blushing (leaving white spots on acrylic like CA glue is prone to), it does soften the acrylic temporarily and can leave water-type marks. If there are splatters, you should let them evaporate on their own rather than trying to wipe them.

Weld-On 4 is an industrial product and care should be taken when using it. It can be ordered online and in smaller cans. With the extremely fast evaporation rate, the opened can should be stored in the freezer for a longer shelf life.

3M Double-sided tape3M tape can be applied to materials before cutting for a mess and stress-free bond.

3M double-sided tape is a pressure adhesive that can be applied to materials prior to being cut. Sticky-backed veneers often come with 3M pre-applied. Although expensive, it can be bought in rolls of varying widths to match your material. Simply unroll onto the back of your material and burnish it in place with a stiff spatula or credit card-type flat edge.

Using double-sided tapes, such as 3M 467MP or 3M 300SLE, makes adhering flat surfaces together much easier than using glue. Since it will be cut along with your actual file, it will match the file perfectly. It has an incredibly strong bond and can be used on a large variety of materials with flat surfaces, including wood, acrylic, leather, rubber, and other plastics. It is perfect for signs and layered objects because of its strong properties. The bond is so strong, that a misaligned piece will most likely break trying to remove it. 

White glue

White glue, school glue, or craft glue are suitable for home craft projects. Being water-soluble, it can be easily cleaned up. This all-purpose glue is meant for porous or semi-porous materials, like paper crafts. It is low-cost, non-toxic, and easy to find in any store with a stationary section. 

It dries clear and doesn’t stain, unlike wood glue, so it can be used in projects that require a clean seam or finish or when adding embellishments like glitter to your paper crafts. When applied in small amounts to a non-porous surface, like plastics, it can act as a type of masking that can be peeled off after painting to give a cleaner edge than paper masking.

EpoxyEpoxy is a two part mixture with resin and a hardener to create durable and strong bonds.

An epoxy adhesive usually consists of two parts: a resin and a hardener. You can either mix it yourself or buy the type that comes in a single applicator that mixes itself. Epoxies are very strong and make good fillers or bond rough surfaces. They are water-resistant and have fast curing times. Some epoxies are multi-purpose while specialty epoxies also exist for materials such as metal, ceramics, wood, and plastics. 

Because of its durability, epoxy can withstand extreme conditions. If you are cutting items in your laser that need to withstand extreme conditions, like something that will be exposed to weather, speeds, or frequent washing, epoxy would be an excellent choice.

ResinUV resin pen dispenses adhesive and cures it too.

Resins have a variety of types and use that would be helpful in your laser-cutting projects. 

Casting resins can be used to fill engraves in wood or poured into molds to make figures. They are thinner than epoxies, so are more difficult to control but take colors and inks very well. They also take much longer to cure than epoxies, so this would not be suitable for an adhesive. Polyester or urethane resins make great finishes to materials. The polyester resin itself cures very hard for a sturdy and waterproof finish.

As an adhesive, UV-cured resins share similar properties to CA glue, but without the instant bonding that makes CA glue difficult to use. Applicators come with a UV light that can be used to cure the resin after it has been applied and the pieces have been adjusted to where they need to be. The bond is strong, like epoxies. UV resins are also used in resin jewelry making, so they can also be used to add fills to your projects.

Hot glueHot glue is a fast and easy way to add embellishments to finished projects.

Hot glue is useful in adding embellishments to your finished product, like ribbons or faux flowers on door signs. It adheres to most of all materials except metal. Glue sticks are easy to find at any craft store and will require a glue gun to heat and melt the glue for application. It dries quickly and is easy to clean up. Just be careful when using it. As the name suggests, this glue is HOT.

Fabric glueFabric glue is perfect for adding laser cut cloth appliques to garments and patches to hats.

While not many adhesives are suitable for bonding fabric, fabric adhesives are specially created to bond textiles together. Fabric glue is flexible and waterproof, making it machine washable. 

Cutting leather patches and appliques in your laser makes these projects quick and easy. Fabric adhesives are great for those who do not have the time to sew patches in place or have appliques with small edges and details that need to be held down rather than sewn. Fabric glue can be applied to a patch to hold it in place, while corners can be sewn to add extra security and detail.

Different adhesive choices for a variety of crafts.

Your choice of adhesive will be determined by your projects, time, and budget.  Using the right adhesive for your project can help you save time and extend the life of your work by holding it together the way it was intended to be. As with all products, be sure the read and follow the manufacturer’s directions and work in well-ventilated areas.

Do you have a favorite adhesive not listed that you’d like to share? Please do in the comments.


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Comments
2 Comments
Elaine A Hellyer

April 30, 2023

I appreciate the thoroughness with which you described each glue and the example uses. Thanks!

Atelier Koi's profile picture
Atelier Koi

April 30, 2023

Author

Thank you! I hope you found the list helpful.


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