Ponoko

PETG - Clear

0.020 inches 0.039 inches

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There are 5 images for this material

What is it

PETG is a clear thermoplastic polyester with a glossy finish.

How fast will this material ship?

Orders using this material will ship as fast as same day. Find out more.

Can I get a sample?

You can get a sample here.

Design Notes

PETG has high Impact strength and is reasonably flexible. It can be formed with and without heat although tight bend radii could result in splitting and stress marks on along the folded edge. It has a low melting point so intricate cutting detail is not recommended.

The manufacturers tolerance for the thickness of the materials is as follows:

Material thicknessPossible Range
inchesmm
0.020” / 0.5mm0.018" - 0.022”0.4 - 0.6mm
0.040” / 1.0mm0.035" - 0.043”0.9 - 1.1mm


Engraving PETG

Due to its low melting point PETG does not engrave very well. Line engraving is favored over area engraving and intricate details are not recommended. There are 3 types of engraving possible with laser cutting. Area engraving, line engraving and a combination of both.

Line engraving is like a really shallow cut. To achieve this effect the stroke color to red with RGB values of 255, 0, 0 and set the stroke style to a width of 0.01 mm. The laser beam follows along the red lines that you have in your design and marks the surface of the material. The result is crisp but it can be a time consuming technique if you have a lot of small details like text.

Area engraving is great it you need to mark a large area on the surface of the material. To specify area engraving set your shapes to have a fill color of black with RGB values of 0, 0, 0. The way this engraving is performed is like an old dot matrix printer except instead of dots of ink it uses pulses of the laser beam. This is a surface finish not deep enough to be used for pocketing or inlays. The depth of the engraving ranges between 0.1-0.5mm.

Using a combination of both engraving types typically gets the best result. Set your shapes to have a fill color of black with RGB values of 0, 0, 0, the stroke color to red with RGB values of 255, 0, 0, and set the stroke style to a width of 0.01 mm. The line engraving causes the laser beam to trace around the edges of the engraved areas making them more crisp and bringing the details to life.

Construction Techniques


To achieve a 3D form PETG is typically folded or layered. It can be folded without heat although tight bend radii could result in splitting and stress marks on along the folded edge. The best way to dictate a fold area is to use a dashed cut line. Typically a etched line will disrupt the surface tension of the material and cause it to snap rather than to fold.

Typical Uses

PETG is commonly used for making stencils, point of purchase displays, packaging, architectural models, etc

Environmental Information

PETG is the same stuff as plastic coke bottles are made from. Check with your municipality to see if this is recyclable in your area.

Adhesives, joints and fastenings

PETG can be bonded using Weld-On #3 or #4.

Tips from other designers

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Wendy says:

Does anyone have recommendations for cleaning spray paint off of a PETG stencil?

Added almost 4 years ago. ( delete )
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Natalie says:

You could try alcohol blending solution, but I'd recommending trying on a scrap of PETG first.

Added over 2 years ago. ( delete )
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Jonathan says:

Does anyone have experience creating crease or fold lines on PETG? Can a sheet of 0.5mm stock take a fairly clean 90* bend? Does a vector engraving line make a reasonable score mark for folding, as it does woth cardstock?

Added 10 months ago. ( delete )
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Dayma says:

Hi Jonathan,
We've had one customer find heavy vector (Red stroke) engraving was a little too deep to create a live hinge in the 0.5mm. Then they found medium vector (Green stroke) engraving on 0.5mm was a more suitable depth. We'd suggest to start there. Here's our post on how to create advanced engraving color settings - http://support.ponoko.com/entries/21725290-Advanced-engraving-options-using-Adobe-Illustrator

Added 10 months ago. ( delete )
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Jonathan says:

Dayma,

Thank you for your suggestion. As per your recommendation, I made a prototype using medium vector engraving on 0.5mm PETG. The line folds easily away from the cut side of the surface. Unfortunately, if the line is folded toward the cut side, the material snaps right in half.

I found that a scrap of the PETG material could handle hundreds of back-and-forth fold cycles without breaking. Unfortunately, medium engraving does not allow for a back-and-forth fold, and becomes fragile with repeated folding. Would light engraving likely be any better? Or should I be looking for other ways to create folded lines in your PETG material.

Added 9 months ago. ( delete )
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Dayma says:

Hi Jonathan,
Yes when you vector engrave a line, it only works to bend it one way. I'm not sure if a light engraving line will give you a better result to bend both ways. You could try dashed engraving or cutting lines, that help the fold occur but still keep the strength for it not to snap?

Added 9 months ago. ( delete )
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Grace says:

What would be the best material to use for laser cutting a reusable, flexible, and durable stencil? I was thinking PETG but the design is an outline of a world map on 8"x10" so I don't know if that will be too intricate.
Thanks

Added 3 months ago. ( delete )
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Dayma says:

Hi Grace, PETG is our most popular material for stencils and being so thin will give you the best chance at cutting quality intricate designs.

Added 3 months ago. ( delete )
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Robert says:

Anyone know where i can find tinted petg?

Added about 1 month ago. ( delete )
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Dan says:

Hi Robert. so far in our searches we've only found clear or frosted PETG. Sorry we can't be more helpful with this. Don't hesitate to get in touch if you have any other questions, or things we can assist with.

Added about 1 month ago. ( delete )

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