What can I use as a substitute for resin in a project

I am planning out a series of “paintings” that I wanted to create by using the lasers to cut floral outline shapes in cast thin sheets of resin that I could color with oil paint. Then combine all the resin cutout pieces onto some aluminum panels I have. Of course I now know laser cutting resin is toxic and possibly flammable so that is out.

Does anyone know of a similar product with resin like qualities that I could cast and color to specific colors then laser cut? I am planning on using the laser because I need to cut the pieces very precisely so they will fit together when I reassemble them on the aluminum panel.

Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.

I’m guessing you’re talking about epoxy resin here.

What about polyester resin? Although it’s allegedly very brittle, I believe that should be safe to cut.

Thanks for the reply, yes I did mean epoxy resin. Polyester is definitely something I am going to consider. I am a little leery since the MSDS makes it sound pretty toxic. I definitely would not try it until I can get the right PPE which who knows when that will be.

Have you used it before? I was wondering if it was something I could do in the garage with an industrial fan blowing out and respirator or more of an outside thing.

I have used it (but not for this purpose). I only made small amounts and I did it inside the house. Of course it stinks like any solvent. I would think that your ventilation need would be directly related to the surface area you are pouring. I would guess that for a square foot or less your garage should be fine - maybe for a couple square feet - esp. if you are standing near the open door. But be careful not to blow your exhaust fan on the resin while it hardens as I think that will disturb the surface. So that might dictate that you do it outdoors. Wait until the humidity subsides a little if you’re going to do it outdoors.

What do you plan to use as your “mold” for pouring your sheets?

What brand polyester resin have you used in the past?

I plan to use corrugated plastic sheets and hot glue to make mold boxes and hot glue 1/4 in. thick acrylic sheet to the base of the mold box leaving 1/2 in. gaps between the mold wall and the acrylic sheet for the silicon mold walls. I will use smooth-on 00M00 25 for the silicon molds.

I will start with a smaller mold to test the resin and color and once dms opens again test the laser cutting. Hopefully by then I will have completed my designs in Illustrator and I can calculate the best large mold size to get all the pieces I need.

Something like this: