Milling PET Plastic


I wanted to know if it is safe and possible to mill PET plastic (about 1mm thickness and up). This is the plastic used for a lot of product packagings (like shampoos, plastic containers, etc).

The reason I am interested is because it could be nice to reuse a lot of things. But, being completely new to CNC machining, I am unsure if it is recommended or if it would melt, etc.



PET is quite nice to machine.
Melting can be an issue (as with all thermoplastic materials) - but PET is not too critical.
Just make sure to use suitable, sharp tools and not too high rpm.

Thanks :).

I saw a youtube where a buy was “melting down” (softened and squished) old milk bottles (is that the same kind of plastic) into bricks to be cnc’ed
It seemed like a lot of work.

I am not in the mood of melting plastics, haha.

My question was directed at uses of flat reclaimed plastic.

What I don’t really find out there is PET plastic or similar plastic for sale in sheets. Only acrylic, plexiglass, etc… and PVC foams. But the latter are porous and they break. PET plastic is more flexible and can bend a lot. Maybe I am not looking for the good kind of plastic, I don’t know all the names yet. (I am in Europe by the way so no home depot here).

A common name for PET here in Europe is “Vivak”.
PET is rather expensive and has no interesting properties compared to other common plastics except its excellent thermoforming properties.

What other plastic sheets would you suggest then, based in your experience?

Thanks !

Acetal is OK

Great for making machinable wax. Cheap and reusable.
I haven’t tried this on the X-Carve yet.

Delren, Nylon, Polypropylene, Vinyl… If you check out some local places that do counter tops, they may have cut offs. Although every one seems to have shifted over to stone for counter tops. In the USA there are several chains of plastic supply stores that sell to small business and hobby people. Tap plastics is a big one. Mail order would probably not be a great deal, but I would imagine there are places like that in most countries.

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