Laser Engraving Tips for Acrylic

March 30, 2023 10:09 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Laser Engraving Tips for AcrylicLaser Engraving Tips For Acrylic

Acrylic is a popular material that’s used for many different types of projects from D&D Plastics. From license plates to display cases, there are a lot of things you can do with it. The optimum laser engraving speed and power settings will depend on the type of acrylic you’re working with as well as your laser system.

Front Or Back?

If you’re looking to engrave clear acrylic, make sure you use the right kind of laser. Cast acrylic has a frosted appearance that contrasts with the engraved design, while extruded acrylic is more matte and produces an almost flame-polished edge. When you’re engraving from the back, reverse your art before sending it to the laser engraver. This will leave you with a glass-like effect and ensure that the other side of the sheet stays clean. You can also engrave acrylic that’s painted on one side, but you should turn up the power about 10% to ensure that it cuts cleanly through the paint. It’s important to make sure that your ventilation system is set up properly for this material because it can be very flammable.

Pick A Design That’s All Lines

Lines are a great way to divide up a design and create clarity in your production runs. They also help to direct the eye. They can be solid, such as a straight line, or implied, like a dotted line. They’re also a great way to add some visual texture. In addition, lines can be color-mapped. This means that you can assign different speeds and power settings to different parts of an image based on the colors in the image. For example, you could engrave red pixels with higher speed and power settings than blue pixels to make them more pronounced. You can even use this feature to engrave parts of an image that would otherwise be too difficult for the laser to cut through.

Prepare The Acrylic

The type of acrylic you choose to engrave will have an impact on the quality of your final project. Both cast and extruded acrylics are suitable for laser cutting, but cast is best for engraving. Before you engrave on the actual material, be sure to test your layout skills by applying a green-tinted polyester mask and using very low power (about 5%) and 100% speed. Once you’re happy with the image, remove the mask and engrave at the proper power and speed settings for your acrylic.

Keep It Clean

When laser engraving, it is important to keep your acrylic clean. This will ensure that your finished product is of the highest quality possible. Leaving large amounts of dust in your laser machine can lead to unwanted results, including burnt debris, distortions and discolorations. To prevent this, install an exhaust system that can accommodate the necessary capacity. It is also a good idea to inspect your laser optics weekly and clean them whenever necessary. This will help prevent smudges and dust from settling onto the lens and mirrors. Contact us to learn more today!

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