What Is The Maximum Thickness Acrylic Can Be Laser Cut?

March 2, 2023 3:50 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Laser cutting is a great way to make acrylic products. The power of an acrylic laser cutter is a key factor in the maximum thickness that it can cut. A general rule of thumb is that you can cut one mm of acrylic material thickness for every 10 W of power. Generally speaking, more power is better because it allows for fast cutting on thin materials and higher quality cuts on thicker materials. It also enables you to cut a glass-clear, flame-polished edge on your D&D Plastics product. 

The speed of an acrylic laser cutter can also be a factor when determining the maximum thickness it can cut. This is why it is always better to run a power and speed test on the material you are using. This will help you choose the right settings for your project and save you money as well. However, it is important to note that these values can vary depending on the material you are using and your personal preference. For example, if you are looking for a smoother finish on your cut acrylic, it is best to use cast acrylic. This is because extruded acrylic is more prone to cracking when exposed to heat from the laser during plastic fabrication. 

Using a 50-watt CO2 laser, the professionals at D&D Plastics use the following values for cutting acrylic: 

Focus on the surface; low to medium air assist; good airflow across the surface 

3mm Acrylic: 17mm/s at 58% Power 

4mm Acrylic: 13mm/s at 58% Power 

5mm Acrylic: 10mm/s at 58% Power 

6mm Acrylic: 8.5mm/s at 58% Power 

8mm Acrylic: 6.5mm/s at 58% Power 

It is important to note that 58% is the reported maximum safe operating power of the specified laser and equates to around 46W at the work piece.  

Pro-Tip: Remove the protective film and clean the surface with a lens wipe to remove any static build up before cutting. This reduces the amount of debris that may stick to the surface when laser cutting. Contact us today to learn more!

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