Laser Cutting & Engraving Acrylic
Laser cutters for cutting and engraving cast and extruded acrylic
Acrylic is a favorite for most laser engraving enthusiasts thanks to its numerous benefits. The laser machine can cut smooth, polished edges, and can also engrave a bright matte white effect. It is affordable and has a high-end appeal. Last but not least, acrylic can be used to make a variety of products, including but not limited to signs, key holders, and awards.
Ⅰ. What do you need to know about engraving acrylic?
Before trying to use a laser to cut acrylic, it is very important to understand the different acrylic materials.
Acrylic can be divided into transparent board, semi-transparent board (including back panel transparent board), color board (including black and white board and color board) according to the light transmittance; According to the performance, it can be divided into anti-impact board, anti-ultraviolet board, ordinary board and special board such as high impact board, flame retardant board, frosted board, metal effect board, high wear-resistant board, light guide board, etc.
According to the production process, acrylic plates are divided into cast plates and extruded plates . Acrylic casting plates are made by pouring liquid acrylic into molds of various shapes and sizes. Most of the medals you see in the market are made of this type of acrylic. Acrylic casting plate is an ideal material for engraving, because it will become matte white when engraving. You can use a laser machine to cut acrylic cast plates, but you cannot form edges with polished surfaces. This type of acrylic material is more suitable for engraving.
Another type of acrylic material is acrylic extruded sheet, which is a very popular cutting material. Acrylic extruded plates are made through mass production processes, so their prices are usually lower than acrylic cast plates, and when laser beams are used to cut this material, the effect produced is quite different. The acrylic extruded sheet is cut very clean and smooth, and will produce polished edges during laser cutting. However, it will not produce a matte white effect when engraving, but will form a fairly clear engraving pattern.
In conclusion: The extruded plate uses granular raw materials, which are extruded after being dissolved at high temperature, while the cast plate is directly cast with MMA monomer (liquid). Although the extruded plate is relatively flat and smooth in appearance, it is because it is formed when the granular raw material is formed. To complete the polymerization. When processed into plates, its structure and performance are weak, and it is not suitable as a material for outdoor marking products. It is only suitable for indoor products such as crystal letters or product brackets.
In addition, since most of the extruded panels do not have the function of UV protection, their outdoor use life is not the same as that of the cast panels. The color will gradually fade and it is easy to become brittle until it breaks. The casting plate is to complete the structural polymerization during the processing of the plate, during which the ultraviolet absorber is added, which has extremely high strength and UV function, and the outdoor service life is more than 5 years or even 10 years. During the use, the color is always bright as new.
Ⅱ. How to engrave acrylic(suitable settings)?
Compared with the usual cut plywood, the cutting of acrylic does not seem to be as simple as imagined. For the best results, it is not necessary to follow the cutting parameters of the wood. In order to cut the acrylic to be flat and smooth, the edges are not white and the honeycomb panel is not reflective, we have carried out a simple analysis on the test of this acrylic cutting as follows:
MATERIAL: 6mm thick acrylic
Cutting speed: 8mm/s
Cutting power: 65%—70%
Cutting focal length: 5mm
- The power is set to 65%-70%
Set the minimum power and maximum power because the speed when cutting a straight line is faster than the speed at the corner. We said that the faster the speed, the shallower the cutting. Therefore, in order to be able to cut through the sample, we usually set the minimum power and maximum power.
- The speed is set to 8mm/s
We all know that the faster the speed, the higher the processing efficiency, so we will increase the power as much as possible to increase the speed when cutting general materials, but the acrylic is different, too fast speed will make the cutting surface not smooth and appear uneven Sense, so in order to cut a smooth effect. We need to keep in mind when setting the parameters: increase the power and reduce the speed.
- Do not blow when cutting
Many people have the problem of whitening the cut surface when cutting acrylic. This is because he uses air blowing when cutting, so if you want to cut a smooth effect, please turn off the air blowing. At the same time, please remind everyone. When cutting acrylic without blowing air, please be guarded by the side. Because there is no flame retardant of strong blowing, the material is easy to catch fire during the cutting process. If you find a fire, please turn off the machine in time.
- Overhead cutting
When cutting acrylic, if we want to avoid the problem of edge melting caused by the reflection of the honeycomb panel, we can solve it by overhead cutting.
In summary, we know that when cutting 6mm acrylic, we might as well set the power to 65%—70% and the speed to 8mm/s. At the same time, choose not to blow during the cutting process, and you can use it when appropriate The overhead cutting method is used to solve the reflection problem of the honeycomb panel; of course, but we want to cut the frosted effect, we only need a simple step, that is, turn on the air blow, so that the cut acrylic will have a kind of frosted It worked.
Ⅲ. Applications of Laser Cutting & Engraving Acrylic.
Awards are the main application of acrylic. As mentioned, there are many options to choose from. One of the most popular acrylic award applications is the trophy. Manufacturers can also add color to the transparent acrylic trophy in a variety of ways. The back of the awards can be painted, screen printed or digitally printed in color, marble, geometric or other interesting patterns, and then reverse engraved to create amazing awards. These unique award decorating options are a cost effective way to customize your trophy and enhance your brand. Ideal solutions for tight timelines wanting custom awards and large organizations or awards ceremonies.
For many reasons, acrylic is an excellent material choice for display devices. Its optical clarity can easily transmit light, so that the objects placed behind or wrapped in it are very clearly visible. Acrylic also tends to highlight the product, rather than the case or the display stand itself, it provides a professional and elegant display.
Desktop accessories can be used as gifts as well as rewards. There is no shortage of products provided by suppliers or products you can make yourself. In addition to clipboards, letter openers, coaster sets, and rulers, you can also consider acrylic nameplates, table poles, pen holders, and paperweights of almost any shape. The durability of acrylic is an attractive feature of such items, as they often wear out a lot.
People's fascination with photos continues to grow, and people often use photo frames to display photos of family, friends, and colleagues at home and in the office. Acrylic is an excellent material for making photo frames, because it can be made into any shape and style, from easel-style frames to four-sided cube frames, to frames that fit photos between two pieces of acrylic.
The business card is also a popular application made of acrylic. This beautiful acrylic material is 3mm thick, can accommodate double-sided laser engraving, and provides a variety of color options to meet the needs of your company. There are colorless crystal, transparent acrylic, translucent black, blue, fluorescent green and fluorescent orange. Acrylic cards can be double-sided laser engraved..
The above is the content and steps of our acrylic engraving. Is it very simple? Next, let us start your acrylic engraving journey with Monport!