Laser Cutting Acrylic: The Complete Guide

Do you know laser cutting acrylic is safe, efficient and precise way of making different accessories?

Yes, you can create beautiful designs and shapes from any acrylic sheet.

And today, I want to take you through the process of laser cutting acrylic material.

You’ll learn the basic concepts, benefits, techniques and process of laser cutting acrylic.

You know what?

By the end of this guide, you’ll be an expert in laser cutting technology.

Let’s do this…

What is a Laser Cutting Acrylic?

This refers to an accurate way of cutting a particular design from an acrylic material which uses a CAD file as its guide.

In other words, it is the digital subtractive creation method which involves cutting or engraving of a specific material using a laser.

It comprehensively involves a machine which happens to emit laser that now cuts through the acrylic material by burning or vaporizing it.

This process typically allows you to attain the most exceptional level possible of detail over acrylic as well as other many materials.

Laser cutting acrylic sheet

Laser cutting acrylic sheet

The truth is that the conventional practice for cutting acrylic material involves drills, saws, and other devices.

However, in this day and age, this remains ideal for a company which requires a relatively small output.

But for other major businesses which produce quite a significant number of products, then the laser cutting acrylic has to use special machines.

You see, several aspects take place during the production of acrylic materials through laser cutting.

You have to ensure that the edges are round, surfaces are smooth, and also be in a position to create more nuanced designs.

In general though, laser-cut acrylic often offers a somewhat sleeker look which results in high-quality products appealing to customers.

For that reason, if you hope to create complicated, smooth pieces out of a durable material, then acrylic laser cutting should be your best option.

In fact, nowadays, various manufacturing companies and businesses choose this technology because it creates better products.

The laser cutting system heats the material to the extent of evaporating using a high-powered beam of lights.

Section of laser cutting machine

Section of laser cutting machine

In actual sense, we shall look at how this process happens in a later section of this guide. So continue reading on.

Basics of Laser Cutting Acrylic

Laser cutting acrylic is one of the most efficient ways of creating different types of shapes for various projects.

As you know, acrylic is often available in two varieties; extruded and cast. Interestingly, they look identical, buton many occasions, you’ll always choose one based on several reasons.

Mainly, your fabrication needs are what necessarily determine the particular type that you require.

Acrylic sheet

Acrylic sheet

Additionally, it’s vital to understand that creating patterns using this material needs a high level of attentiveness.

For instance, you have to ensure that you put all the necessary safety precautions in place before, during and after fabrication.

Let me guide you on some basics revolving around safety measures that you should always consider when cutting laser acrylic;

· Dealing with Laser Cutting Machines Fumes

Listen, laser cutting happens in extremely high temperatures. So it’s quite obvious that the heat will undoubtedly cause the material to produce a lot of fumes.

This fume can be dangerous to your health especially when you’re so exposed to it most of the time when cutting acrylic.

Furthermore, it causes inconveniences when you’re cutting this material, which can even lead to the formation of irregular shapes.

The best part, however, is that there’s always a way of preventing this fumes.

The first way is making sure that you wear protective gears any time you’re undertaking the acrylic cutting project.

Protective gear

Protective gear

Put on protective gears including the mask and goggles if necessary. This will prevent you from inhaling the fume which obviously contains harmful and toxic elements unhealthy for your body.

The other way you can also use is polishing the material before you start cutting it.

Incidentally, there’s a particular polish that you can spray on the material’s surface. This polish helps to get rid of the fume such that regardless of the heat you use to cut the acrylic there will be no fume.

What’s more?

The polish will also enable you to have a clear finish. You see, in most cases, the cut edges of acrylic material at times tend to be frosty and somewhat rough.

So when you apply this polish, it makes it easy for the machine to cut it smoothly which of course is fundamental to attaining clear finish.

The essential thing you must also do in this case is ensuring that you do not apply the polish on the edges of that you’ll need to glue.

· Preventing Burns During Acrylic Laser Cutting

It is also another safety measure that you need to undertake when cutting acrylic material using a laser.

In fact, this is often common especially for novices because most of them do not understand precisely how the entire process works.

In this case, it’s also fundamental to wear protective gears such as gloves.

So that in the unlikely event that some hot pieces land on your body, they never get to your skin and consequently causing harm.

Acrylic laser cutting process

Acrylic laser cutting process

You might take it for granted but trust me; it’s always better to stay safe than sorry.

Additionally, always ensure that you adjust the temperature of the laser cutting machine accordingly.

What I mean here is that you should always regulate the heat that you prefer the machine to provide when cutting the acrylic material.

It’s the habit of misusing this machine that in many cases leads to incidents of burns.

·Understand the Laser Cutting Acrylic Process

The funny thing is that many people would always want to have an experience with some encounters merely out of curiosity.

And by the way, this can always be dangerous especially when you do not understand what processes are involved.

In laser cutting acrylic, you must know how the process works perfectly to prevent causing several risks within the surrounding.

As you know, most of the laser cutting acrylic projects are often DIY. So the chances are high that even kids may be around whenever you’re undertaking this project.

So if you do not understand how the machine works, or how to operate it, you’d rather seek assistance from an expert.

It’s also a better way of ensuring you don’t waste the acrylic material on trial and error basis, which apparently is expensive to acquire.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Laser Cutting Acrylic

Here’s the truth;

Cutting acrylic using laser technology is gaining momentum and becoming popular day after day.

Of course, several reasons are attributed to this momentous growth making it one of the favorable techniques that many people prefer.

Laser cut acrylic shape

Laser cut acrylic shape

In essence, what I’m suggesting here is that this technology presents quite a number of advantages hence the rising admiration.

So let’s now look at some of these advantages to find out how the help laser cutting acrylic technology to become highly acceptable.

a) Fast and Productive

The apparent truth is that cutting acrylic using this technique performs the conventional cutting in a wide range of ways.

The speed is fast, and it provides high throughput as well as productivity.

Nowadays, you can perform acrylic laser cutting relatively easier and faster than before for different applications.

This is vital because to a large extent; you’ll be able to have a high throughput of acrylic projects, effectively and within a short period.

It subsequently implies that in overall you’ll also have high turnover for your business.

b) Laser Cutting Machines are Flexible

One good thing regarding this cutting technology is that on many occasions, you can use it for different applications.

Such machines enable you to cut individual batches efficiently and economically just as mass productions.

You can as well use the laser cutting equipment to conduct small workpieces similar to the manner you can also cut large objects.

So vitally, what I’m trying to imply here is that in various occasions, you can choose to use this machine for various suitable applications.

All you need are the relevant materials and knowledge, and you’ll be good to go.

c) The Process is Significantly Safe

What happens is that the laser cutting process is relatively safe than conventional cutting methods.

You only need to put all the necessary safety measures in place and understand how to undertake the process.

In fact, modern laser cutting machines never require you to align or fasten the acrylic material when cutting it.

Most of these devices do not even require human intervention except for repairs and inspections. It thus reduces the frequency of injuries to a considerable extent.

And again, it’s considerably tricky for you to come into direct contact with open and moving parts and components of the machine.

Furthermore, they’re user-friendly and also come with a manual to guide you in any case you’re experiencing particular challenges.

In short, the cutting process is safe, and the machines tend to fulfill most of the stringent safety requirements.

d)Maximum Cutting Precision

Ordinarily, the latest acrylic laser cutting machines integrate advanced technical features that enhance optimum cutting precision.

For instance, you’ll have some that have cameras which detect the registration marks hence can regulate laser position automatically.

This ensures that you attain maximum accuracy even if there’s rotation, expansion or distortion of the original template.

So that at the end of the process, you’ll have a perfect laser cut with sharp and edges that won’t fray.

e) Convenient and Efficient Cutting Process

Another outstanding advantage of this technology is that it offers maximum reliability, performance, speed and quality end product.

These apparently are what anyone serious with acrylic laser cutting would likely need to attain from the entire process.

The convenience and efficiency that you obtain from using a laser cutting machine are out of this world.

You’ll find that most cutting parameters of this machine are computerized. So these enhances precision and also reduces the amount of work to do.

Besides, laser cutting is also unquestionably profitable.

The truth is that most of the machines for this task, especially those from renowned brands rarely wear and tear.

So at the end of it all, the investment tends to pay of comparatively quickly hence maximizing your income.

On the same note, we can’t sit here and pretend that since acrylic laser cutting technology is popular, it doesn’t have shortcomings.

Laser cut and joined acrylic

Laser cut and joined acrylic

In other words, this process and the machine also presents some disadvantages albeit a few.

And it would be fair to discuss the shortcomings briefly;

a)Expensive Venture

One is that purchasing the machine is quite expensive. You’ll need to spend a considerable amount of money to acquire ideal equipment for this task.

It is also the same thing as the acrylic materials. They are somewhat expensive owing to their nature.

Moreover, cutting of acrylic can be costly since they tend to emit fumes when exposed to heat.

It thus requires a well-ventilated room which can be an expensive venture to establish.

So in most cases, the purchasing prices always seem a limitation specifically to small-scale producers and beginners.

b) Requires In-depth Knowledge and Experience

You can’t just wake up an order for a laser cutting machine, get it then start using it to cut the material.

In fact, you need guidance from an expert to show you around how to go about the machine for better and desirable results.

At times, lack of sufficient knowledge can lead to damaging of some parts of machine and waste of raw materials.

In some instances, setting temperatures inappropriately can result in combustion of the materials.

You have to be extremely careful irrespective of the fact that human intervention is minimal when using a laser cutting machine.

Failure to do so can cause dangerous burns and other related injuries.

c)Inconsistent Production Rate

Another disadvantage is that when cutting acrylic using laser technology, the production rate can be uneven.

This obviously depends on the type of acrylic material that you’re fabricating. The nature of laser cutting and thickness of work-piece also determines the consistency of the production rate.

For that reason, let’s now move to the next equally fundamental section of this guide and find out more regarding types of laser cutting devices.

Acrylic Laser Cutting Machine

So far, it’s quite evident that use of laser cutting devices has become more acceptable among many people.

So different manufacturers are seemingly taking advantage of this ever-increasing demand to capture the market.

And you know the result is that there’s always confusion on what type of machine to select when many are available.

Acrylic laser cutting machiner cutting machine – Photo courtesy: ECVV

It’s not certainly rocket science that you must consider a few basic but vital factors when making your selection.

In this case, let me share some fundamental information regarding of acrylic laser cutting that you should consider when looking for one.

·  CNC Laser Cutting Machine

This is a machine that uses a laser to engrave and cut both metals and non-metals materials. CNC, in this case, means computer numerical control.

This type of machine uses both laser optics and CNC to direct or regulate the material generated.

Typically, the commercial laser for cutting various materials incorporates a motion control system.

This system follows the CNC or G-code of the pattern that you want to cut on the material.

So what happens is that the laser beam is directed at the material which then burns, melts, vaporizes or blows away.

It then leaves an edge of with comparatively superior quality finish.

CNC laser cutting machines are available in three options, metal, non-metal and mixed laser cutting.

This type of machine is common in various applications including advertising, learning institutions, packaging and printing and manufacturing sectors.

Most of the models under this category feature ideal technical parameters suitable for efficient acrylic laser cutting.

Some of the leading brands in the market to go for include;

  • Epilog
  • Rayjet
  • Jinan Firm CNC
  • Shanghai Leiquan Laser Technology
  • Qingdao Hongqiang Weiye

· Laser Diode for Cutting Acrylic

The diode is one of the crucial elements that most machines for acrylic cutting seem to integrate.

Diodes are suitable for marking and cutting the acrylic surfaces of up to a particular thickness.

What happens is that the diode produces power which makes it possible for it to contribute to the cutting of the acrylic material.

However, you should be aware of that fact that the beam of the diode with wavelengths in NIR or VIS range will merely shine through clear acrylic.

And therefore, it means that you can cut any type of dark acrylic material as long as with a diode in the power range.

But with transparent or translucent colors, there could be a limiting factor arising from laser wavelength.

· Acrylic Laser Cutter Machine Brands

Ideally, the acrylic laser cutter is one of the tools coveted by different users.

So it’s utterly obvious that the different brands have to flood the market in a bid of meeting the demands.

But listen, you have to be thorough when selecting the right brand for your needs.

Remember different users have varying needs which means that what may serve me better may not necessarily be suitable for you.

Laser cutting machine

Laser cutting machine – Photo courtesy: India MART

The precise brand of laser you’re selecting plays a fundamental role in determining the overall efficiency and performance of the process.

Of course, there are a few brands with an already established reputation for their outstanding models.

So you can merely go for the same or better still go for other brands but ensure the cost is worth the quality and performance.

·DIY Laser Cutter

If you’re a small scale producer, artist, and student or just doing the acrylic cutting for fun, the suitable tool to go for is a DIY laser cutter.

In fact, this type of machine directly enables you to learn as you go since it involves quite a lot of important features.

A DIY laser cutter simply allows you to assemble all the components and undertake the cutting process in the best way possible.

One thing that makes this type of equipment ideal is its scalability which makes you and other users adapt to it quickly.

This is also a kind of device which is relatively easy to assemble. You can spend less than two hours assembling this type of machine, and all you need is perhaps a spanner and hex wrench.

Most of its technical features are also suitable and meets your requirements for satisfaction.

Besides, you’ll find that this machine is user-friendly in all aspects including the software that it comes with.

So necessarily, what I’m trying to say here is that you can spend a reasonable amount of money to acquire this type of laser cutter.

And at the end of it, the results will be satisfactory in numerous ways.

· Acrylic Laser Cutting Machine Price

Incidentally, this is one of the most sensitive discussion that many people find when making buying decisions.

You see, even in acrylic laser cutting, it is not unexceptional.

But the best way to get the best deal when buying this machine is to do thorough background research of the specific brand.

You need to assess whether all the features and other additional elements are worth the cost of that product.

You also need to evaluate the particular application for using the machine and whether it’d be necessary to buy it at such a cost.

For instance, it would be unrealistic to purchase a large laser cutting equipment for DIY projects worth thousand dollars for DIY projects.

And for that reason, you must ensure that you carefully determine the purpose as well as your budget before buying the suitable one.

On marketplaces such as Alibaba, you will find prices ranging from say $3,000 to over $10,000. This will depend on the functionality, technology, design, capability, brand, etc.

For that reason, let’s swiftly move to the next section and discuss a few elements regarding factors of the acrylic cutting process.

Factors Affecting Acrylic Laser Cutting Process

So now, you’ve possibly received your ideal acrylic laser cutting machine or probably decided on particular brand you’re going for.

Well, before you begin using the tool, it would be fundamental to know that several aspects determine the cutting process.

Actually, in some cases, the influence could have a considerable effect until you make more or less adjustments.

For that matter, let me describe some of these critical factors that you’ll possibly encounter as you cut the acrylic material.

· Type of Acrylic Laser Cutter

It’s arguably one of the most significant aspects that you must consider whenever you’re cutting an acrylic machine.

I’m still emphasizing on the earlier point that different manufacturers produce various acrylic laser cutters.

So you have to know precisely the application you want to use with the machine before ultimately purchasing it.

Acrylic laser cutting machines

Acrylic laser cutting machines

Additionally, the type of machine that you select determines the quality, performance, and efficiency of the process.

What I mean here is that some laser cutting equipment cannot handle particular types of acrylic materials.

Therefore, it would be unnecessary to use them since they will either distort the material or machine will damage.

Primarily, ensure that you check the parameters and other technical features to ensure that they match your needs.

·Laser Cutting Machine Settings

It is also essential to understand how to operate a particular laser cuter that you’re using.

You see, different machines come with various features that define the overall cutting process.

In most cases, the settings of such devices often revolve around power, speed as well as frequency.

Figure 11 Laser cutting machine settings

You must know how to adjust all these parameters appropriately to allow you to get the best results.

For instance, the speed is vital because it determines how fast you’ll be able to accomplish the task.

Critically, what I’m trying to say here is that all these and many more machine parameters determine the quality of final product.

Therefore, ensure that you understand how to adjust them accordingly to make it easy for you to attain the best results.

· Laser Cutting Speed Chart

Incidentally, you can’t just start using a laser cutter to cut an acrylic material or any other substance for that matter.

There’s a specific cutting speed chart which you have to set your machine into to make it possible for you to get better results.

It’s inherently more of customizing the machine to cut a specific type of material.

So a laser cutting speed chart refers to a printed chart which you use as a guideline concerning cutting speed or power for various materials.

Laser cutting machine settings

Laser cutting machines comparison

It greatly influences the acrylic cutting process because at the end of the day you have to adjust your settings uniquely.

This chart vitally revolves around the cutting power necessary for the specific type of material.

Using this chart as a guideline is fundamental because it prevents you from wasting materials as a result of burning or distortion.

· Laser Cutter Speed vs Power

Let me tell you one crucial fact as you continue reading this guide;

Different types of materials, including acrylic, cut at different speeds and power settings.

Ordinarily, a laser machine has two variables that you can always use during the cutting process which are speed and power.

Laser cutting acrylic

Laser cutting acrylic

Understanding how these variables play out is essential since it allows you to minimize the time it takes to finish your project.

And at the same time, you still obtain better results.

Speed primarily refers to how fast or slow the laser nozzle moves around in the X and Y directions.

Definitely, the faster it moves, the lesser the time it’ll take to complete the project.

Power, on the other hand, refers to how robustly the laser can fire speed notwithstanding.

The more power, the deeper, the engravings. More power also makes it easy to cut through thicker materials.

So fundamentally, it’s always ideal to balance between these two variables during acrylic laser cutting process.

And talking about the process, let’s now shift focus and look at the conventional techniques of cutting acrylic material.

Methods of Laser Cutting Acrylic

Typically, there are a number of techniques that you can always use for acrylic laser cutting.

What I mean here is that the type of material, design, machine and many other aspects define the specific type of method to use.

So in this case, I want to take you through some of the commonly used methods for laser cutting acrylic.

· Acrylic Laser Cut Designs

These refer to the particular shapes of laser cut that you’d wish to cut from the acrylic material.

The designs vary depending on a wide range of elements, and they can take the shape of anything you’d desire.

Mostly, it’s the designs that enable you to attain the actual laser cut from an entire laser sheet or material.

Acrylic laser cutting

Acrylic laser cutting

The creation of these designs often occurs on a computer using a specific software which you, in turn, integrate with a laser cutter.

It is always important to come with creative laser cut designs which are somewhat attractive and easy to sell.

· Reactive Cutting Acrylic Sheet

It is also commonly known as flame cutting or burning stabilized laser gas cutting.

This technique is more or less like oxygen torch cutting but uses a laser beam as its source of ignition.

In most instances, this method is often applicable in cutting materials with a thickness of over 1mm.

You can as well use this particular method to cut relatively thick acrylic sheets by using less laser power.

· Melt and Blow Acrylic Sheet

This method is also known as a fusion cutting technique.

It primarily uses high-pressure gas to enable it to blow molten material from the area you’re cutting.

This is vital because it reduces the power required to a significant extent.

It happens that the material is first heated to the level of melting point.

Next, there’s a gas jet which blows molten material from the kerf to help prevent the necessity of raising the substance’s temperature.

Incidentally, it is an effective way of cutting acrylic and yielding a top quality result.

· Vaporization Cutting Acrylic Sheet

This type of cutting where the focused beam heats the surface of the acrylic material to boiling point then it generates a keyhole.

It’s this keyhole that results in an abrupt increase in absorptivity which rapidly deepens the hole.

While the hole continues to deepen, as well as material boiling, it generates vapor.

This pressure of the vapor enables it to erode the walls of the molten and blows the ejecta out hence increasing the size of the keyhole.

It is also regarded as one of the best methods for cutting acrylic material.

·Thermal Stress Cracking Acrylic Sheet

This method of acrylic laser cutting involves focusing the beam on the surface of the material. It then results in localized heating which in turn leads to thermal expansion.

The resultant effect of this is that crack develops directed by moving the beam.

You can as well choose to move the crack in the order of m/s.

As you know, acrylic material is relatively brittle hence making it somewhat sensitive to thermal fracture.

And this is the feature that thermal stress cracking seems to exploit hence making it a suitable method for cutting acrylic sheet.

How to Laser Cut Acrylic at Home

Incidentally, you can set up your small studio at home and cut acrylic material using the laser cutter.

So far you’ve known that laser systems are designed to attain complex and somewhat defined cutting of acrylic.

Once you get your computer, laser cutting machine and other essentials, you’re good to go.

Primarily, the laser cutter acts as a printer so once you have your designs on your desktop, you merely need to transfer to it.

Once the design goes through the laser cutter, it turns it into a piece of acrylic product.

· The Process of Laser Cutting Acrylic

Well, this is possibly the most significant section of this guide that you have to understand better.

You see, if you want to laser-cut acrylic material, you need to have realistic expectations that you’ll attain after the process.

One is that you can choose to decide whether you want the final product to have a perfectly flamed polish.

Alternatively, you may determine if you need a product which you’d use as a mechanical component hence making its edge quality relatively insignificant.

Also, you must be able to control quite a number of variables to be certain of attaining reliable and repeatable acrylic laser cuts.

Now back to the main point; the process of laser cutting acrylic is quite demanding, of course depending on your experience and understanding.

Luckily though, I’m here to simplify physics behind attaining the ideal acrylic laser cutting;

        I. Know the Brand or Type of Acrylic to Cut

Before you even think of starting this process, you have to ensure that you know the right type or brand of acrylic material to use.

Typically, these materials are often available in two varieties, extruded and cast.

You thus have to know the specific type that will give you desirable results.

Different acrylic sheets

Different acrylic sheets

Moreover, knowing the brand of acrylic material is also a fundamental aspect.

Of course, the brands are quite many in the market.

But from a wide range of reviews, you can be able to choose the ideal one based on what many users say about a particular brand.

      II.Choose a Right Acrylic Cutting Machine

Apparently, one of the essential steps is always to make sure that you obtain a suitable acrylic laser cutter.

They are quite several in the market, and the particular choice depends on various factors including your budget.

Acrylic laser cutting machine

Acrylic laser cutting machine

Still, remember that there’s always an option of leasing one if at all you do not need or cannot purchase yours.

What you should always have in mind, in this case, is that the type of acrylic machine you choose to buy or lease determines the outcome considerably.

So you have to know the best and suitable type of this equipment to obtain better results all around.

    III.Set up a Working Table/Bench

Well, the next thing to do is making sure that you have sufficient work area for your project.

Laser cutting somehow needs diligence hence the need of establishing an ideal workspace.

Your working table should have all the necessary elements that you’ll use in the course of undertaking the project.

You should also arrange it appropriately to facilitate the easy undertaking of different aspects revolving around the laser cutting process.

    IV. Prepare Acrylic Sheet

In this case, all you need to do is creating the image or design that you want to cut from the acrylic material

At this point, you merely require to use your PC and relevant software to determine the image of the product you want to cut.

Definitely, the software has to be compatible with the acrylic laser cutter.

And the good thing is that most laser cutters nowadays come with software to use on your PC. This is vital since it eases your work in general.

      V. Set Up the Laser Cutting Acrylic Machine

Now, at this point, you’re somewhat ready to start the cutting process.

You, therefore, need to assemble the machine accordingly before connecting it to the PC and begin the cutting process.

In most cases, the laser cutters hardly come when fully assembled. Luckily, they come with detailed user manuals which make the entire assembling task relatively easy.

So you’ll have to set it up appropriately then start the entire process.

    VI.Cut Acrylic with Laser Machine

This is now where the actual process begins.

Once you’ve cut the acrylic material and position it well into the device, you’ll barely need to adjust a few settings accordingly.

Also, ensure that all the components of the equipment are all working appropriately.

https://youtu.be/xUgOFKhGyvY

Now, what happens, in this case, is that this material is often cut by vaporizing it.

It happens that the material absorbs the laser hence enabling it to change from its solid status to liquid then later on vapor.

The good thing is that the vaporization process occurs with a minimal level of chemical degradation.

It is, of course, necessary since it helps in maintaining the quality of the product even by the time the process will be over.

But then, the vapor that the laser cutting creates tend to be in plenty, which obviously is unnecessary.

And the only suitable way of combating the excessive vapor is by having high quality and strong vacuum systems to get rid of the same.

You also must have it mind that the vapor emitting from the laser cutting process is extremely flammable.

And for that reason, you must maintain optimum safety precautions by never leaving the laser system unattended while cutting the acrylics.

It happens mostly that a gentle stream of air blows the vapor away from the cutting point. This is in a bid of preventing vapors from flaring up.

This gentle stream of air is vital as it also assists to solidify the rest of the liquid along the cut line.

  VII.Possible Finishing Operations

Well, once the cutting process is over, you’ll need some time to check whether or not the results meet your expectations.

And in other instances, the product must always go through certain finishing operations to provide it with the necessary appearance and quality.

It thus implies that you’ll have to undertake an additional process to ensure that the final product attains the required varnish.

So to attain a glossy, smooth flame-polished finish on the cutting surface, you’d probably need to incorporate the necessary elements.

Of course, this is dependent on various factors including the preferable color among others.

And by the end of this process, you’ll have your final product matching the quality and finish which you desire.

This process is actually as simple as that. The most important thing, in this case, is understanding how to operate the machine.

Specifically, adjusting the settings in regards to speed, power and frequency.

Laser Cutting Acrylic FAQs

Given that acrylic laser cutting is relatively a new technology, several people especially the novices always want to know more about it.

For that matter, it would be fair to try and highlight some of the commonly asked questions regarding acrylic laser cutting.

Laser crylic cut design

Laser acrylic cut design

It is for that reason that I have compiled a list of some of the most frequently asked questions and consequently providing the answers.

The essence here is merely to give a rough idea of what some of these elements entail. So let’s have a look at some of these questions;

1.How does a laser work?

It uses computer programs to direct the laser at the particular material to be cut.

It follows that the material melts, burns or vaporizes hence leaving an edge with the superior quality finish.

2.Does the material burn during laser cutting?

Whether it burns or not depends entirely on the power and speed of the laser.

At times it can merely get burnt slightly on the edges of the cut and design.

But to avoid such burns, you need to optimize the power settings to minimize the marks as possible.

3.How hot is the laser beam?

The laser beam is made of photons ordinarily known as light particles which do not have any mass.

For that reason, beam can’t have any temperature hence it’s never hot.

4.What is the largest size of acrylic can one laser cut?

This depends utterly on the bed size of the laser cutter.

Some have relatively smaller whereas other have somewhat larger bed sizes that o up to 2400mm X 1200mm or more.

5.Can I laser cut acrylic material myself?

Of course, it is undoubtedly possible as long as you have the right materials, tools and knowledge.

However, for professional cuts, it is always recommended to seek the services of qualified personnel or organization.

Most of these companies have fully-equipped studios and specialists to carry out the task to match professional standards.

6. Which graphics programs are compatible with laser cutters?

Any type of graphics is ideal for a laser cutter as long as it prints via the printer driver of the machine’s operating system.

But in general, you’ll have to adjust the settings of the software to enhance the efficiency of the machine.

7.What are the common types of acrylic laser machines?

They’re quite a several in the market at the moment, and most of them vary based on the laser source they use.

The common ones includeCO₂ lasers also known as gas lasers. There are also fiber lasers and crystal lasers.

8. Is there any difference between acrylic laser cutter and acrylic laser engraver?

Not necessarily.

What happens is that laser cutters are still laser engravers. The reference is merely on the basis of their main use.

So if the machine is commonly used for cutting acrylic its’ often referred to as acrylic laser cutter.

And if it’s mainly used for engraving is referred to as acrylic laser engraver.

9.Is it possible to have a demonstration of how the laser machine works on my premises when buying it?

Yes.

In fact, that’s the ideal way to go if you’re buying it for the first time.

It also enables the dealer to analyze your needs and select the best equipment from their broad product portfolio.

10.  Can I get a suitable used acrylic laser cutting machine?

It depends on a particular manufacturer.

Some can sell to you certified refurbished machines whereas others do not have such options.

Some manufacturers may, however, choose to sell used laser cutters though on limited availability.

11. Do I require acrylic laser cutting training before embarking on my project?

Definitely yes.

But in most occasions, the extent of the training will depend on your level of expertise.

If you’re a new user, you’ll need more in-depth training than an advanced user.

12. What measures guarantee safety in an acrylic laser cutting machine?

The design of most advanced machines offers optimal protection.

And it’s this concept that enables rapid and effective extraction of gas and dust.

Besides, such machines also integrate a wide range of safety features that prevent the user from any imminent danger while operating it.

13. What is the mark of a good acrylic machine manufacturer/dealer?

Generally, the dealer should have defined response times in any case of a technical problem.

The machine should include original replacement parts and offer reasonable and reliable guarantee terms.

14. Why should I go for an acrylic laser cutting machine as opposed to other conventional cutting methods?

Acrylic machining guarantees smooth and constant cutting edge quality, cutting precision, contactless material breakage and high flexibility.

Moreover, material waste is insignificant, enables labeling, no tool wear.

15.  How long does it take to receive a laser cutting machine upon ordering?

It varies with the dealer and the distance of your location, but the delivery should be between 2-14 days.

So these are mainly some of the wide-ranging questions that newbies in this venture often like to ask.

Undoubtedly, there could be other questions as well that I’ve not highlighted here. In such a case, feel free to ask it on the comment box.

Alternatively, you can contact us directly through our support team, and we’ll gladly offer the necessary help.

Conclusion

So you’ve seen the different aspects revolving around the laser cut acrylic.

It is quite evident that it’s a fantastic technology. You can go for laser cutting acrylic more so when cutting complex shapes that require high precision.

At the same time, this guide has touched on all the critical issues regarding acrylic laser cutting technology.

Therefore, for efficient, faster, convenient and high-quality acrylic cuttings, go for this particular technology.

The good thing is that presently, it’s becoming widespread hence making it somewhat an ideal venture to undertake.

Hopefully, though, this guide has provided the necessary information that you ought to know.

And for that reason, feel free to share it with your friends and acquaintances on your social media platforms.

Wishing you a delightful acrylic laser cutting experience!

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