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How to laser cut acrylic

How to laser cut acrylic

  • 2020-09-14
Today we will learn how to laser cut acrylic and explore the factors that influence the acrylic laser cutting process.

The first main influencing factor you must consider before cutting any piece of acrylic is, what is the expectations out of the laser cut? Does the end product need to be perfectly flame polished with a optical finish, or is the part going to be used as a mechanical component and edge quality is not too important. This factor will determine what kind of of cut you should be looking to produce and ultimately could save you time if you establish that edge quality is not expected to be flame polished.

There are two main types of acrylic that you will commonly encounter, cast and extruded acrylic. These two types of acrylic have slightly different chemistry and are manufactured differently, which results in vastly different cutting characteristics. For most applications, cast acrylic is probably the right material for you, but under specific circumstances extruded acrylic might have its advantages over cast acrylic.

Some of the other main influencing factors of a good laser cut are listed below.
*Brand of Acrylic
*Type of Acrylic
*Laser Parameters(Power/Frequency/Speed)
*Laser Process Setup(Table Setup/Lenses and Focus/Exhaust/Gas/Material Preparation)
By managing these variables, we are able to ensure perfect, reliable and repeatable laser cuts of our acrylic material.

If you are planning on joining laser cut acrylic pieces, please be aware that laser processing applies heat to the material. This heat can stress the material and when glued can cause micocracks. To avoid these microcracks please refer to the manufactures instructions for tempering the material prior to glueing.

custom laser cutting acrylic

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