Cleanup pass for deep engraving acrylic

Hey all,

I’m doing a deep engraving on 3/8" acrylic. 2 passes, but it leaves a plie of atomized debris in all of the corners of the letters, sometimes fused together so it doesn’t just dump out. We’ve done a few and scraped all of it out with a box knife, but…!!! I’ve done a standard clean-up line on all of the edges, but that isn’t enough to get rid of all of the debris.

Any bright ideas on how to do a 1/16" wide clean up “multi-pass” to clean up the corners?

thanks in advance…

Does using assist air help?

If the acrylic has protective paper / plastic film on the top side, then a vigorous air stream should blow the dust out of the trench as it forms, without wrecking the surface finish.

I did that for a batch of 0.3 mm deep (relatively shallow, by your standards) features on some acrylic signs and it removed essentially all the dust:

Can’t hurt, methinks!

Hey, thanks for replying.

I’ve got the air assist on for this operation, and on this laser, I don’t see a valve or anything to turn the air up or down; it’s a constant flow. Perhaps it’s just too much “dust” to remove with the air assist??

The depth of the cuts total 1/32", the customer wants to inlay ADA acrylic cutouts into the resulting cavity. The dust piles up in the corners of the finished groove.

Any other ideas? Thanks in advance…

That’s maybe three times deeper than my signs and definitely has more “corner” for the dust to adhere onto.

My homebrew dual-flow assist air runs at 12 l/m, which is more of a stiff breeze than a jet blast.

Have you tried attacking the finished piece with a compressed-air blowgun and needle tip? If the dust isn’t sintered into a lump, a tight jet might encourage it to move elsewhere:

The needles surely don’t meet OSHA standards for compressed air tools, but, hey, it’s Amazon and you knew that going in.

So i have had some success… I copied the outline onto itself, then added on offset .05" inside of that. I changed this second layer to a circular fill at a reduced power level and ran that after the initial engraving.

So far so good…

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