Cutting 1/2" acrylic settings help or tips

I’m trying to cut though 1/2" acrylic and wanted to see if there were optimal settings to achieve this. I’m using a 80W CO2 laser. I can get though it on 100% power and 1 as the speed but wondering if there is something better I can be doing. Or how to get a cleaner cut.

For your speed setting, 1 what? 1 mm/s, 1 inch/s, 1 inch/min?

What is the focal length of your lens? A longer focal length lens might be better for cutting than a shorter focal length lens. Also, 100% power? On my 60w machine, I get the best performance at about 70% power so if you haven’t done so, I would recommend taking measurements to see how your setup is actually performing. Russ Sadler has some videos on how to map the power curve of the laser - you can find him on YouTube (SarbarMultimedia) Running above that “optimal” power won’t produce significantly better results and at 100% will likely just reduce the life of your tube.

I’ve cut quite a bit of acrylic and have found that the air assist pressure can play a significant role. In my experience, higher pressure really helps when cutting thick pieces. YMMV :slight_smile:

1 mm/s

and I have a 2.5" lens. I tried a 4" lens but got an even uglier cut. I’ll give the videos a watch and see what I can learn. thanks

Have you tried a short start pause at the beginning of the cut to give time to pierce the material?
Once you’ve pierced completely through you may be able to continue at a somewhat higher speed.
I’ve never cut 1/2" acrylic, but 1mm/s sounds pretty slow.

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