Engraving and cutting acrylic for my first time

Hi there, any suggestions on the cut speed and power? I have an ortur master 20w.

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It’s going to depend on the color and thickness of the acrylic you intend to cut. Don’t get your hopes up on cutting clear or blue acrylic.

Give more details on what you want to achieve so people can give you more helpful settings to try.

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3mm clear acrylic I was gonna try and cut. Is it more difficult to cut clear and blue acrylic? I have a black opaque, gold and silvery glitter acrylic and a mirror acrylic sheet.
I have seen soapy water spread on the clear and it supposedly helps with the cloudiness it leaves on the surface. Have you seen this or attempted it? I was just gonna engrave it with the thin cover on.

The wavelength of a diode laser just goes right through clear materials. Blue materials reflects the blue light of the laser, so it is not absorbed and does not create the heat necessary to cut. your black material would cut great because it absorbs all the laser energy. the gold and silver you will have to experiment on, probably going to be too reflective to work well, and the mirror probably wont work either. What you have seen cutting the acrylic was probably a CO2 laser. The wavelength of light is about 20 times shorter than a diode laser, and the clear/colored material acts completely different at those wavelengths.

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I’ve had no difficulty cutting/engraving any color acrylic, including clear. So at least give it a try.

Also, I use a masking tape for delicate surfaces to prevent scorching.

Boss LS 3655 100w

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Thanks for the replies, I will give it a shot and come back with the results. I appreciate it.:call_me_hand:t3:

My diode laser specifically says it can’t cut clear acrylic, and I can imagine the light would go straight thru. It does cut black and red like butter. CO2 wavelength is an order of magnitude larger and is absorbed by acrylic. I worked for an industrial CO2 manufacturer ages ago and that is what they use to look at the beam profile.

I did try some black permanent marker on clear glass and I was eventually able to get enough to absorb so it would etch the glass, but not consistently. I imagine if you could get some of the energy to absorb onto the surface of the clear acrylic, it might start to cut, but that probably won’t get you all the way through unless it is thinner.

I guess your 100W CO2 laser isn’t like a 405nM diode, eh?

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I didn’t know, which is why I included it in the post. Thanks for pointing it out.

100 w of CO2 can cut through acrylic because the wavelength is totally absorbed by the plastic. Think of the greenhouse effect. Diode laser goes through the window just like the sun does but the infrared heat of the dark object (plant in a greenhouse) is absorbed by the window and can’t escape. The good news is that a diode laser can focus to a smaller spot so you can get by with about 1/5 the energy.

I don’t need to think of anything

You seem to be under the mistaken impression that I don’t know what I’m talking about, or that I need a primer in lasers.

Save your lessons for those who are asking questions

I have cut and engraved acrylic for years without problems. lightly coat the surface with “DAWN Ultra Platinum” (other versions of Dawn and other soaps do NOT work). Just rinse with clear water for perfect results. Larry

Hi Larry, is it a diode laser you use?

Hi Olga, I use a 80-90Watt Co2 works for front side acrylic mirrors also. No little pieces of tape to pull off. I just use my fingers to spread it around. If it is too thick to spread easily I lightly spray with water.

I have a diode. I got it to cut black acrylic, I’m waiting for a glowforge.
I was trying to get a co2 boss laser, I live in Hawaii and the cost of shipping was ridiculous, would of had to be shipped by barge.
I settled for a glowforge the most expensive one, they hooked it up with cheap shipping. Hopefully it works out well.

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