Acryl laser engraving and cuting.
Cast acrylic is a thermosetting plastic with a superior surface finish, flatness and optical properties. It is also a hard and brittle material which is sensitive to stress concentrations. This is most evident if parts are small or thin.
A clear thermoplastic with a reflective backing on one side. Coloured Mirror Acrylic has a grey or white finish on the back and a clear glossy finish on the front. This reflective coating creates the silver mirror look through effect. Hard, stiff and sensitive to stress concentrations. This is most evident if parts are small or thin.
Model making, Point of purchase, signage & display, furniture, models and display cases, glazing, forming and fabrication.
Acrylic sheet is supplied to us with a protective plastic film on both sides. When only laser cutting is required, we leave the plastic film on. This helps to reduce heat marks and protects the surface from scratches.
Cut widths & Kerf
As a benchmark, we recommend that minimum cut widths be no smaller than the corresponding thickness of the material. For example, if cutting from 3mm acrylic, its best not to allow anything less than 3mm in width. We can go smaller but this can make your components quite fragile which might not be suitable for your application.
Acrylic laser cuts with a highly polished edge. We achieve this using a high laser frequency (ppi. pulses per inch ) that melts the edges as it cuts. If you look closely at the edge it is not entirely smooth and is made up of lots of tiny vertical lines. This is caused by the pulses of the laser which is more evident on thicker acrylic
Raster & Vector engraving
As a standard we remove the top layer of protective backing when any raster engraving is required. We always leave the reverse side of the plastic film on to prevent any reverse markings when cutting is also required.
When raster engraving is required alongside cutting we need to remove the protective film to to engrave the surface. The downside of this is that the surface is more exposed when cutting. Very slight white heat marks can occur around the edge of the cuts. This is very minimal and usually unnoticeable. They can be clean off with acrylic cleaner if required.
Since our standard engraving settings for acrylic are very shallow, no heat marks occur around the surrounding engraved areas. We can engrave deeper but bare in mind that due to the slower speeds and higher power required, there is a higher risk of heat marks. Residues also tend to build up on the surface.
Engraving at slower speeds is also a more time consuming and therefore more expensive to process. Up to 2mm is considered deep for acrylic. Bare in mind that raster engraving is not an absolute science in terms of depth specification. It is therefore not suitable for making mechanical grooves or any features requiring precise depths. A depth of engraving will always be within a tolerance of +/-0.2mm.