Home Tech Helpful Tips When Using a Laser Engraver on Acrylic

Helpful Tips When Using a Laser Engraver on Acrylic

by Paul Petersen

Today, laser engravers can be used on a huge selection of materials. However, many people read complaints about boss laser and think that some materials are off-limits. Usually, this is not the case. Instead, the user is likely just making a mistake related to how they are using the laser or with the settings they have chosen. Keep reading to learn more about engraving acrylic and how to do it properly to achieve the desired results.

Engraving on Acrylic

Acrylic is considered one of the most common materials to use for engraving today. In fact, it only comes in behind wood. Not only is acrylic inexpensive, but it is also simple to cut and is available in many sizes and shapes. This makes it a popular material for many engravers.

With acrylic, there are two basic options – extruded or cast. With cast acrylic, this is a material that can be used for virtually any project. When this material is laser engraved, it will produce a frost that provides a stunning white contrast.

However, with extruded acrylic, it means that the material will remain clear when it is engraved using the laser. Understanding the difference is essential because it helps someone know what type of acrylic to use based on the desired results.

How to Achieve the Best Results When Engraving on Acrylic

To achieve the best results, engrave the acrylic on the backside because this is going to provide a look through effect from the front of the piece. Removing the productive cover over the back before engraving will also help provide a better result. However, it is necessary to leave the top protective layer because it helps safeguard against surface scratches that may occur because of handling. When engraving acrylic from the back, remember to mirror the image before sending it to the engraver. It is also better to use high speeds and low power since higher power levels may distort the acrylic material.

Achieving a Deeper Engraving on Acrylic Material

If someone wants to achieve a deeper engraving on the acrylic material, they should use a mylar mask or some type of transfer tape. However, for lighter surface engraving, no mask is necessary. There are some types of acrylic materials that have been painted on a single side. When working like this, it is possible to laser engrave through the paint to the acrylic under it, which will provide a nice contrast.

The speed to use for painted acrylic surfaces needs to remain the same as the speed that would be used for engraving a clear surface. However, it is possible to turn the power up by about 10 percent to achieve a much cleaner cut through the paint that is available. Make sure to use caution as engraving through a painted acrylic surface with too much power can melt the paint, causing distortions.

If someone is using acrylic with their laser engraver, they should keep the tips here in mind. By doing so, they can feel confident that they will get the desired results.

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