1/8 inch acrylic engrave and cut says 1.5 hours!

I’m making a template for a leatherworking friend on 1/8 inch clear acrylic. I took her file, cleaned it up, rasterized the text and built a clean cut line. The svg file has two layers, one is the cut and the other contains about 4-5 lines and some text for her template. It’s a rather simple design. When I upload it, it comes through as two layers and using the GF medium acrylic settings for cut and SD engrave it’s showing it will take an hour and a half to finish. Does this seem normal?

Thank you for any help, I am used to working on wood, not acrylic!

Edited to add, I am using a Glowforge Pro.

Hello and welcome to the community. How large is the file you are cutting / engraving? If it’s a large piece and the engraved section is large, it could very well take a long time. Cutting time won’t be much of a factor, but engraving will.


It doesn’t sound abnormal tho we need more information to really say.

The thing about engraves is they don’t care about how simple or complex the design is because the laser travels back and forth over the whole area anyway. The overall area/size, as in a rectangle that contains all the engraved elements, plus the speed and lines per inch are the factors that determine overall engrave time.

Bigger area = more time
Higher lines per inch = more time

So a high LPI engrave on a piece around the size of a paperback book can easily be an hour or more.


Thank you both! This is very helpful.

The total cut size is 14 x 8.5 so it isn’t small though the engrave is minimal, it is spread out so it makes sense now that it may take a while.

Do you think I could drop the LPI down and not impact the output but maybe reduce time a bit?


You can indeed drop the lpi down…and it will reduce the time. Maybe even try a small sample first to see if it looks OK to you before doing the big one.


There will be an impact, but it’s up to you and your leatherworker friend if it’s acceptable for the template’s purpose. Try a small test piece and see if you like the result.


Ha ha…‘great minds’…and all that.


The SD Graphic preset for medium clear acrylic uses 545/70, while you will get visually identical results from 1000/full. For some years 1000/full was the SD Graphic preset for acrylic, then it was changed for some reason. Using the higher speed may save you considerable time.


To add to that - if it’s spread out, you could make the individual areas their own piece so that the machine doesn’t have to go back and forth across the whole piece to do both edges.

image vs image


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