Acrylic bleeding issues


I’m having issues with acrylic bleeding…not sure what else to call it…see pictures, has anyone else seen this and overcome it? I’ve printed about 1300 ornaments, and these issues come up occasionally…I’ll change speed, power, and LPI and I end up always going back to my original settings, I also clean all the lenses…this time I can’t get it resolved. Any ideas?

Settings: 500/65, LPI: 225, I’m also defocusing, acrylic is .093, so engrave settings is double that, .186 inches. These settings are the best settings I’ve found, and as I mentioned I have about 1300 pieces printed that are perfect/fine. Then all of the sudden I get this bleeding, so I’ve re-adjusted all settings (power, speed, lpi, removed defocusing, etc.) and again cleaned mirrors and lenses and still get the same results. I’m using Optix .093 acrylic from Home Depot.

Thanks in advance!

That is extruded acrylic. I know engraves are not as good on extruded vs cast, but as I’ve never tried extruded I can’t tell if that particular issue is specifically because of that or not. My first guess was the material itself and I’m going to stick with that.


Are you certain that’s actually acrylic and not some other plastic? It looks like it’s melting and getting blown about by the air assist.


Could also be smoke residue. That will make foggy areas like that. If so you can clean it off with some elbow grease and a (very) mild abrasive—I use cheap toothpaste.

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Thanks, tried that and it’s actually into the acrylic.

This is the acrylic we’re using:

That does seem to be straight up acrylic, which means your using too much power. The thing with acrylic is that it’s standardized across the industry. I’ll go back to using the PG settings and see what happens.

That being said, you should cut the Gift of Good Measure (in your dashboard) on a piece of PG acrylic and see if you get the same issue.

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I’ve tried extruded and to me it looks absolutely terrible when engraved.

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The settings I adjusted to was:
Speed: from 500 to 550, didn’t help
Power: from 65 down to 45, didn’t help
LPI: from 225 to 340, didn’t help

I just printed Gift of Good measure, here it is:

Is there any way to tell if it’s extruded vs cast? I don’t see anything like that in the descriptions at home depot, but I’ll also look at other local suppliers.

And the strange thing is it’s been working fine for about 15 x 36’ x 48’ sheets worth (again, occasionally it wouldn’t, but after fudging with it it would start working again)…now I’ve been fudging with it for a couple days and not getting any better.

And by the way, the above Gift of good measure is not on PG…I’ll try that as well.

and with PG Settings, otherwise it’s not useful sadly.

Look in the questions asked in the listing… There are a few people that ask if it’s cast or extruded. The answer was stated multiple times that it was extruded.

Thanks Kanati, however I wasn’t asking about it in this thread, that’s obvious, I was asking about it out in the wild…is there a way to tell if it’s cast or extruded when it doesn’t say, like on the home depot posting I referenced.

I only determined it was extruded by checking their Q&A section of the listing (on home depot if I wasn’t clear).

Extruded acrylic when cut will look more polished on the edges. And it won’t have as much of a frosted look to it when etched.

If you want to get a little more extreme… light it on fire. If it just burns and drips flaming balls of acrylic goo… it’s extruded. Cast gets pops and cracks and doesn’t drip flaming goo.


Thanks, that’s helpful!

Is PF acrylic cast?

Extruded material actually gets “invisible” threads in its structure as it’s squeezed through the die. Kind of like flow lines. They aren’t visible, but structurally they’re there. I think that’s what you’re seeing. If you’re old enough, think play dough fun factory…

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Thanks for the responses and feedback…it sounds like it’s because I’m not using cast acrylic.

As I was getting responses, I was testing, different settings, reprinting the Gift of Good Measure, etc.

Here are the results form the Gift of Good measure printing:

The two prints on the left are using PG and PG Settings…the two on the right is using Home Depot acrylic, top right is my settings, bottom right is PG Acrylic settings, not much difference, but seems a little clearer. I do see less “bleeding” in the bottom right one.

So these tests and your comments led me to believe 1) I should be using cast acrylic and 2) I may get both good and bad acrylic from home depot, it’s hit and miss…so, then I decided to use a different acrylic sheet…for context…I cut each 36’’ x 48 ‘’ sheet into 8 10 x 18 sheets (leaving 2 that are about 8 x 18). In my testing the last few days, trying to get rid of the bleeding, I’ve been using various of these smaller sheets from the same large sheet…so I tried another sheet from a different 36" x 48" sheet, and the bleeding went away.

So my take aways are (and sharing for others)…1) I can’t always count on the quality from home depot, and 2) I need to switch to cast acrylic.

If my learnings are wrong, please correct me, and thanks again!