Acrylic Issues

I have this template I am trying to laser cut on the glowforge.

I have tried different variation… Lower speed/Full Power… when I do this… it burns and warps the acrylic.

When I try higher speed lower power it doesn’t cut through at all (Even at 90 power).

Not sure what else I could o


Have you tried using one of the proofgrade settings? You don’t mention what exactly you’re trying to cut (1/16, 1/8, or 1/4 material).

If you’re cutting one of the PG sizes try settings from a couple of the different flavors (clear, yellow, etc.) and see if that helps. If nothing else, you can swap to manual at that point and see what they’re using.

1/8 clear acrylic.

Default proof grade warps it too.

Perhaps you can alternate colors for the cutouts, then use a couple of passes at 70 or 80 power and 200ish speed to make the cut.

Make sure your material height is set properly too.

Ill give it a try thanks!

Could residual heat be a concern?
Looks like it is trying to sag. Perhaps because still very warm from previous cut next to it.

Hate to waste materials with trials myself, but cutting every third cut with one color, then another color for the every second and a final color to accomplish the remainder cuts.
Would allow for a slight cooling off period before the laser returned to cut.

One other concern is if it is extruded. Extruded melts a lot compared to cast. I have even seen it heal itself and bond the cuts back together.


Have you tried removing the masking? Looks like it’s burning. As @brokendrum said, try cutting wider, maybe pausing between each set of cuts (color) to let the acrylic cool. I’ve had acrylic melt pretty bad when making multiple cuts close together.


That is strange behavior. What is the source of the acrylic? On the off chance is it extruded and not cast?

And as @samuel_mason pointed, out, perhaps it’s this type of masking. Normally 1/8" acrylic cuts very easily.

it’s a 12x20 sheet cut from a big cast acrylic sheet from my local window shop

Are you really, really sure it’s acrylic? Lexan (polycarbonate) looks just like acrylic but cuts like this.

Yep im really really really sure it’s acrylic. I’ve cut other stuff on it before just fine… it was just these tiny long cuts that have been problematic… everything else is fine

Since this problem is being seen on materials that were purchased from another company, we can’t offer support for prints that don’t come out as expected. I’m going to move it to Beyond the Manual so other folks here can help. Should this happen with a print on Proofgrade materials, please open a new ticket in Problems and Support and we’ll help you right away!

Run it at Full Power for acrylic, but adjust the speed.

The warping is because of too much concentrated heat with those narrow cuts. You can do like the others have suggested and set up the file in your design software so there are 3 or 4 different colors so the GFUI will create 3 or 4 operations. This will allow you to make the laser head cut one rectangle then move over to another area of the material for the next one, while giving the previous cut area some time to cool down.

You can also increase the speed of the head so there is less power going into the material, thus less heat, less char, less risk of warping, but then you need to specify multiple passes in order to cut completely through the material.