Acrylic not engraving well

This is only the second time I engrave on acrylic, but both times the engrave is really textured and has a pattern to it and it ruins what I’m trying to do. Also, I’m wanting to paint the engrave so I made sure to clean the dust off really well. I ran it under water, scrubbed with a toothbrush, and blew it off with my air compressor, but you can still see white powder through my paint. What am I doing wrong?? I have a customer waiting for this and now it’s ruined, again…

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Try defocusing the laser. Basically set the thickness of your material about .3" thicker than the actual thickness of your material.

Here’s a thread that goes over it and shows how significant the change can be

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Thank you

Any tips on how I can paint it better? I see many people talking about “floating” it, but I can’t find any info on how to do that.

This may help with the painting - you can do this with a marker, or spray paint, or just paint and a brush

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I’m a big fan of leaving all the masking in place then either brushing it in with a precision brush. Once all is done, peal off the masking with any “bo-bo’s” coming off at the same time and you’re all set!

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Do you leave the plastic masking on if using no proof grade material?

Yup, and if there isn’t any I add my own. Just simple 4" masking tape makes a huge difference in protecting the surface.

I have also used spray paint using painters blue tape over the different engraves so I can use different colors. It’s really tedious but it works…

If you leave plastic masking on acrylic it’s likely to melt on your edges. The paper masking does just fine. Also the majority of acrylic with plastic masking is extruded acrylic which doesn’t give you the white colour when you engrave it and (supposedly) smells worse when cutting. Cast acrylic generally comes with paper masking.

YMMV, especially if you’re solely cutting, but keep that in mind.

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Thanks. Maybe you know the answer to this question; can you laser cast resin, like you use for river tables? I’m thinking FDA compliant, which would not have toxic ingredients. It would be cool if you coul make a thin sheet of it and laser cut it.

I haven’t the foggiest what a river table is, but I believe the general consensus is that once resin is dry it’s probably laserable…that being said I’ve never used it. How would it be different from a sheet of clear acrylic (which is definitely laserable)?

Because when mixed with mica powders, used to make Formica countertops, you can get some amazing material. Here are examples of river tables.

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Aaaah - I have seen those :slight_smile: Everything is worth testing, but between thickness and mica I imagine it wouldn’t be a smooth engrave, but you never know until you try!

So many ideas, so little energy once I finish breakfast…sigh

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