Duets Laser XT - 2 Layer Acrylic

I have been working with some 2 and 3 layer acrylic ordered from B.F. Plastics. The brand is Duets Laser XT.

This consists of a very think layer of one color bonded to a thicker layer of contrasting color. You can burn off the thin layer creating a nice contrast. Product comes in 1/8", 1/16" and 1/32" thickness and wide variety of color. The 1/8" thick size comes in 3 layers so you can print on both sides. The 1/32" is very flexible and has created some nice custom rulers.

I am working to create some signs and an angle gauge (think ruler) where I need crisp thin lines and clear text. The jury is still out on durability, the top layer is very thin and I fear it will scratch or wear off. For signs this is great, but for a measuring tool that will be handled and abused I am not sure how the thin layer will hold up.

Here is what I have learned about using this product:

Remove the Protective layer
I have found the protective layer tends to melt onto the edges of the letters and you can feel a ridge and it does not look clean. In addition it appears that some of the material remains on the letter creating what looks like white spots.

Clean with Isopropyl Alcohol
The cut edges feel a bit sticky and there is some staining down wind of the cut. These clean up very fast with some Isopropyl Alcohol.

Run score likes past cut edge
I noticed a very rough edge where the score lines met the cut line. Some light passes with sandpaper cleaned that up. I had much better luck by running the sore lines past the cut edge a few mm. Now that I type this, I suspect the problem might have been that the protective film was left on during this test.

Engraving Settings
Speed: 545
Power: 40%
LPI: 340
Passes: 1

Any faster and it seems like the edges are jagged as the laser power up and power down is not instantaneous. Lettering seems less dark with lower LPI.

Score Settings
Speed: 500
Power: 35
Passes: 1

Lower power and the line was not as dark. Higher power did make a deeper cut, but did not seem to improve line quality. Too high and it seems like we are deforming the edges.

Cut Settings
This is just acrylic. Use whatever settings you use for the thickness.

To the left of the line the protective film was left in place, to the right is was removed. Without the protective film the edges seem crisper and lettering darker.

Staining downwind of the cut cleans up quickly with Isopropyl Alcohol.

I am pretty happy with the quality of the lines and lettering. Time will tell how durable it is.

The 1/16" thick size fits perfectly in the label bracket of my tool chest. This makes for a more durable label than other options I have tried. (Now that I look at it, I can tell this was created with the protective layer in place).


I find acrylic to be surprisingly durable for anything but twists, so as long as you’re mostly holding things flat you’ll likely be good for a while!


My concern is not with the acrylic. It is that the top layer is very, very, thin and I fear it will scratch or wear off.

The line in the first picture was from a light utility knife cut of the protective layer. Without much effort it went through the white layer.


Gotcha, yeah, you can definitely cut acrylic with a knife - but if you were rubbing it it would take a lot before you wore through it - so it really does depend on how you’re using it :slight_smile:


Two things:

One, thanks for taking the time to write this up. It takes a fair bit of effort to be this thorough, and I really appreciate that.

Two, if anyone else is like me and wants to get ahold of this stuff here’s the link:

Thanks again!


i made a LOT of ear savers during covid with 1/8" duets. got incredible deals on clearance sheets at bfplastics.

and don’t forget to look at their clearance stuff before you buy if you’re not picky (i wasn’t for ear savers).


Thanks for taking the time to write this all up!!


Thank you for the write-up!


I always take the plastic film off before doing anything with acrylic, mainly because I have no idea what that thin plastic sheet is made of. If you try the dish soap method on your acrylic, you’ll find that it doesn’t leave the ridges and makes a smoother edge on all your cuts. It also washes off very easily. If you’re wanting to engrave on it, use @evansd2 hint and coat your acrylic with a thin layer of wood glue - let it dry and then engrave (usually reverse pattern). The glue is easily picked off using a straight pin even in the tiniest places (like the middle of little e’s, a’s etc.) and it’s easy to peel big pieces off. The glue also leaves a nice smooth edge, and is better than masking in preventing paint leaks. I usually peel it off while the paint is still wet, as sometimes it’ll pull it out of my letters.

I love how you used it for labels!


Thanks so much for your insights! I also used that material for ear savers, and noticed similar performance.


Has anyone tried using BFplastics’ flexible 0.030 acrylic ? Is it truly laser cutable? (Has no vinyl?)

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If you mean this stuff - then yes, it’s 100% acrylic and will work just great in your laser.