Ear savers breakage

I have started making the ear savers to had out to first responders. however I am having a problem pulling them apart without breaking them. Any pointers you can give to help save the ear savers that I’m breaking. Some are easy to get apart and others and not.

It sounds like the file is not cutting all the way through. Can you share a picture and your settings/material?


I agree, it’s likely not cutting all the way through. Worth cleaning the lens & mirrors. Acrylic is a messy, dusty engrave & cutting operation so it dirties things up faster.

Also, you can bump the speed down by 5 or 10 points and that should take care of it.

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The beautiful thing about acrylic is how consistently it cuts, even the smallest parts drop right out of intricate cuts. I generally have to put tape over a cut part to prevent having to pick up all the little pieces after removing a cut design.

If your parts aren’t cutting cleanly, check your optics, and verify the machine is operating correctly by printing the Gift of Good Measure on Draftboard.


I had that problem around the outer edges when using clear acrylic and having removed the masking on both sides. I put card stock paper below the acrylic the next time and all pieces cut through, but it also cut through the paper and left a residue on the acrylic that I had to remove with alcohol. Everything cut through on my first run when i left the masking on, but then I had to remove the masking by hand and it took forever. I’m going to try plain white paper beneath clear acrylic next time. Everything cuts fine when I use colored/opaque acrylic.

Try newspaper under it.

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I think you’ll be playing with fire…literally…if you use newspaper underneath acrylic.


Agreed. Anything underneath acrylic is a bad idea. The superheated vapor is like a flame thrower and can ignite anything flammable even a few inches away, let alone directly underneath it.


Honestly, I’ve been using sacrificial cardstock And 100# text sheets underneath for the last 20-25 sheets I’ve cut. To be fair, I’m literally sitting right next to it and I never walk away when it’s cutting, purely for the fire risk mentioned. But one sheet underneath, with the weight of the acrylic holding it flat, I’m not much more worried that I am with the normal acrylic risk (which personally I find significantly higher than most other substrate).

Edit: that said, newspaper probably would not be the best choice. Much more flammable than the print quality paper I’m using.


Like masking paper?

I’ve used copy paper for 10 years without an issue. The fires I’ve seen here all have appeared to involve acrylic with masking & nothing underneath. So based on that empirical data, I’m going to continue to use (& recommend) copy paper underneath to prevent flashback.

Funny, I cut a sheet of those without masking, and instead I put the masking directly on the crumb tray, but I still had flashback on the clips when it was all done. I couldn’t get it to come off either. Do you think copy paper would work better?

Been using 2 sheets of newspaper underneath for months. It absorbs the flash back, it does not ignite. It was suggested by some long time GF owners to reduce the micro fractures on the edge underside.

I get flashback on the masking if I use it - just doesn’t burn the acrylic. With copy paper, it cuts the paper too but I don’t get any flashback on the acrylic either. I put two pieces down across the bed, 3 if I’m using a full bed size piece but for 12x12 or 11x14 it only takes a couple of pieces side by side, then lay the acrylic on top.

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Happy to be wrong. Acrylic is the one material I am super conservative with, based on how much it flares up when cut

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You’re probably having a focus issue with clear acrylic if you’re removing the masking. The autofocus will go straight through the material and focus on the bottom surface. The wider/out of focus beam won’t cut as good, and will also cause the acrylic to melt back together when cut.

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and this can be fixed with a small piece of painters tape or masking. just a little square on top and then focus on that square.


That’s what I do. Then I only have to weed 1 sq in of masking :slight_smile:


Agreed, removing paper from each Ear Saver is a nightmare. So you’re saying remove the paper from both sides of the acrylic sheet before cutting, then lay regular white printer paper on the bed with the acrylic on top, and place a small square of blue painters top on the top surface of the acrylic. Correct? And how do you “focus on that square again”?

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I use 2 pieces of unprinted newspaper under it. Then a small piece of blue painters tape for the focus. On my machine I set the focus just to the left of the tape and make sure the red dot hit the blue tape.

That’s what I was doing. Then I started using a torn off piece of masking I’d stick on top but then I’d still have to weed that. So now I also stick a piece of copy paper on top with the end sticking out the feedthrough slot in the front door. I focus and then pull the paper out.

Of course you’ll need a Pro to do that. But if you do it’s another little simplification to your workflow that can help.

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