First time doing acrylic inlay work

I’ve only done a few tentative things with the forge despite having it for a while for lack of time, but now that I am involuntarily at some loose ends for part of the week, I’m getting into it a bit more.

Previously, with the exception of some simple gift tags in clear acrylic, most of my experimentation was been with 3mm birch ply (non-proofgrade), but I decided to stock up on a bit of acrylic and have some fun.

I think it was a bit ambitious for my first try doing inlay, but here it is. I did have to experiment a little, and ended up simplifying the design for the final version since even with what I though was an appropriate adjustment for kerf the tiny parts inside the bow were coming out too small, and were looking too dark surrounded by the black frame.

First go:



It’s adorable!

Wow! Great work and who does not like little kitty?

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Your inlay is nice and tight, Well Done. :sunglasses:

Did you use “standard” kerf thinking/measuring or did you find that you needed to make further adjustments because there is some melty-ness?


Wow, amazing! Now I’m thinking we need to see your birch stuff; I’ll bet it’s pretty amazing as well.

My daughter would love these. Nice work!

Love love love !!!

Looks good. One way to deal with kerf, especially with thicker acrylic, is to cut the inlay out reversed. Since the edge of the cut has a draft (angle of focus) you can even get tighter fits because the top edge of the piece is always going to be slightly smaller than the bottom edge of the cut. Or to put it another way, the kerf is wider at the top of a cut than the bottom.


This looks fantastic!

I actually did this with the black frame and bow, they’re reversed from the white surround, then the inner white is reversed from the black.


I’ve had good results using Fusion 360 with the GlowForge post processor. I just set the laser toolpath for the inlays to inner loops for the inlay pieces and use outer loops of the piece the inlays fit into.