Guidance with Cutting Extruded Mirrored Acrylic

Hey everyone!
I am a new Glowforger, and I am seeking some help with the mirrored gold, bronze, rose gold, and silver acrylic I just ordered from Delvies. I will be adhering vinyl transfer tape to it upon its arrical.

It is all extruded (as I have learned almost all mirrored acrylic is! :slight_smile: ), and I would love some opinions on how to make clean cuts on it!
I only want to cut out different shapes for ornaments, and I would eventually love to cut handlettered cake toppers.

I’ve looked through the forums regarding this topic, but would love if someone is willing to share their experience with Delvie’s mirrored acrylic in this manner!

Thank you! :slight_smile:

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I have only every cut cast mirrored acrylic, so I don’t have direct information to share. There are, however, many posts in the forum regarding extruded acrylic and extruded mirror acrylic as well as cast mirrored acrylic. I urge you to read through these posts. A quick search will provide lots of reading material.

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Hmmm… I can’t seem to find anywhere that sells cast mirrored acrylic. I just keep coming upon extruded. I’ve mainly been looking at Delvies and Inventables. Have you found cast mirrored acrylic somewhere specific?

I bought a bunch or scraps of mirrored acrylic on ebay a year or so ago. It is absolutely possible that I made an incorrect assumption that it was cast rather than extruded.

Inventables’ acrylic is cast unless noted especially. I believe you can assume that their mirrored acrylic is cast. I have used is and it seems to be so.

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While I haven’t used Delvies, I’ve found that the PG settings for acrylic have worked every time

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Super helpful, thank you! I was stuck in the middle as their gold mirrored acrylic is listed as extruded (as seen in the screengrab below), while it is also listed as cast in the FAQ section under the product listing! :sweat_smile:

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I can understand why! :slightly_smiling_face: I would tend to agree more with the seller than with the person who answered, though.

The person who responded is an employee.

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Haha, right? :slight_smile: Yes, that’s what I thought as well, but it looks like the person who answered is also an employee. Maybe I will just have to give them a call!

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I think mirrored acrylic is always extruded, but I’ve been wrong about things now and then so I’m willing to be corrected. :wink:

That said, the mirrored stuff works fine. I mask it with paper and cut from the back. The PG settings seem to be about right…

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Oh…ha ha! Well, so much for that then. :smile:

Seconding this! I have only ever cut extruded mirrored (I’ve also only ever seen extruded mirror) and the PG settings seem about right.

Mask the front, cut and engrave from the back and don’t be afraid to slow cuts down by 5 or 10 points and drop the engrave power down to 100 so it’ll engrave away the mirror coating stuff and not eat too much into the acrylic itself. (I find that this gives the engrave good contrast but keeps the surface mostly smooth).

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Ooh, I hadn’t thought of engraving off the ugly gray stuff on the back. That might be worth doing!

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Seems like a dumb question, but If you cut from the back do you have to reverse or flip the design?

Yes. Unless the design is symmetrical on the x and y axis.

Why cut from the back? I just want to know the use case as I can’t think of one.

Cutting from the back leaves a smooth front so it can be for esthetics - but also, specifically for mirrored, cutting from the back means your image doesn’t get reflected/duplicated in the mirror

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I have tried it both ways on the gold mirrored acrylic from Inventables and cutting from the back definitely gives a nicer cut and the one time I didn’t remove the thin film on the front it left spots of goop on it as well. I did realize it was backwards though and have not tried to reverse or flip it yet. Also, should I removed the film on the front even if cutting from the back?

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If it’s the plastic film, yes. It’s precautionary when you’re not cutting from that side, but as you learned, getting the goop off if it melts is a pain, and no idea what that is made of so you probably don’t want to be melting it anyway! If you’re worried about scratching you can always put paper masking on in its place

You should remove the film. I’ve never cut mirrored acrylic and I don’t cut much acrylic, however, you may want to consider re-masking the front (after removing the plastic masking) or placing something under it to prevent flashback. I haven’t cut this yet and maybe it doesn’t suffer from flashback, but if it does you’ll want to do something like that.