Guide to Defocused Acrylic Engraving

I went a little deep on playing with defocused engraving of acrylic I think. But if you’ve been curious about defocusing and the results you can get from it, check out this video.

It can give you better results and save you a bunch of engrave time possibly.


Wow, thanks for that information! I have always wanted to try this and never knew it was that easy. I will definitely have to try this out the next I am engraving acrylic!

Thank you! this just encouraged me to do more engraving on acrylic.

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here is a better photo of the results of the test engraving grid.


Noticeable differences! In a complex engrave, it might pay to do a 2nd sample that compared the time of the most-preferred .2 result to the most-preferred .3 result. It would be easy to chose the combination that fit your needs.

I just realized you can use the artifacts in the auto engraves as design elements. If you have related but individual pieces that will be engraved, you can orient some 90 degrees to the engraves of the others. This is assuming the designs are not quadrilateral and have the same ‘up’ orientation.

Thank you! These are some great tips.


Bookmarked, thanks!


Thanks for the info. It’s very timely for me. I’m just starting to work with acrylics.


I did my own tests last night.

I tried 27 different engravings (26 if you don’t count the one I screwed up). It was variations of:

  1. full vs 100 vs 60 power
  2. autofocus vs 0.2 in vs 0.3 in in focus
  3. 340 vs 270 vs 170 lpi.

I found that engraving at 170 lpi at 0.3 in focus at 100 power gave me the best results (for the cast acrylic I currently have).

Thanks for inspiring me.


What is the (actual) thickness of your material?

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1/8". I think I may try 0.25" in focus next time.