Issue Engraving Acrylic

Hi everyone! This is my first post here and I just received my Glowforge a few days ago. After setting up the ventilation, I tried printing my first acrylic sign. I want to engrave names on the signs deep enough to paint with acrylic paint but I’m getting spotty engrave marks. Does anyone know why this may be? Ideally, I would love to have a deep enough engrave where I can paint it and it’s opaque while also not having to spend TOO much time for each name. Below is a photo of the engraved 1/8" acrylic after I painted it black and let it dry. My acrylic is masked with clear plastic. Any help would be appreciated with settings, etc.


Hey welcome to the forum!

So a couple things come to mind. One is that you have a plastic masking, sometimes the plastic masking doesn’t react to laser as well as acrylic does. I might try re-masking with paper, you’ll generally get more reliable performance from paper masking.

The other thing is that generally with mirrored acrylics do you want to reverse the engrave and engraved the backside of your material. This looks like you engraved the front, which you can sort of tell because the engrave has a double image about 1/8 of an inch away in the reflection.

If I were to try this, I would mask in the back in paper, engrave away the mirror, and then paint the rear surface. If you must engrave the front, I’d still try paper masking.

If you search the forum for mirror engrave, you’ll find lots of examples.

Also worth reading #2:

And that search, for convenience:


Welcome to the forum. It seems the acrylic you’re using might be extruded rather than cast…and that can make a difference in the quality of engraving, too.


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