Scorching of acrylic?

Hi! I’m having a new issue with the engraving of 1/8 inch (non-proofgrade) acrylic. These dark streak marks are happening on every single design that I do.
I’ve done these designs hundreds of times without issue, so I’m leaning toward a machine issue rather than a design issue.
Anyone have any ideas why?

Thanks for your help!

Do the streaks happen in exactly the same place on the design every time or do they move? Are you engraving without mask or with mask? Will the streaks clean up with soap and a toothbrush?


Masked every time.
Good question about placement… It could very well be “streaking” at the same location on the acrylic, however it is not hitting the exact place on the design each time (because the designs are placed on the acrylic differently each run based on what my customers have ordered). I hope that makes sense. I’ll need to pay more attention when I’m unloading the designs to figure this out.

Although the “Streaks” fade a bit with soap and toothbrush, they are still noticeable in specific lighting.


It could be a result of the masking - meaning that the masking is scorching and the residue is melted into the acrylic. Many people remove masking for acrylic engraves.


Strange! I’ve used this same acrylic/masking for a year and a half and only began having the issue this week. Hmmm… I might have to try no masking. I always thought that was a huge no-no.
I appreciate your input!

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It’s possible that you’ve got some debris in one of your belts or on the wheels so the head is slowing down ever so slightly in those areas causing a greater amount of heat to be deposited. I’d do a thorough cleaning of the belts (I don’t usually take them off, I run a vacuum over them and then a baby wipe), see if that helps, if it doesn’t take them off and inspect them closely, as well as the wheels they roll over.

Thank you for the suggestion! That was something I hadn’t thought of cleaning!
I removed a belt, deep cleaned the air assist and exhaust fans and have made sure to wipe down and vacuumed the other belt.
Unfortunately it is still making these same streak marks.
I have changed acrylic. Same thing happens.
I have unmasked, same thing happens.
It’s stumping me.
I’ve been working my machine all day, so I’m sure something needs cleaning that I didn’t even know existed, lol :wink:

Sigh - well, to get a good review by a staff member you’re going to want to run the Gift of Good Measure from your dashboard. Run it on acrylic, and be sure to use the PG settings. Post pictures here, and the time you ran it and they can see if the logs show anything. If you’re capable of taking a video while it runs - do that and upload it to YouTube or Vimeo or something and then link it here - maybe we’ll see something!

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