Settings for 0.022" (really really thin) acrylic

settings
acrylic

#1

I got some 0.022" acrylic from inventables (way cool 2 color stuff).

Before I spend any more of it on trying to dial in settings, I thought I should just ask on the forum and see if anyone has good settings. (Glowforge Basic)

Thanks in advance,

Alan


#2

I’ve been engraving at 40-45 power/1000 speed. Remove the masking for the engraves.

The cuts are full power and 300-350 speed. Mask the cuts.(I’ve been using blue painters tape.


#3

Why do you remove the masking for the engrave? (sorry if this is a dumb question)


#4

I believe from reading other’s comments on here that the masking turns into a goopy mess underneath the engrave.


#5

If you’re doing a variable power engrave, the lower ranges don’t burn all the way through the masking paper adhesive, and yeah, it turns into a mess that’s hard to clean off.


#6

Not a dumb question. The masking melts into the acrylic whether it’s paper or plastic masking.

I have made this mistake, both unknowingly (first time) and accidentally (missed ignoring a layer). You can try a second pass to burn the “gooey mess” out, but you have to be lucky for that to work.


#7

For an edge lit piece or any file that will cut deeper than the mask I leave it on for scratch protection. For a photo engrave where the power will vary it may just be enough to get most of the mask but not the mask adhesive, so you are left with a gummy finish in lighter areas.


#8

I have been fortunate enough not to encounter that melding of mask and acrylic - yet.


#9

You know how it is: Live and learn, then learn again :slight_smile:

I’ve been pretty good. What is getting me now is cutting seems to have changed, but I can’t put my finger on it. I’ve had to slow down cuts that were working before.

Edit: This has all been with the 2 tone “name tag” materials that I’m talking about.


#10

Thanks for sharing the settings! I got some of this stuff from Inventables too and have been looking forward to using it.


#11

As others have said if you are using variable power it makes a mess at the low power points. Note that it works great to leave it on if you are using enough power to burn it away completely.


#12

I’ve made about a dozen engraves on :proofgrade: clear acrylic for tea light holders and have experienced no melting issues (or none I detected.) The engraves were surface engraves of pencil drawings.


#13

Proofgrade has paper masking, not the plastic masking that this Inventables acrylic has. So that helps. :slight_smile:


#14

I was playing with this 2-color stuff tonight as well, but in 0.060". I should have looked up this thread first.

EDIT TO ADD: Link to better settings post for 1/16" (.068") 2-color engraving acrylic


Inventables Glowforge Settings
#15

This is so helpful, Thank you very much !!


#16

I’ve been doing a lot of cutting and engraving lately in everything from .022 to 1/16 to 1/8 thick 2 and 3 tone acrylics I’ve updated my settings. I’m using a basic GF.

I never mask anymore.

For engraving, most of your top layers of acrylic are only about .03 or less so it doesn’t take a lot to get through it, the choice to make is how deep you want the engrave. Speed and LPI are also factors to keep in mind. Fast is good so I’m always at 1000. If I don’t like the result I make a second pass (sometimes with a lower power setting).

I generally use 195 LPI as my rule of thumb. If you make it more lines per inch it will be taking more laser hits and getting “meltier” as the passes begin to overlap.

For engraving:
On .022 the other day I used 25/1000 and it was really clean.
On 1/16th and 1/8 I use 40/1000 generally, a little more if I want it deeper.

For cutting I use 250/80 for the .022 and it’s really clean and 200/80 for the thicker stuff. You get a much less “gooey” cut surface. I always use a piece of tape to lift the final piece to make sure it cut through before moving my material. If needed, a second pass generally does the trick. I don’t normally need to make a second pass but some materials aren’t as cooperative as others.

One other thought. I never use Score on the 2 tone acrylics. I always use engrave as I get a better result and score will, depending on the power, actually cut or give you pinholes in your material.