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.
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.
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.
Hi! Thanks for these tips…I was not really satisfied with my 2 color acrylic settings as it kept putting a residue that was difficult to remove (especially large areas). I went back and added that second pass on 1/16" inventables 2 color with 1K speed and 20 Power at 170 LPI (was 225 LPI for first time through). Result = so much easier!! Lots less residue to deal with. I also used cotton balls with a semi-generous dousing of alcohol and would just set a ball there for a minute or two and it came off so much easier.