White Pearl Acrylic - Smokey Edges

Hey everyone! I recently began my Glowforge journey, and I’m having a little issue with my edges looking smokey. Specifically on my more white-colored specialty acrylics.

Here are some photos of the White Pearl 1/8" from Houston Acrylics (1/8" (0.118/3.0mm) White Pearl - 12" x 19" Sheet – Houston Acrylic).

The edges aren’t melted or anything, they just get this dark color to them. I wiped them with alcohol wipes which got some of it to go away, but it’s still not completely fixed. Any tips on what to do?

I am using the PG Medium Black Acrylic settings for my cut.



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EDIT: Both sides are masked when cut as well!

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Welcome to the forum.

In general, alcohol wipes and acrylic do not play well together, so I would caution about cleaning up the edges in that way.

Some people cut unmasked acrylic with a thin layer of dish soap applied to reduce haze and char from their projects. Others have success with elevating the acrylic pieces off of the honeycomb tray.

There are lots of posts regarding getting clean acrylic cuts here in the forum if you do a quick search.

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I use thick cherry ply to cut my acrylic with clean cuts

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using thick cherry ply to cut

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The Glowforge cuts with heat so “burning” is built in. Most acrylics will not burn, but the “pearl” apparently will. The easiest thing is fine sandpaper or a sharp scraper, but that will also leave a mark but not as noticeable.

You could lower the power and make multiple passes but that may not solve everything.

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You mean you use thick cherry ply settings to cut the acrylic?

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Yes I use the thick cherry ply setting to cut my acrylic. In the picture you can see the white pearl ,red and copper which have not been cleaned. Just pulled out of gf

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This didn’t work for me unfortunately, still left with smoked edges

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Thanks! I tried a couple of variations with sub 200 speed, some with multiple passes and some not; sadly all ended up with smoked edges. I may try again with a higher speed and multiple passes

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I took an order for a leather stamp out of Delrin with a lot of small detail that would melt if it got too hot. The fourth try took 20 some passes all near 500 speed and lower power but did finally work .

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You could try another brand of acrylic. I have over 80 colors all from Galaxy plastic in lacrosse va

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If you get the stuff with big flakes of glitter, be sure and test first. I purchased some and discovered that the flakes were pretty laser resistant, as well as reflective, so would set the beam of at odd angles melt/burning the plastic as it went.

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As you can see that I just cut out 20 pair of ear rings . Galaxy uses mylar flakes



cut without any problems

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Love those guys!

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Slower speeds will burn MORE because the laser stays longer in a given area.

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Indeed. However anything faster required multiple passes and the problem persisted. Lots of trial and error and I’m not sure how much more acrylic I want to waste

What machine are you using. I just cant figure out what is going wrong. I have a pro.

I just have the basic model

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I have cut pearl acrylic from other sources without issue. Could be the material.

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