@dwardio Question - I did a design in which I intended to do an inlay. I used the same vector graphic to make both parts. It was a piece of draftboard and an acrylic star. After cutting they were too close to the same size that the acrylic would not fit in the wood piece. Did you have any problems getting a tight fit? Looking for secrets and insights.
I didn’t run into that problem. I used a single source file without kerf adjustment to cut the veneer as well as engrave the bases. Could have been tighter, but certainly didn’t have a problem fitting the veneer in the wood. I haven’t tried that combo of materials, though. One or the other may indeed require a kerf adjustment in order to fit correctly.
Don’t know if this would be applicable to your situation, but I have observed acrylic expand a bit during the cutting process, then contracting as it cooled. I made some friction-fit fidget spinners this way-- set the inner cut to be slightly less than the outer diameter of the bearing then placed the bearing before the acrylic cooled.
There are several excellent resources in the matrix of tutorials in tips and tricks on kerf and all it implies.
Different materials will have different kerfs.
Different power settings will have different kerfs
Different thicknesses of material will have different kerfs.
The kerf has a draft to it in connection with thickness of material: wider top and narrower bottom and could taken into account focal point. Tightest fit then is achieved by having two pieces kerf adjusted but with the two pieces printed one flipped in relation to another. Something tricky to design for with material appearances and grain differences on front or back.
In doing inlays you can kerf adjust in design both outer matrix and inner inlay or easier make a hole or a slot and keep that dimensioned as you set it. Then size the inlay pieces or tabs the full kerf bigger.
I use the definition of a stroke width to build up the kerf compensation and then convert the stroke to paths and keep the paths I need. Q
This post in my topic about the quest for a tight inlay of a letter was the single most effective method I learned for developing inlays.
Tabs and slot kerf compensation is a special case, especially if you are designing parametrically. I have a a test piece that I use to work out kerf values for a parametric tab and slot. And for mission critical work I test for every material with a new design.
In the end it is about how tight mechanically you want to go and how visible you want the join line to be.