About Acrylic Laser Cutting
Acrylic is a fantastic material to create intricate designs. With a Laser Cutter, you can cut any 2D design you want! In this article, we explain the process of creating a vectorial design and share a few hints to simplify the intricate process of laser cutting acrylic.
What Is a Laser Cutter?
First thing’s first: Before getting into laser cutting acrylic, it’s important to understand what a laser cutting machine is and how it works.
A laser cutting machine is a device that uses a beam of radiation to cut, fuse, connect, and evaporate materials. It’s a technology centered around high speed and precision.
A typical laser cutter connects a computer and works in the X and Y axes. (In other words, it’s a bidimensional machine.) The computer controls the laser (power, frequency, speed). Other aspects — like table setup, lenses and focus, exhaust, gas, and material preparation — must be done manually. All these variables can influence the quality of the laser cut.
With the acrylic sheet in place, the laser will vaporize the solid material, creating a thin, smooth, and glossy surface with extreme precision.
How to Prepare a File
To laser cut, it’s important to have a good vector model. This model is comparable to a drawing with a single line. The computer will process this line and cut it into the acrylic sheet.
To prepare the file, one must know the program in which the machine is working. Most of the programs work in RGB mode and in millimeters. In this case, the color of each line must be indicated by the producer and the stroke weight must be 0.01 mm.
Acrylic is a weak material to work on. Sharp angles, for examples, are likely to break. The solution is to add a small hole to each sharp corner. This will allow the stress to distribute itself across the entire surface.
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