I am testing a prototype on the xc - i am using a 1/16 bit - it works great for all the small holes and pockets i am making but when the last part of triming the part out around the outer edge it starts balling up and winding around the bit - any tricks on cutting plexi with a very small bit?
I’ve seen baking soda and water suggested as a lubricant. The article says “If the material is balling up and cools to hard clumps, it was melting during cutting and you need to change the way you’re drilling (change the bit type, cut slower, use lubricant…).”
Can’t point to the youtube video, but I think the person was using a long syringe to just dribble the solution in front of the router.
Haven’t tried this myself.
I made an edge lit sign from acrylic found at my local store, no idea what quality. The cutting was done with a 1/16 bit and soapy water. Instead of melting the acrylic came out in small crumbled pieces. Cutting at a rather slow speed. Before clamping the material to the MDF wasteboard I put a sheet of plastic on top of the spoilboard.
One thing you can do that helps is use air.
attach one of those adjustable air tubes on and have it blow the chips away.
It will require some pressure like at least 45 to 60 lbs. I plan on 3d printing a tube for mine( the nozzle part).
The only other thing I can suggest is more passes with a shallow depth and slow down the cutting to where it doesn’t create the friction that causes the plastic to melt. of course it will take longer to cut but it will help with keeping the balling up effect from happening.
Is this the difference between extruded vs cast acrylic? I’ve successfully worked with some cast acrylic that chips nicely. I’ve been told not to try and mill extruded acrylic.
yep that could be the troublemaker - the material im testing has the peel off backing with a grain direction arrow on it - I’ve got a sheet of cast coming next week to try - but maybe i should abandoned ship on this approach and look into a jtech laser - im about broke from the xcarve and lulzbot so maybe i could get by with the 2.o version jtech - simply all i want to do is get clean small details into the acrylic that a 1/16 bit cannot handle - just enuff into the material to make its matted mark, kinda like a light frosting that a sand blast mask could do without going thru that sb routine - calling jtech today…
Yes cast is much better.
I have cut extruded but its harder to get it to look nice.