Acrylic wasteboard

So the wasteboard that comes with the X-carve is really nice (and not cheap after shipping). I’m playing with the idea of putting a 1/8" clear acrylic layer over it so that the acrylic is the (very disposable) wasteboard. Would that cause issues with feed rates on different cutting materials? Melting and whatnot? Otherwise interfering with the cut? I’m new to CNC. Thanks!

Sounds like it would look awesome but yea I don’t know if its the best idea. Even with a small amount of cut through especially with a fine bit you could totally have problems. I was going to buy a half sheet of mdf, cut it to just past the last set of hold down screws all the way around and before I install the waste board drill all the holes out. This way I can still use all the original hold down points I just need some longer bolts. I was going to sink the bolts I was going to use to hold the top sheet to the waste board so that they are like 1/2 down past the top surface then run a really shallow surfacing pass to the entire sheet so its perfectly level to the machine. From there I am working up a tool path that will cut the pattern of the silk screen right into the top sheet of mdf with like a 16th inch bit. It will be engraved with all the lines so if I wanted I could throw some pieces of wood that are a 16th inch thick into the groves and use it as a square for the edge of my project.

Nice idea on cutting the silk screen art. If you make the cuts ~1/32", you can use old credit/gift cards instead of wood. :wink:

Here is an svg actual dimensions of the board are 32.4803 X 32.4803. I see this as being a slight problem. Once I get my Machine assembled Ill remake this to fit with in the working area of the machine :smile:

Hi Joe, can you think of any specific issues I might run into? I like your MDF idea with carved grid. I will probably try that…was checking out some 1/4" MDF today. In the meantime I rigged up the acrylic. I need some washers or just a touch larger sheet of acrylic but it is actually held down very solidly. Figured it couldn’t hurt too much to give it a shot. I think we’re on the right track with this though…something to use the anchor points while preserving the stock wasteboard.

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High rpm cutting of wood will create heat that turns acrylic into molten mush. As it rapidly,cools it will seize your bit and cause it to snap. Acrylic is milled at like half the speed of wood and as you go into the last layer your going to hit the acrylic. Anything smaller than the 1/8 inch bit is toast and maybe even the 1/8 inch. Or not just depends on how many ladders you walked under recently

I will take your word for it. I bought the machine for cutting plastic, so I should be okay? Unless you can think of anything else. I’m going to do your secondary MDF wasteboard idea as well, maybe just to have on hand if I want to cut other materials, or maybe I will like it better than the acrylic.

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There are two kinds of acrylic. Cast and extruded. The extruded is the least expensive and what a lot of DIY projects are made from and has a much lower melting point. If you have ever cut it you may have noticed it melts behind the blade and may need hand de-burring. Cast on the other hand cuts clean and generally doesn’t have the melting issues. It can cost twice as much though.