Cutting acrylic- can’t do it

Any suggestions on what I’ve been doing wrong?

I have a 3.8 watt J-Tech laser which works well. I thought I’d try cutting some acrylic, but no matter what I do, I just can’t get it to “cut”.

I’ve adjusted the focus up & down and it’ll melt and leave a mark on both sides, but that’s about it. I’ve changed lenses (I have the precision lens so I changed back to the standard lens) - no different.

I’ve adjusted the power and cut at full power and different settings below that, but again, while it’ll leave a mark, I cannot get any kind of “cutting” to occur.

I’m using semi-transparent acrylic (the green stuff that looks fluorescent on the edges) which doesn’t look too different from the stuff they show on the J-Tech site being cut with their 2.7 watt laser.

Suggestions would be greatly appreciated…

There may be an issue with the particular material you’re using, and how much it absorbs the spectrum that your particular laser puts out. I.E. differences in either the material or the laser, especially when talking about translucent material, may yield significantly different results.

Also, as a general rule, 3-4 watts is good enough to do etching in most materials without being super fussy about the focus (like a <1 watt would be). But to really go through anything, reliably and quickly, you need something more like 10x that power.

@ScottGriepentrog you’re probably correct, it’s just that J-Tech were cutting basically the same stuff on their video.

Oh well, back to cutting with a router. Man I HATE cutting anything but wood…