Do you put anything on your acrylic before you carve it?

For the past few months we have been putting dish soap on the cast acrylic before we carve it to help mitigate melting. Does anyone else do this or do you even need to do it?

When I cut out my fishtank shapes I did nothing to the clear acrylic. I used 2-3 on the router and 10 Ipm nice and slow. My thought was the faster the hotter. Came out perfect. Just had to torch smooth the sides before welding. Been holding 15 gallons for 5 months now.

Not me, no lubrication no special bits I set it down with double sided tape and used the standard 1/4" spiral upcut bit slowed it to 40 ipm when I did my version of tte suckit for my system, 3/4" acrylic arms. 3/8" plate.

I’ve never applied anything. Cast acrylic seems to cut fine and is relatively resistant to the melting issues.

I found I really like an 1/8" single flute solid carbid for this, cuts great
I would have to check the file to see what feeds and depth i used…

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I use a very slow rpms - 8-10,000 and 40 but a fast feed rate of 50 inches per minute to prevent heat and gumming. This works even with cheap extruded acrylic but I have a forced air system blowing away the chips before they can build up. I also decrease my depth of cut with the cheap acrylic to .01".

So would 35IPM with a doc of .01-.02 at a dewalt setting of 2-3 and a 1/8 2F Fishtail be fine on cast acrylic without any coating. What about a 1/16 or 2mm? Have you run into any issues with cutting with the paper on? (We also just found out that the bit we have been using as a 1/16" bit is actually a 2mm bit, whoops.)

Dewalt should be set to 1. I use 1/8 and 1/16 two flute fishtails with those settings. I usually remove the papter so I don’t now how it effects performance.

Okay, we tried a 1/16" bit with at 1 (really was about 1.25), and the outlined areas are clogged with clumps of acrylic. Any ideas?

you are either moving too slow or cutting too deep. Try40-50 ipm at .005 DOC. If you are going to do a lot of acrylic, consider using forced air to blow the chips away so they won’t clog. I just looked up my settings on my fishing lures and I used both 1/8" and 1/16" two flute end mills at .005" Doc and 40 ipm. I was using forced air but the result was exceptional:

I think I just figured out the issue with my 1/16 bit. Before this design, we carved all outlines with at 1/8 but, but this requires a 1/16. I just noticed, we bought the bits way back in January, that it has little burs to break apart the material. In what situation would that be useful? We are going to order 2 dedicated 1/16 fishtails from Inventables.

Yah those won’t work. Theoretically, after your part is profiled, they could run around the outside at full depth to even out the finish. You need 2 or less flutes.