I recently purchased the Optlaser 6W for my X-Carve machine. I have managed to wire it all up and get decent test cuts and engravings from the laser. I have managed to cut 5mm black acrylic with 4-5 passes at 80% power and the cuts came out great.
I’m having issues with cutting more opaque acrylic materials, like white, opal and clear. I have tried different Z heights(30mm to 60mm), power and speeds (90mm/min to 120 mm/min) and I only ever manage to engrave the material approx 0.2mm deep.
I have also tried painting the top and underside black to help contain the laser as a last attempt… Still a light engraving…
I was wondering if there was a way or a trick to cutting these coloured materials.
Any help would be appreciated.
your laser is not powerful enough to cut these materials. the reason it can cut the black material better is that the light is absorbed with the darker colour.
the reason that it can not cut the lighter materials is that the laser is not adsorbed and is defused with the lighter colours.
think black vehicle with snow on it and white vehicle with snow on it. the black vehicle will adsorb the sun light and heat up and melt the snow off first. same effect.
even though you have made the material dark by painting when the laser cuts through the paint it vaporizes that layer and then you are back with the same problem (i.e. the engrave and not cutting).
so the short answer. get a more powerful laser if you need to laser cut clear or lighter materials. just like get a more powerful laser if you need to cut thicker materials.
Thanks, this is what I thought was happening. Hence the last ditch attempt to darken the top and bottom layer, hoping that it was enough to cut through.
The reason I was trying to avoid having to use end mills is that I want to be able to cut into very shallow corners without rounding them out.
Thanks for the help guys, appreciated.