Results from cutting acrylic - can it be better?


I am cutting acrylic using a 1/16 fish tail bit. I used the recommended settings and the outside edge was no where near as smooth as I wanted. Is this as good as I can expect to get?

How is the material held down?


Should I try an alternative?

A little pricey but the results are worth it.

Absolutely, when carving pieces this thin (not thickness of material) they will flex when carving => bouncing / lift => poor cut quality.

I would suggest you try blue masking tape/CA glue method for a firm hold-down of the entire surface.
It may help/reduce the quality loss of cut.

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So I tried increasing the spindle speed and that worked.

However, as I fix one issue, another arises…
I seem to be getting a weird step in the middle of the cut, any ideas??


Material deflection most likely.

This might be silly but for the resulting cut in the above images I had used an inside tool path, don’t ask me why, I don’t know myself.

When investigating the cut left on the waste material from this cut, I noticed the cut was perfectly smooth.
This makes me think - does using an inside tool path leave a smooth surface on the outside of the cut, i.e. on the waste material in my case? Would using an outside tool path have the opposite effect? And would using the on path tool path leave both the edge on the cut out and waste material smooth?

I broke my bit trying to test the theory tonight but will test as soon as replacement bits arrive.