What did I do wrong with engraving acrylic?

I used A Single Flute 1/8" bit running the standard Easel settings for acrylic. I use Speed 1 on my Dewalt 611.

What was your depth per pass and feed rate?

It looks like your machine is skipping steps.

@Zach_Kaplan is right, it looks like you’re losing steps. Here’s a good link to the most common problems that can cause that: [Guide] Offset cutting, Lost steps, Positioning errors, etc

I think 30ipm and .010 DPP. W did notice that some of the acrylic melted into the bit.

melting = too slow feed rate, the bit is sitting too long in an area of cut and heating up. You may have also dulled your bit by now if it was melting the acrylic.

It probably did not help that it might have been Extruded, there is no way to tell on the recipt. Why are the recommended settings in Easel so slow? Should I use a bit other than a single flute straight? What bit type, federate, and DPP would you recommend for cast acrylic, what would I need to do different for extruded acrylic?

you should have your spindle at the slowest speed possible, and your IPM at least twice as high as what you have right now. A depth of cut of 0.01 should be just fine, you could probably go even deeper if you wanted, but start out there and then work your way up to 0.1. There should be no problems, infact, it should actually work better with a deeper cut than 10 thousandths.


EDIT I am assuming you have a dewalt 611 spindle when I tell you to have it at the slowest speed setting.

You should probably speed up the feed rate, maybe drop the DOC as well. The DOC isn’t that much though, so who knows. I haven’t cut acrylic yet… I do have some sitting in my shop though haha. You may just have to play with it. There is a user that regularly cut acrylic for LED signs, can’t remember who it is off the top of my head though. Maybe search for some of his posts and see if you can hunt down some settings?

Thank you, this is very helpful and that off is very informative.

GWizard is recommending a spindle speed of ~39,000rpm with the other settings your using, which is a bit higher than the max setting on the Dewalt.

actually, I revise my suggestion, start with a feed of 45 ipm, and see how that works out. if you start increasing the DOC then you’ll want to start dropping the feed rate, and the larger chips will help carry away the heat

That looks like the cuts I used to make in acrylic when I had the spindle turning the wrong way. You’ve definitely got it going clockwise?

It is the dewalt, I don’t think I can switch directions

Are you using the stock bit the x carve came with? I have had some great results with the stock(?) ball nose, speed setting 2.5, ipm of 50 and depth set at .03. When I do carve I carve at .004 tho.

I am also using extruded.

1/4" or 1/8" thick Acrylic? what size is the bit?

This is the extact item here that I am currently using, infact I have to buy more online because my home store is taking forever.

The bit I am using is Solid Carbide 2 Flute Spiral Upcut (Ball Nose End) 1/4 shank 1/8 cutting edge.