Inventables Community Forum

XCarve or JTech 7w laser for Cast Acyrlic

I have a project with simple lettering on 3/4" 12x24 cast acrylic. I was wondering what might be the best equipment and settings to use?
XCARVE - obviously an upcut bit,but dewalt setting, feed rate, DOC etc

JTECH 7 W laser - speed and power settings, number of passes etc

Should I engrave on in inside or outside of the acrylic?
This is for my son’s sub woofer box, for a window. There will be LEDs in the box but not directly around the acrylic

Any help would be appreciated, as you know you just cant plane it down or turn it over if you mess up.
Thanks

Start by putting it on the back side and remember to flip the image. I have tried the diode laser a few times on acyrlic and it did not work very good but could have been me. I would go with the bit at a pretty good pace of speed. If you do not go fast enough the acrylic will melt and you will have problems.

@WayneHall thanks for the info. When you say pretty good pace would that mean 100 in/min or more? I have the 1000x1000 with the upgrade kit installed.

It has been a while since i have done any but i would start around 90 and watch you will be able to tell if it is fast enough or to slow.

the JTECH laser is a visible light diode laser. It will not cut clear acrylic. CO2 lasers will cut and engrave acrylic.

There are some people who have used diode lasers to mark acrylic, and this is typically done by painting black tempra paint on the acrylic and hitting the paint layer with the laser. The black tempra paint heats up causing the acrylic to produce tiny bubbles. The paint is washed away and white marks are left. Look for Papa’s woodshop on youtube to see some of his diode laser work.

I use blue masking tape on the cutting side when engraving acrylic with the laser. At full power and speed does the job for me, but you may want to do a line at 75% power and adjust fire from there. You’ll need to replace the tape before each pass. Also, when applying the tape to your cutting area make sure your strips don’t over lap.