Tips

Acrylic Laser Processing Guide: Power, Frequency and Speed Settings

Achieve flame-polished edges on acrylic with these laser settings.

Follow this laser parameter advice to achieve a flame-polished edge when cutting acrylic:

Power: As a general rule, more power yields better results. A good rule of thumb for achieving a polished cut and good production speed is 10 watts per 0.04 inches (1mm); and 60 watts can process 0.5 inches (12mm), however it will be slower and the quality will not be as nice. Your method may also depend on your preferences.

For example:

  • 400 watts for 0.125 inches (3mm) = fastest speeds
  • 400 watts for 1.0 inches (25mm) = best quality

Frequency: Frequency depends on the material you are using. You should start high on cast acrylic (10-20 khz); and start lower on extruded (2-5 khz). Decreasing the frequency means there will be less pulses, which results in less energy in the material. This causes:

  • Less flaming
  • Less boiling (too much heat in the material)
  • Slower cutting speed

Speed: To achieve a flame-polished cut, set the speed to less than 0.4 inches per second (600 mm/minute). For best results on a separation cut, use maximum power and maintain maximum frequency.

-Josh Stephens, Trotec Laser

Josh Stephens Lasers Plus

Josh Stephens

Josh Stephens is the owner of Lasers Plus. Formerly, he was the lead applications expert for a large laser manufacturer. He has been in the industry for over seven years.

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