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Acrylic, often known as Perspex is the perfect substrate to laser cut. It can be used in projects such as signage, point of sale displays, advertising and more besides. Laser cutting reduces the post processing so can be more cost effective than CNC routering, which requires additional finishing processes. Panels of up to 20mm thick Perspex Acrylic can be cut using a CO2 laser cutter. Most CO2 laser are also able to engrave acrylic sheet.
Uses of Laser Cutting Technology:
- Perspex Trophies
- POS Displays
- Acrylic Letters
- Indoor and Outdoor Signage
There are lots of advantages to laser cutting:-
- Edges come out already flame polished, so it eliminates the need for additional post processing.
- Precision: – A typical laser beam is 0.2mm in diameter, which in turn allows for very accurate cutting.
- Material does not warp under heat due to the pin point accuracy of the laser beam itself.
- Tiny shapes and minuscule radius can be cut with laser cutting machines.
- No tool wear.
- No shavings or small waste particles produced.
- Parts do not move on a laser, as there is no tool.
- Less need to deburr edges.
- Can work from many file types such as dxf, AI, EPS and PDF.
When having a product laser cut it is important to set your drawing up correctly. Laser cutting software uses a single line, which it processes and either cuts or engraves into the acrylic sheet.
If there are a lot of parts to cut, it is best to “nest” them together, so that the laser can track the least amount of distance and therefore work most efficiently. Some laser software has automatic nesting tools available, which will layout drawings for optimum efficiency.
Try not to use too many nodes on your outputted artwork, as this can caused the output to be angled or blocky. Using smooth curves will give you a better end product.
Finally, when Perspex acrylic is laser cut to a sharp angle, it can snap a lot easier, by putting a small hole or radius on the inside of the angle, this will help relieve the stress and make the component a lot stronger.