View Full Version : Cutting Acrylic

Ricky Gore
11-05-2007, 5:22 PM
I've seen various specs where an x watt machine can cut x thickness acrylic in a single pass.
My questions is, can you cut acrylic in multiple passes and still get a nice smooth edge?

Is it possible to create your own award designs and cut them from acrylic in multiple passes?


Time is not an issue at this point, but just being able to do it is. :)

Joe Pelonio
11-05-2007, 5:32 PM

I can cut 3/8" acrylic in one pass on my 45 watt, per the manufacturer, and actually have done 1/2" a couple of times. The problem is that as you probably know the cut is not 90 degrees, there's an angle to it due to the nature of the beam. I did once experiment with 3/4" just to see what would happen with multiple passes.

When you make multiple passes to go deeper, you need to reset the focus to the lowest depth of the previous pass. For example, on 3/4" I used settings for 3/8" and made one pass, then focused to 3/8" closer and ran again. The material cut, and the edges were smooth and glossy, except there was a sort of stair step to it.

Here's a gif showing an exaggeration of what the cut looks like (left edge). It's OK for some things but difficult to get a good gluing surface without sanding, and then you might have to flame polish it.

Ricky Gore
11-05-2007, 11:13 PM
Thanks for the info....:)

Rodne Gold
11-05-2007, 11:23 PM
The key to cutting pex is to eject the melt thru the cut , if you do multiple passes , the melt has no where to go and creates problems when it resolidifies in the groove etc. Can be done in multipass mode but can also get messy.

Sandra Force
11-07-2007, 7:23 PM
Not only messy, but increases the chance of FIRE!!! Is not a pretty thing to happen.