Acrylic is a great material for creating intricate designs. A laser cutter allows you to cut any 2D design. This article will guide you through the process of creating vector designs and give you some tips to simplify the complex process of acrylic laser cutting.
First things first; before delving into laser cutting of an acrylic, it is important to understand what a laser cutting machine is and how it works. A laser cutter is a device that uses a beam to cut, fuse, combine, and vaporise materials. This technology emphasises speed and accuracy.
A typical laser cutter connects to a computer and works on the X and Y axes. (So it’s a two-dimensional machine.) A computer controls the laser (power, frequency, speed). Other aspects such as stage setup, lens and focus, exhaust, gas and material preparation must be done manually. All of these variables can affect laser cutting quality. Place the acrylic plate and the laser vaporises the solid material to create a thin, smooth and glossy surface with great precision
How to prepare the files
It is important to have a good vector model in laser cutting. This model resembles a single line drawing. A computer processes this line and cuts into the acrylic plate. You can work with any of the various CAD software tools available to create vector files. Here are some common examples:
- Adobe Illustrator CC
- Inkscape (Free)
To prepare a file, you need to know what program your machine is running. Most programs work in RGB mode and millimetres. In this case, the colour of each line must be specified by the manufacturer and the line width must be 0.01 mm.
- Minimum distance between components: If you have many parts to cut, it’s best to keep them as close together as possible (usually the spacing between components is limited to 2mm, but it depends on the thickness of the sheet metal) .
- Outline text: If the model has text, only the outline will be cut. Enclosed characters (A, O, B, …) should have links connecting the inner and outer spaces, like template characters.
- Unwanted Points: Each component must be a continuous vector with no unwanted anchor points or overlapping lines. Too much of the former will compromise the quality of the final result.
- Assembled Parts: components that require assembly must have a kerf difference (width) of 0.4mm between the dimensions of each part.
All this information must additionally be provided by the company that chose to cut the model.
Note: Acrylic is a tricky material. For example, sharp angles can break. The solution is to add a small hole at each sharp corner. This allows the stress to be distributed over the entire surface.
Acrylic Laser Cutter Service In Dubai
Just because it’s difficult to laser cut at home doesn’t mean you can’t get laser cut products. Pleasant Plastic offers acrylic laser cutting services in Dubai.
Pleasant Plastic is the best acrylic fabricators in Dubai with talented associated artists and expert technicians working together to develop technical or manufactured projects. They offer different types of machinery and technology. Pleasant Plastic provides end-to-end product design, engineering, tooling and acrylic processing. Also,Pleasant Plastic provide services such as acrylic engraving/etching in Dubai, acrylic painting and design, and acrylic laser cutting in Dubai.