A laser cutting machine is a device that uses a beam of radiation to cut, fuse, connect, and evaporate materials. It’s a technology centered around high speed and precision.
A typical laser cutter connects a computer and works in the X and Y axes. (In other words, it’s a bidimensional machine.) The computer controls the laser (power, frequency, speed). Other aspects — like table setup, lenses and focus, exhaust, gas, and material preparation — must be done manually. All these variables can influence the quality of the laser cut.
With the acrylic sheet in place, the laser will vaporize the solid material, creating a thin, smooth, and glossy surface with extreme precision.
Traditional Acrylic Cutting Hurdles
Let’s first discuss the cons when working with acrylic with traditional tools. Using a plastic scoring blade limits you to straight cuts and using a jigsaw or router can break the acrylic when working on more intricate cuts. Furthermore, no matter what method you use, traditional tools will always leave your acrylic with a rough frosted edge that you have to flame polish to achieve a finished look. This process is not only time-consuming, but you risk damaging the acrylic.
Advantages of Acrylic Laser Cutters
Now, we’ll showcase all of the pros of working with a laser cutter for acrylic. Lasers cutters make cutting acrylic a breeze and streamline your processes. A laser cutter for acrylic makes it possible to quickly change designs, as well as produce the same design over and over with perfect results every time. Laser cutters are also easy to use, as they function like a printer. There is also less margin for error; a laser cutter is computer based and works off of X and Y axis.
Flame-polished cutting edges without additional post-processing of materials: Due to significantly lower processing costs, acrylic processing with laser technology is up to 88% less expensive than processing with a milling cutter (processing time for tensioning and post-processing of the material, tools).
The laser beam is the universal “tool” for acrylic processing regardless of the shape and material thicknesses. The advantages of laser cutting are undisputed in the plastics and advertising technology sector.
- Advertising technology
- Digital printing
- Shop and exhibition stand construction
- Architectural model construction
- POS materials
- Outdoor and indoor signs
- Acrylic trophies
Many acrylic projects can be completed start to finish with only a laser machine, completing all of your cutting and engraving in one step with complete automation. More importantly, a laser cutter for acrylic is able to achieve extremely intricate cuts with little to no risk of the acrylic breaking. And, when cut with a laser, there is no need to flame polish the edges of your piece; this happens automatically as it’s being cut by the laser.