Engraving depth trials - 3mm extruded acrylic


Jo Bury's picture
Jo Bury


As part of my investigation I wanted to experiment with the engraving settings for the laser cutter as I wanted to see how much light was reflected in the lines of the clear acrylic and also to experiment with adding colour in the clear and black acrylic jewellery pieces so I needed to know the optimum depth for holding and securing colour.

So I decided to experiment with 5 different settings as direct comparisons:

1 = 50 Velocity / 20 Max Power

2 = 25 Velocity / 20 Max Power

3 = 25 Velocity / 30 Max Power

4 = 25 Velocity / 60 Max Power

5 = 25 Velocity / 80 Max Power

Illustrator document opened in the ApS software. Engraved samples with 3 different colour settings assigned to engrave settings 1, 2 and 3.
Clear acrylic with protective layer - 1, 2 and 3 engraved on the laser cutter.
The same settings using black acrylic.
I did two deeper settings 4 and 5 to push the settings to the limit. These were too deep as the acrylic started to fracture and the sides of the engrave was slightly rounded due to melting.
Here are the results for the clear acrylic. 1 = default setting is a delicate engrave, 2 = allowed for slightly more light reflection and room for more colour, 3 = more light reflection still but slightly too wide for colour, 4/5 = too deep. I found that 2 was my optimum setting.
Here are the results for the black acrylic, similar to clear acrylic, I found 2 to be the optimum depth. The samples also allowed me to experiment with colour options.