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What is the difficulty of engraving on transparent materials?
Plexiglas or, as it is also called acrylic, is outwardly very similar to glass. These transparent materials practically completely transmit the laser beam. No adjustment of the power parameters and printing speed will change the result. To improve the situation, you need to use a sublayer. A black self-adhesive film for glass and a wooden tablet for acrylic are good solutions. For the best quality and resolution we set the laser power and printing speed in accordance with the character of the selected image or inscription.
Setting of CNCC Laseraxe for Engraving on Acrylic
Plexiglass (acrylic) is widely used in the outdoor advertising industry, in the production of commercial equipment and POS products. It is used to make signboards, tablets, business card cases, price list holders, stands for goods, etc. And also in the interior decoration. The advance of the engraving technology allows making unique souvenirs, decoration items and various products for outdoor advertising.
In the experiment with acrylic, we used the Endurance DIY desktop laser engraver, equipped with a powerful blue semiconductor laser with the working wave length of 445 nm and nominal power of 8 watts (8000 mW).
To start engraving on acrylic, make sure that your original material does not have cracks or scratches. Focus the laser beam taking into account the wooden sublayer on which the acrylic plate will be placed. To make the engraving look attractive and beautiful, set the power at 25% – 50% and the engraver speed at 350 mm/min. A higher laser power will make the acrylic melt and crack, since it is very sensitive to high temperatures. When the engraving is finished, the engraved picture will have remnants of the melted acrylic. Let the engraved item to cool slightly and wash off the “dirt” with clean water, it is possible to use soap. It is not recommended categorically to use alcohol, solvents and other chemicals, if you don’t want to spoil the surface of the engraved image.
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CNCC Laseraxe Setting For Glass Engraving
A few words about the material
Glass is a perfect material for laser engraving. With the most advanced DIY Endurance laser equipment it is possible to make inscriptions and drawings on glass of any shape and size (within the size of the worktable of the machine).
Outwardly, glass is very similar to transparent acrylic, but it has a different chemical composition and structure, and, most importantly, requires a different approach to choosing the method of engraving. A laser beam of a specified power produces micro-scratches on the glass surface without mechanical contact with the item. Since the thermal action in the engraving zone is very short-time, there is no risk of damaging the glassware itself. The engraved image on the glass is matte.
Focus the beam on the surface of the sublayer and set the laser power at 50%. Prepare a glassware item; it must be perfectly clean and transparent. For acrylic, we used a regular wooden sublayer, and for the glass we’ll take a black self-adhesive film, and paste it to the backside of the glassware to soften the temperature effect on the surface of the product and minimize the scattering of the laser beam at such a low printing speed of just 100 mm/min. At the speed of 200 mm/min and above, dropouts in the drawing or inscription are possible.
At the end of the process remove the film and clean the glass of the remaining adhesive. The finished product is resistant to various types of mechanical and chemical effects. Therefore, you can safely use alcohol or solvent. As the result, we get a stylish and accurate engraving on the glass surface. To increase the thickness of the lines, it is enough, without changing the engraver speed, to increase the power, not exceeding 70%, otherwise the glass can crack under the heat influence, and the drawing will turn out rough and will not meet your expectations.
Engraving on acrylic and glass is quite possible. It is important only to take into account the material characteristics, correctly adjust the laser power, beam focus and printing speed, and the result will not disappoint you. The Endurance laser engraver will help you in this. Everyone can master it. Try things out, create and enjoy the results of your work!