If you need to arrange laser cutting for your acrylic fabrication needs, you need to put careful thought into the design phase through to the production stage for optimal results. Avoiding laser-cutting mistakes boosts productivity and improves your finished product.
The following are seven laser-cutting mistakes you should avoid with your acrylic fabrication project for the best results.
1. Illegible Text
Any acrylic laser-cutting job that requires text needs to include a design that ensures readability. Two important rules with readability include designing text that is not too small and spacing letters far enough apart.
You can create a proof item before a large bulk project is complete. This piece makes it possible for you to analyze readability issues and make any necessary corrections to ensure that text is legible before a full production order goes through on the laser-cutting project.
2. Dimension Limitations
You need to do laser cutting on equipment that is capable of handling the scale of your design. This means that you need to be aware of minimum and maximum dimension capabilities before you contract with a laser-cutting service provider.
Not only are particular facilities sometimes limited in terms of dimension, but also materials can face dimension limitations based on their strength and durability. Make sure that you are aware of any dimension limitations before you produce your design.
3. Frequency Specification
Optimal frequency value varies depending on whether you need to achieve a separation cut or flame polished, smooth cut. Frequencies also vary depending on whether you work with extruded or cast acrylic.
Optimal frequencies are higher for cast acrylic and lower for extruded acrylic. A smooth, flame polished cut requires generally higher frequencies than a separation cut.
4. Spacing Between Paths
Be aware of minimum spacing requirements when creating your design. If you do not have enough spacing between two paths in your design, you may not be able to accurately achieve your design through laser cutting.
You need to be conscious of minimum spacing requirements when creating your design to create a final object with the resistance and precision you need for a quality product.
5. Lack of Nodes
Nodes are ideal for locking together various acrylic components. A node is any bump that hooks together with other parts to keep parts together.
Being conscious of the benefits of nodes in the design phase is important. Nodes make it easier to assemble parts.
Be aware of the different types of nodes to take full advantage of this feature. Nodes can be short or long. Single and double nodes are also usable depending on the required strength of the connection between the parts.
6. Acrylic Type
You need to choose from either extruded or cast acrylic as your material. These two types of acrylic are distinct in terms of the properties they offer.
Extruded acrylic is noted for its decreased thickness tolerance in comparison with cast acrylic. Cast acrylic is generally more expensive than extruded acrylic. However, cast acrylic offers the advantage of a greater thickness tolerance.
7. Lens Selection
The lens for a laser-cutting job is important in determining the precision offered by the cut.
The lens for laser cutting should have a longer focal distance when the acrylic material that is cut is on the thicker side. On the other hand, a shorter focal distance is acceptable for cutting thinner acrylic materials.
For assistance with your acrylic laser-cutting needs, get in touch with us at MGM Plastics, and we'll provide you with a quote on your
project. We also are happy to answer any of your questions and concerns about acrylic and laser cutting as well.