10W laser engraving in clear acrylic

Having a hard time finding a good way to engrave into clear acrylic. I would appreciate if anyone can share their tips or settings on how to accomplish this. I tried using an acrylic marker, but that ended up burning into the acrylic and I was not able to get it off properly.

Here are some test results on some 4"x4" x 2mm clear acrylic. I put the black ink on the back side this time. Please see photo with and without ink below.

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Here is another test this time with masking tape on top side. Power = 25% 1000mm/min 2 passes. There a few spots (top of rightmost chimney and front right bottom) where it burned a bit too much - probably would not happen in thicker acrylic. Probably would have been OK at 20% power instead of 25%.

Thanks for this information, and any other details that you can supply. Was this the white masking tape or the blue masking tape? What kind of black ink did you use, and how easy was it to remove this? If the engraving was on the back, I assume that means that you had invert the design around the Y-axis in order to view it from the back.

Apparently, CO2 lasers can engrave clear acrylic, but SnapMaker has chosen to use a laser with a different wavelength, that is not suitable for engraving clear acrylic.

They didn’t really have a choice. The design of CO2 lasers and the size of the tube needed pretty much means that they require a dedicated machine. They aren’t suited for use with a cnc or 3d printer frame. All of the 3d printer/cnc add-on/upgrade lasers are diode based.

If you really want/need a co2 laser do a search for K40 laser. Omtech has some lower priced machines. They have their pluses and minuses and need some tweaks and calibrations to really get working at their full potential.

-S

I used regular blue painter’s tape - I had a two inch wide roll so was able to cover the entire surface with two pieces. I find taping the top side and flipping the image horizantally is the best as you can use camera capture and auto distance. To remove the tape residue I used terpentine and a soft cloth - as paper towels or anything abrasive will easily scratch the surface. You can leave the protective film on the bottom side to protect the bottom surface or alternatively you can tape the bottom over the protective film as sometimes it might engrave into the laser bed depending on the power and number of passes. Just couldn’t figure out a way to create my own profile in Luban for multiple passes - so I just rerun the same job twice in the workspace.

Here is another test @ 20% power, 1000mm//min, 0.1 fill interval, two passes.

Same settings on 4mm acrylic.

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