How Are Plastics Cut With Laser Machines
While cutting acrylic with laser to create any type of display system, sign or advertising stand, professional plastic fabricators follow certain tips to enhance quality and appearance of the items. The required laser output for any application depends on density of acrylic sheet as well as necessary productivity. The greater is the output, the quicker the sheet gets cut into the desired shape. High quality results, however, may be achieved only if the different parameters involved are selected carefully.
If a laser equipment is used at a slow speed, the cut portions attain highly polished edges. In case of extremely slow speeds, the cuts extend towards the bottom and are wide. But at times, this is also dictated by used focal length and centre of focus, which must not lie directly on the surface, but stay at least ⅓ of the path inside the acrylic material. Although risks of scratches are more with high speeds, the rate of cutting is faster too. All one has to do is keep the gas flow in the machine low enough for ensuring the most ideal results.
For any application involving laser cutting, such as fabrication of Perspex signage in Sydney, for example, the type of acrylic utilised also plays a very important role. This is because extruded and cast acrylic have varying suitabilities to the machine. While the former sports milky edges after it has been cut, the latter provides excellent, more professional results. However, apart from considering the acrylic type, preventing laser beam reflections is essential too. The reflections are capable of causing conspicuous irregularity in the edges. Due to this reason, an acrylic sheet is never kept entirely flat on a processing surface. Instead, a specially designed cutting table is used all throughout the process.
In jobs where plenty of cap material has to be removed, the item gets coated with residue and dust. It usually happens while working on pieces that have large areas of graphics and texts, or need to be provided with excessive detailing. The dust particles, if cleaned using wet or dry cloth, can get smeared in the substrate. In order to eliminate dust effectively, professionals place masking or transfer tape on the surface.
When cutting coloured acrylic, the tone picked can have an impact on the laser settings also. According to the graphic size, the cutting speed and path directions are set for achieving extremely clean markings.