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Old 04-24-2015, 07:47 PM #1
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Default Newbie help needed Etching Clear Acrylics

Hi good people.

I need to etch (not cut) my company name in 0.1" lettering on several clear acrylic parts. This is Chemcast acrylic, if that matters.

I have a CNC router. I can use all current drawings and g-codes to do the work, I just need to strap a laser head to the the existing Z mount.

I'm familiar with electronics and driver circuits but I dont know much about burning lasers.

What wattage / color laser will I need to lightly etch small letters into clear acrylic? I don not aim to cut into the plastic. Merely etch tiny lettering.

About what is the focal distance? (These things typically have focusable columnators, right?)

I'm so ignorant I'm not sure what questions to ask... Any help on this subject will be appreciated.


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Old 04-24-2015, 09:00 PM #2
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Default Re: Newbie help needed Etching Clear Acrylics

I don't think you're going to find a diode powerful enough to etch acrylic. Maybe a 50-100 watt CO2 laser, but not a diode. Acrylic has VERY good transmission properties completely spanning the visible spectrum, and into UV and IR, but almost no absorption. My 2 watt 445 goes right through my 1/2" (it's Chemcast also)aquarium walls without even getting the acrylic warm.

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Old 04-25-2015, 05:27 PM #3
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Default Re: Newbie help needed Etching Clear Acrylics

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gadget View Post
I don't think you're going to find a diode powerful enough to etch acrylic. Maybe a 50-100 watt CO2 laser, but not a diode. Acrylic has VERY good transmission properties completely spanning the visible spectrum, and into UV and IR, but almost no absorption. My 2 watt 445 goes right through my 1/2" (it's Chemcast also)aquarium walls without even getting the acrylic warm.

FWiW,
G

Not the answer I was hoping for! lol

Ive read about people placing some film or coating (Paint) on clear plastic, and the laser burns thru that, leaving an impression or something (smudges)? on the part.
Any way that might work at 445 at 2W?

Also, I have other parts that are colored, frosted acrylic. Your thoughts?

BTW thanks very much for your reply.
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Old 04-28-2015, 05:32 PM #4
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Default Re: Newbie help needed Etching Clear Acrylics

10 - 15W Co2 laser with a focused beam would etch the surface of acrylic with no issues and I would say that's the best option for clear at least
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