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Cutting acrylic

Posted: Tue Mar 28, 2017 11:35 pm
by Spartacus
Hello all,

I am about to start using acrylic for the first time could anybody give me some advice for cutting speeds, cutter sizes etc. I will just be cutting simple craft shapes for the wife's crafting hobby/business to start with from sheets of 3mm acrylic. Any advice would be appreciated.

Kind regards


Re: Cutting acrylic

Posted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 12:28 am
by Xxray
Going to be tough with plexi that thin, hold down will be the biggest problem.

Any good sharp endmill will do, I have .10 endmills that I use for cutouts, allows more detail than .25.
I use slow feed [50 ipm or less] and low rpms to reduce melting issues.

What is your hold down method ? Could probably use tabs to prevent the pieces from flying off when cut. double stick tape may be an option too, or maybe you have a vac table.

Re: Cutting acrylic

Posted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 9:15 am
by martin54
Use a bit designed for cutting acrylic if you can, single flute works best for me with the speeds & feeds my machine is capable of, when it comes to setting speed & feed this is something best worked out by experimenting as they differ depending on machine, cutter used etc. Cutter size as with any job is really dependant on what size parts you are cutting & level of detail required. I have bits ranging from 1mm to 6mm for cutting acrylic & this is the only thing they are used for :lol: :lol:
Good dust extraction is very important or you will end up re cutting chips leading to heat build up & poor finish. My dust extraction isn't actually great so I use an air hose to remove chips.
Hold down with thin plastics can be a problem as they tend to bow when clamped so if you don't have a vac table double sided tape or something similar is a good option.

Re: Cutting acrylic

Posted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 4:18 pm
by sylvan356
I cut very thin material all the time. The best hold down is masking tape and superglue as I detailed in an earlier post. Good luck!

Re: Cutting acrylic

Posted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 4:52 pm
by Spartacus
Thank you for the advice, I have a vacuum bed so hold down shouldn't be a problem I was more concerned about melting issues.