Acrylic is manufactured in two different ways: Cast and Extruded and reacts differently during laser engraving.
Cast acrylic is used for almost all engraving purposes as when engraved, it produces a white, frosty look that is in contrast to the clear material.
See some projects that involve laser engraving acrylic
When laser engraving extruded acrylic it remains clear and does not produce much of a contrast. Extruded acrylic, on the other hand, is ideal if you are only going to laser cut. The material has a lower melting point which produces an almost flame finished edge from the laser. The quality of engraving is also affected by the purity of the acrylic. Cheaper acrylic doesn’t usually cut very cleanly due to inconsistent melting points over the sheet material. At CutLaserCut we only use Perspex™ branded acrylic as it is manufactured to a benchmark of quality.
A common laser engraving technique on clear (cast) acrylic is to mirror the engraving on the back side of the perspex. This produces a ‘look through effect’ from the front of the surface. We will reverse your artwork prior to starting an engraving job like this.
Another popular technique is to paint one side of a clear acrylic piece. We then engrave directly through the paint to reveal the acrylic below. Great for definition and contrast detail.