When laser cutting materials, is there a minimum distance between the objects?
When we laser cut materials that are used for high quality display,
outdoor signage or indoor signs such as used for receptions foyer signs, indoor event sign
and more, we often set minimum distances between the cutting edge (waste line) and the
next object or letter to be laser cut.
- In this manner, we select 8mm 'Between Space' or 'Free Space'. When using drawing programs
such as Corel or Adobe you can use standard nudge movement tools to save time and manipulate
your 'between space' of letters the smart way.
- Set your movement tool increments to 8 mm
- Use your align and distribute tools to place letters or object left / right,
top / bottom
- Use base line controls such as fit to bottom, move to top, align centre or
Then, once your base lettering is in position, and your measurement tool parameters
are set to 8mm, simply use your nudge keys. Up Down, Left or Right. Each movement
will be 8mm, and effectively give you 8mm Free Space between letters.
Minimum Distance between objects ready for laser cutting.
As a guide: The thicker the material to be laser cut the wide the free space should be
between letters, object and shapes or other lines or spacers.
- Set a minimum 8mm for All objects and lettering,
regardless of size or thickness, grade of materials to be laser cut or other.
- When using thick soft materials such as 50mm Acrylic lettering, set a minimum
'Between Space' of 16mm .
- This will allow you to correctly set the direction of your paths ( see our Ezine
on curve radius, path direction and curve order).
- Use a non burn over protective coating such as Heavy craft or Alluvium paper coating
over your products before laser cutting, particularly heavy thickness sign products.
This will help avoid burn splatter or impregnation of hot foreign objects that may
spatter due to the laser cutting process. The tip is to allow sufficient material
free space when cutting high quality works.
Polishing the edge of Acrylic Letters
Polishing the edges of Acrylic lettering is not often necessary due to the heat and movement
elements that occur when laser cutting acrylic signs ready for lettering and building
signage, display signs and acrylic stands.
When we cut clear acrylic panels suitable
for high quality reception sign we flame polish the
edges we use a special 'gas blown torch'. This involves flaming the edges to an almost melted
point. This technique can also be applied to routed or cut edges of most acrylics. If you are
using a cheap or low quality acrylic panel you are advised to take extreme care not to buckle
or create hot spots that may later 'craze' over time. WE DO NOT purchase the low quality
materials for our sign projects.
Know what Acrylic to Buy.
If you are unsure of the quality or origin of supply of your Acrylic Panels, you should ask your
Acrylic Supplier for full specifications, ask if the materials are UV rated and to what 'life'
you can expect outdoors.
This principle of 'outdoor life' and anti crazing importantly applies to colored acrylic panel
signs, positioning and use. Take care when
purchasing colored acrylic. If you need a panel
or laser cut shape in acrylic please call us first.
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