Looking to cut acrylic but can’t decide upon which machine would be best suited to your needs? Maybe the information below will help you decide.
We all know that laser cutter engravers deliver a fantastic polished finish when cutting acrylic but have you ever thought about using a CNC router?
Yes I know what you’re all thinking, laser is the only way to go. Well what if I said that you can get a perfectly acceptable (and sometimes great) finish using a CNC router?
Lets start off with why would you use a CNC over a laser cutter. CNC routers can generally cut through much thicker sheets than you can with a laser (not everyone has a 250W laser tube). How might you ask?
In one word, tooling.
One of the most overlooked aspects of using and owning a CNC router, most of us are too busy talking specs etc. With the right tool, you will get the right finish. Now you can argue that tooling for delivering a highly polished edge on a router is expensive business, you would be partially right.
Some polishing tools can cost around £250-300 or so but we have other solutions at hand, you could spend around £40-50 on a tool that would give you a near polished finish. You do have to leave a small sliver of skin left on your job and go back around with slower settings and use it as a finishing pass but this will give you a perfectly acceptable finish without using a laser.
But why would you want to?
The benefits of using a CNC router run far and wide. You can process many materials that a laser just would not cope with or even mark. Yes you can process woods but with a laser you get that burnt edge that you would never get on a CNC. Ontop of this a CNC has the ability to do various type of cuts such as v-groove, pocket and bevelled edging.
They also have the abiltiy to profile cut materials faster than a standard CO2 laser would.
Now that’s not to say there isn’t a place for lasers in the workshop or business. It really depends upon your busininess model and the finish you require. If you need that polished glass look and slower cutting is not a problem, maybe the CO2 laser option is the way to go. However if speed, thickness is more important than that polished edge then maybe you should be opting for a CNC router.
Find out more about our CO2 Laser and CNC router ranges below: