Laser cutting tips for acrylic and wood

Hey laser cutter aficionados,
I volunteered to help a friend get ready for her wedding on July 3 and that quickly snowballed into the following projects that I thought would be pretty “quick” (ha ha famous last words):

  • wood cut names for the place settings
  • woot cut table numbers
  • acrylic etched coasters

I have the designs mostly done in illustrator and I have 1/8” wood and 1/8” acrylic ready to go. I did a few test runs yesterday and idk if it’s just the laser getting old or my settings being wrong, but it was definitely slower and harder to get clean cuts than I expected/remembered. I also have not really worked with acrylic before and would appreciate any pro tips on getting nice settings for the etching.

If anyone is around this weekend, I would really appreciate your advice on the printing part.

Hi Becca,

You might get better results on laser 2 (the one on the right) it has a new laser tube.


I only have experience cutting wood. I have not cut much acrylic so no clue what is or isn’t “normal” for acrylic.

I am happy to stop by to see your settings and what it is doing.

It has been 2 months since I used the Lasers, but was having issues before I took a break from Generator. Sounds like at least one of the lasers has been fixed since then, so it could be something you need to fix with setting or focus. I also had some issues doing large full bed jobs. It would cut through on only a portion of the wood and burn the rest. Normally I would say the focus was wrong or the wood was warped, but the wood was well weighted, so I think the laser bed may have been warped.

Again, I have not used the lasers for 2 months.

text is best

Also, while I do not know the “theme” and aesthetic of the wedding, if you are short on time try cutting name tags on colored card stock or heavier paper for the name tags. Cardstock and cardboard cuts SO MUCH faster than wood.
Or perhaps decorative scrapbooking paper mounted on top of cardboard (for added thickness). Michaels has a lot of scrapbook paper varieties. You would just need to glue the paper on top of the cardboard after cutting each separately (still faster than wood) or an adhesive that isn’t toxic to cut if you glue the paper to the cardboard first (this may result in charing).