First Time Acrylic Routing

Any tips on routing acrylic for a clean finish? I’m going to try routing 1/4 in paper backed acrylic for the first time. It’s just a simple rounded profile and some hexagon cuttouts.

With a 1/4 inch bit should I be taking 2 passes? or even more. I am used to working with hardwood and plywood

I read that o-flute endmills get the best results on acrylic – you can borrow one of mine if you need. Pass depth 1/2 the diameter of the bit, conventional routing rather than climb and with ramping. But that’s just info from here not from experience haha

O-flute endmill. They also come in a iridescent blue coated bit that might perform a bit better.

1/8" is probably the best diameter. There is less potential for chatter than with a 1/4" bit, since the cutting forces are much lower. As is the case with plastics in general, problems more often occur with going too slow rather than going too fast.

I think most people would use two equal passes. It will definitely cut through in a single pass but may not be as good a quality. Some people do use “onion skinning” where the next to last pass leaves only a minimal thickness remaining and then goes fast through that.

If you can fit it on the laser, the laser will do it better, quicker, and easier. Flame-polished edge, no bit radius on inner corners, no cutout parts getting kicked around at the end of a cut. No difficulties working out hold-down solutions, either.

I would use oflute 1/8" like everyone else has said. I would test cut around 18k rpm and 120 ipm. Mind your conventional vs climb cuts

thanks everyone for all the help this is exactly what i was looking for