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Old 10-05-2017, 06:58 PM
Stanleykw Stanleykw is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 1
Lightbulb Cutting Taped Acrylic Spacer Parts, Got Any Ideas?

Hello all,
I am trying to figure out the best way to cut 1/16" acrylic with double stick tape already applied to a full sheet. Just to be clear, I am not using the tape to hold the part in place, I actually want the part to have tape already applied so that we don't have to hand tape them after they come off the cnc. Holding the parts isn't the issue, it is how to successfully cut the sheet and not get either debris under the liner of the double sided tape or get good clean edges without gumming up the rotary bit. We use a combo of low tac cut vinyl like white transfer tape on the back of the sheet that protects paint, we then use super 77 to secure that sheet to a sheet of plastic coroplast. That holds everything in place quite nicely. The problem is, the double sided tape we use has a wax like backing paper so the transfer tape doesn't stick to this, so we can not put the sheet tape side down against the coroplast. if we run with tape side up we get all kind of debris under the backing paper of the double stick tape rendering it useless. I have tried both an up cut and a down cut bit, both give similar results. If we could figure out a way to have our parts come off the cnc already taped it would save us so much time in labor.
Any ideas?
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Old 10-05-2017, 07:17 PM
de5 de5 is offline
Cobra Owner
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Honea Path, SC
Posts: 916

This sounds like a perfect job for a laser. It would be much neater than a CNC router, though I don't know if the laser might burn the tape and leave black smudges on the acrylic.
Charlie Hind
Cobra 404 ATC with 12 tool positions & 4th Axis (2012-present)
(2006-2012 - K2 CNC... sold in 2012 to buy the Cobra)
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Old 10-05-2017, 10:24 PM
bguthrie bguthrie is offline
Camaster Owner
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Greensburg, IN
Posts: 104

The only way is a water jet. Even then the paper layer will want to peel away. We put 2 layers of acrylic, 1 is a scrap piece just to hold things together with the tape sandwiched in the middle. Never thought about sandwiching without the adhesive layer actually attached but if you could find a way to hold down then there is a possibility it would work until the foam and adhesive gummed up the bit. Sorry went on a tangent there for a bit. Still, water jet is the way to go.
SR44 + Recoil
WinCNC, VCarve 8.5
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Old 10-06-2017, 09:04 AM
tmouse tmouse is offline
CAMhead Legend
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 108

I laser cut taped acrylic all the time. It gives a nice polished edge and cut through the tape cleanly
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Old 10-06-2017, 11:12 AM
msnowman msnowman is offline
CAMhead Friend
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Utah
Posts: 30

I also use a laser for acrylic. It is the right tool for the job. The edges come out polished.
I cut it again and it is still too short.
Mike Snow
Future CAMaster owner
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acrylic, sign making

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