I have some questions after my experimentation with 3mm Bunnings’ MDF (CustomWood brand). It is probably the cheapest MDF there is, at $3.50 per 3mm 900x600mm sheet. Note that the thickness is actually about 3.35mm (edited: fixed actual thickness)
I don’t have air-assist either.
With 1.5mm tool offset, I tried 10 different settings:
Top row: 2 passes at 180mm/min and 2mm pass height, starting height of 12.5mm, 13.0mm, 13.5mm, 14.0mm, and 14.5mm
Bottom row: With 3 passes at 180mm/min and 1mm pass height, starting height of 12.5mm, 13.0mm, 13.5mm, 14.0mm, and 14.5mm
From the cutting side, the lines all look very similar to me, so I don’t think kerf is a problem at all.
On the other side, none of the two passes manage to cut through. Here is the picture (the picture is flipped, so we are still looking left to right).
Of the ones that did actually cut through, the best one was the one with starting height 14.0mm (2nd from right). The 14.5mm also cuts well, but if you see carefully, it’s not fully cut (there’s a bit of MDF laminate that I had to rip off).
Question: I used tool focus of 1.5mm, and since the material is 3.5mm and starting height it 14.0mm, I’m guessing that my tool focus should actually be 2.0mm, (or 3.0mm, but I’ll just set it to 2.0mm since I will always use the silicon tray, so I only need to input actual material height).
Based on this results, I tried one more time with 170mm/sec using the best starting height (14.0mm), and it cuts it through no problem.
However, there are other posters who can cut MDF 3 passes at more than twice the speed (380mm/min), with Emblaser1!!!. Even 3 passes at 180mm/min won’t cut it for me!
Acrylic 2mm, black opaque (2.15mm actual thickness)
I am still experimenting with this. I’m cutting the acrylic with the protective sticker still attached. Tool focus is still set at 1.5mm
start height 12.5mm, 100%, 2 passes at 180mm/min, 1mm pass height – cuts through
start height 12.5mm, 100%, 2 passes at 200mm/min, 1mm pass height – cuts through
start height 12.5mm, 100%, 2 passes at 240mm/min, 1mm pass height (doesn’t cut the bottom protective sheeting, and I don’t think it fully cuts the acrylic either)
start height 13.0mm, 100%, 2 passes at 200mm/min, 1mm pass height – cuts through
start height 13.0mm, 100%, 2 passes at 240mm/min, 1mm pass height – doesn’t cut bottom sheeting either, and more noticeable damage at bottom of acrylic, which means it wasn’t cut the whole way through.
The problem about cutting acrylic is that, well, they’re not that cheap. However, I think it’s safe to say that 2 passes at 200-220mm/min is the best setting.
Acrylic 3mm, yellow opaque (3.25mm actual thickness)
I tried cutting at 100%, 3-pass, 200mm/sec with 1mm pass height, and it didn’t cut it the whole through, so I restarted the job with another 3-pass at 0.5mm pass height. I will give it another try soon. Looks like it needs 6-passes.
Acrylic 3mm, green opaque (3.25mm actual thickness)
It took 10 passes at 100%, 200mm/sec with 0.3mm pass height. The top layer was a bit chamfered by the end.