Laser cutting experiments - a wood and acrylic inlay technique
by Tinkering Community • August 29, 2018
This is a guest post by one of our XTech youth program facilitators, Spencer Cheng:
This project stemmed from the idea of combining the 2 materials I see used with the laser cutter the most frequently. Using Illustrator, I designed a rose in a container with both weak and loose pieces purposely. The idea was to inlay them onto one another to secure and stabilize the components together. Simply inlaying the pieces together wasn't enough to hold them together so and adhesive was needed.
Super Glue: The super glue I used had a low viscosity and was very runny. Although it seeped into crevices easily, it smeared on the acrylic in a very noticeable fashion and was also absorbed by the wood itself, effectively stopping the adhesive from joining the components together.In attempts to remove the unwanted superglue from the acrylic, I used rubbing alcohol and nail polish remover(acetone); both proved to be unsuccessful. However, the acetone was too strong and created internal cracks within the acrylic. The final product was a cracked, frosted glass type look which was nice but not what I envisioned.
Epoxy: The second adhesive was more gelatinous in its consistency. The epoxy was able to spread easily onto the surfaces without being absorbed by the wood. With knowledge from previous experiences with epoxy, I applied a sufficient amount with the gentle use of a toothpick. I let it dry and cure overnight and this was the result.