Let WeeTect Use Acrylic Material to Fabricate Your Products

WeeTect has integrated full capacity to manufacture various acrylic products with different functions and for different applications.

Acrylic Fabrication

WeeTect holds all key capabilities of acrylic fabrication; we can make different level products with different technologies and surface treatments.

Acrylic Sign and Signage
Instrument Panel
Machine Guards
Acrylic Display
Acrylic Sound Barrier
Light Box
Light Guide Panel
Skylight and Domes

WeeTect Has Full Capacity to Custom Your Acrylic Products

Acrylic 5-axis CNC Milling

This is a high precision milling technology for acrylic products, which can be one on down to ensure stereo dimensions.

Variable Acrylic Thickness

Hold know-how to produce very large range of thickness from 1.0mm to 250mm, which can give you very flexible choices.

Acrylic Coating

WeeTect can do abrasion resistant, anti-glare, anti-reflective, hydrophobic and other coatings on your acrylic products.

Acrylic Silk Screen

WeeTect can do silk screen on your acrylic components with different surface treatment and shapes.

Acrylic Polishing

WeeTect will deburr and polish all the edges to get awesome appearance for your acrylic products.

Acrylic Bending

WeeTect has the technology for heat bending your acrylic products to your required angle or shape.

Assembly and Integration

WeeTect is dedicated to assemble all components with different functions and integrate into finish products for you.

Acrylic Thermoforming

WeeTect holds technologies of acrylic thermoforming and vacuum forming for your different products.

Acrylic Laminating

WeeTect can do optical level laminating for ballistic glass made by acrylic sheet, TPU sheet and polycarbonate sheet.

Other Technologies

WeeTect also has laser cutting, engraving, UV printing, plastic welding, and other technologies for acrylic fabrication.

Let WeeTect Custom Your Product, and Skyrocket Your Business

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WeeTect also has laser cutting, engraving, UV printing, plastic welding, and other technologies for acrylic fabrication.

Acrylic Fabrication and Machining: The Ultimate Guide

Acrylic combines incredible strength, clarity, durability, unmatched performance and aesthetic beauty.

I bet, it’s a common material in many residential and commercial applications.

But, how can you make it useful and practical for your unique needs?

It’s simple – you can cut, bend, drill, join, polish or scrap acrylic material.

All these processes form what we call acrylic fabrication and machining.

That’s exactly what I am going to teach you in this guide – how to get more from your acrylic material.

Let’s get started.

Acrylic Material Basics

Before I show you how to cut, mill or bend acrylic material, you should know some background information about this material.

That is:

i. What is an acrylic sheet?

ii. A brief history of acrylic sheet

iii. Physical and chemical properties

iv. Compare acrylic with polycarbonate sheet (one of the most popular alternatives)

Therefore, in this section, I’ll break all these down for you – it is an important part you cannot miss.

Why?

It will determine whether you can fabricate and machine acrylic or not.

Let’s get to that:

What is Acrylic Sheet?

Acrylic sheet is a synthetic plastic with a derivative of acrylic acid.

It can contain either one or more derivatives of acrylic acids.

Acrylic acid

Acrylic acid

It is plastic with glass-like properties.

At the moment, there are different grades of acrylic sheet available on the market.

However, for the scope of our discussion here, I will focus on Poly (methyl methacrylate) (PMMA).

PMMA is the most common acrylic plastic, and it is available in different brand names such as:

  • Lucite
  • Plexiglas
  • Perspex
  • Crylux
  • Acrylite, etc.

So, next time you come across any of these names, know that they refer to acrylic plastic.

Below is a chemical formula of PMMA.

PMMA

PMMA

But, what’s so unique about acrylic sheet?

Well, I will explain that shortly.

For, now, let me take you through a quick history of acrylic plastic.

History of Acrylic Plastic

I know you could be asking yourself many questions:

  • Who discovered acrylic?
  • When was acrylic material commercialized?
  • What were the main applications of acrylic material?

Among, many other questions which you’ll also find at the end of this guide.

Don’t worry, in this section; I am going to explore everything you need to know about the history of the acrylic sheet.

Acrylic

Acrylic

Here we go:

§  Discovery of Acrylic Acid

In 1843, the scientists made the first acrylic acid.

And, by 1865, they formulated a methacrylic acid.

It is these two discoveries that played a fundamental role in making acrylic.

That is, by reacting methanol and methacrylic acid, you’ll get ester methyl methacrylate.

Methyl methacrylate

Methyl methacrylate

Then, through polymerization, we get the Poly (methyl methacrylate) (PMMA), which is an acrylic material.

I hope now you can see why the two discoveries were a major milestone in this process.

That aside, let’s go further and explore more on this.

§  Making the First Acrylic Plastic

While working at Imperial Chemical Industries, two British Chemists, Rowland Hill and John Crawford discovered PMMA.

Of course, this was in the 1930s, and it was registered as Perspex.

During the same period, Otto Röhm, who was working with the Rohm and Haas AG, begun the process of producing safety glass.

He was polymerizing a methyl methacrylate between two layers of glass.

Consequently, after separating the polymer from the two layers of glass successfully in 1933, he produced a material that he called Plexiglas.

Later in 1936, DuPont (initially called E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company), produced its unique material called Lucite.

§  Commercial Production of Acrylic

By 1936, Lucite International had begun commercial production of acrylic.

Due to its unique physical and chemical properties, the acrylic material was popular during the World War II to make:

  • Submarine periscopes
  • Aircraft windshields
  • Canopies
  • Gun turrets, etc.

It was after the World War II, that acrylic material became popular for civilian applications.

Why am I telling you all these?

From this history, you can see how we make an acrylic sheet.

Also, it is quite clear to tell the origin of the different names of acrylic material.

Now, back to even a more serious aspect of acrylic sheet.

Physical and Chemical Properties of Acrylic Sheet

People ask me this question every day – why do you need an acrylic sheet?

Here is the answer – I have a summary of all properties of the acrylic sheet.

Have a look at this:

Property

Test (ASTM and UL)

Result

Physical properties of acrylic

Density (lb/in³)

(g/cm³)

D792

0.043

1.18

Water absorption after 24hrs in %

D570

0.3

Mechanical properties of acrylic

Tensile strength (psi)

D638

8,000 – 11,000

Tensile modulus (psi)

D638

350,000 – 500,000

Tensile elongation at break (%)

D638

2

Flexural strength (psi)

D790

12,000 – 17,000

Flexural modulus (psi)

D790

350,000 – 500,000

Compressive strength (psi)

D695

11,000 – 19,000

Compressive modulus (psi)

D695

Hardness Rockwell

D785

M80 –M100

IZOD notched impact (ft-lb/in)

D256

0.3

Thermal properties of acrylic

Coefficient of Linear Thermal Expansion (x 10-5 in./in./°F)

D696

5 – 9

Heat Deflection Temp (°F /°C) at 264 psi

D648

150-210/65-100

Melting Temp (°F / °C)

D3418

265-285/130-140

Max Operating Temp (°F / °C)

150-200/65-93

Thermal Conductivity (BTU -in/ft² – hr. – °F)

(x 10 – 4cal/cm-sec-°C)

C177

 

3.9

1.2

Flammability rating

UL94

Electrical properties of acrylic sheet

Dielectric Strength (V/mil) short time, 1/8″ thick

D149

400

Dielectric constant  at 60Hz

D150

4.0

Dissipation factor at 60Hz

D150

0.05

Optical properties of acrylic sheet

Light transmission, minimum (%)

92

Refractive index

1.48 – 1.50

Note: This data is courtesy of the International Polymer Solution.

As I indicated earlier, there are different grades of acrylic sheet.

Therefore, this information may vary slightly.

Clearly, from the information above, you can see that acrylic material is popular for:

i. High light transmittance

ii. Excellent mechanical properties

iii. Resistance to most weather conditions

iv. Dimensionally stability

v. Low water absorption

vi. Resistance to most aqueous solutions

And more importantly – you can easily engrave, mill, saw, drill or bend acrylic sheet.

I will walk you through that shortly.

For now, I want to take you through yet another important subject.

Do you know the polycarbonate sheet?

Well, I have an in-depth article on Polycarbonate Machining and Fabrication.

For now, let me compare the two materials – polycarbonate and acrylic sheet.

§  Acrylic Sheet vs. Polycarbonate Sheet – An Ultimate Comparison

Acrylic sheet and polycarbonate sheet share some physical and chemical properties.

It is for this reason that you will find an acrylic sheet being a perfect alternative to polycarbonate sheet.

However, there are slight variations here and there you need to know.

With this comparison, you will know when to choose either acrylic or polycarbonate sheets.

Let’s go straight to that:

Key Features/Properties/Facts to Compare 

Acrylic Sheet

Polycarbonate Sheet

Names

Perspex, Plexiglas, Lucite, Acrylite, etc.

Lexan, Makrolon

Price

Less expensive than polycarbonate and glass

More expensive than acrylic and even glass

Impact resistance

Impact resistance is 17-times more than glass

250 times stronger than glass and 30 times stronger than acrylic

Ease of machining and fabricating

Yes

Yes

Ease of cleaning

Yes

Yes

Light transmittance

92% irrespective of the acrylic sheet thickness

90% irrespective of the thickness

Exposure to UV radiation

Color does not diminish with time due to UV

Susceptible to UV, hence easily changes color

Resistance to scratches

Can withstand scratches

Easily scratches

Why am I comparing acrylic and polycarbonate sheets side-by-side?

Depending on your budget and the nature of the application, you can choose either acrylic or polycarbonate sheet.

Now, that you know basic properties, definition, and history of acrylic sheet, I want to show you how to make it useful.

That is, how to manipulate its structure to any shape you want.

In the next sections, I will show you how to:

  1. Bend acrylic sheet
  2. Cut acrylic sheet
  3. Drill acrylic sheet
  4. Milling acrylic sheets
  5. Join acrylic sheet
  6. Molding acrylic sheet
  7. Thermoforming acrylic sheet
  8. Turning acrylic sheet

Of course, after all these processes, you’ll take acrylic products through various finishing operations.

I will take you through that later – for now, let’s start with acrylic fabrication and machining.

Acrylic Fabrication and Machining Processes

In this section, I am going to show you how to make acrylic sheet useful through various fabrication and machining processes.

Keep reading.

Cutting Acrylic Sheet – Learn How to Make Acrylic Sheet Useful

For some applications, you can only make acrylic sheet by cutting it to size.

Take for example, in situations where you want to make key holders, letters, etc.

Cutting acrylic sheet

Cutting acrylic sheet

To achieve this, you must choose an appropriate cutting tool.

Depending on the specific designs, you can choose simple tools such as saws.

Alternatively, you can invest in modern technologies such as laser cutting machines.

So, in this section, you are going to learn about all possible ways of cutting acrylic sheet.

But first, even before we discuss the various ways of cutting acrylic sheet, let’s look at this:

Health and Safety Precautions when Cutting Acrylic Sheets

Before you begin cutting acrylic sheet, it is critical to pay attention to the dangers associated with the process.

There are two possible scenarios here:

i. You may damage the acrylic sheet completely or,

ii. Cutting tools may cause injury

Now, what should you do?

a) Know How to Use all Cutting Tools

If you don’t know how to use acrylic cutting tools, get an expert to handle the process for you.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re using the most basic or complex acrylic cutting tool.

It’s this simple and straightforward – to avoid unnecessary accidents, know how to use and handle acrylic cutting tools.

So, you can always refer to the technical manual of the cutting tool or machine.

Acrylic laser cutting machine

Acrylic laser cutting machine

b) Wear Appropriate Safety Gear

The safety gear can range from ear muffs, goggles, industrial boots, overall, gloves, etc.

All these will protect your body from possible injuries.

Gloves when cutting acrylic sheet

Gloves when cutting acrylic sheet

c) Cutting Acrylic can Produce Harmful Fumes

Localized heating may produce methyl methacrylate monomer vapor is often one of the things that happen while cutting acrylic.

It can also lead to the generation of polymer, which must not be inhaled by the user.

This calls for very good ventilation at the place of work.

Smoke when laser cutting acrylic sheet

Smoke when laser cutting acrylic sheet – Photo courtesy: Video Blocks

Vacuum removal of the dust from the point of generation and putting on protective devices such as nose masks among other things can help reduce this problem.

With all these in mind, let’s go to the actual process of cutting acrylic.

Generally, some of the methods you can use include:

  • Sawing
  • Routing using power saws
  • Simply scribing the sheet and later breaking it

If you’re new to acrylic sheet machining and fabrication, choosing the right method can be a challenging process.

But don’t worry, I walk you through it.

But first, let me make one point clear

Scribing is however limited to straight cuts on thin acrylic sheets, usually less than 0.236 inches.

Most people who cannot afford power tools also use scribing.

Still, I can recommend it for cutting very light acrylic material.

Routing and sawing are usually used in making curved and straight cuts with different thickness of the acrylic material.

Cutting acrylic sheet with curved shapes

Cutting acrylic sheet with curved shapes – Photo Courtesy: Laser Job Work

Still, even as you go about these processes, you should mask acrylic sheet.

This not only provides “lubrication,” but also protects the surface of the acrylic sheet.

Also, you should choose the acrylic cutting process depending on the type of finish you want.

Take for example:

i. Straight cuts require circular blades

ii. Rough cuts with small radii require sabre and scroll saws

iii. Rough cuts with larger radii require band saws

iv. To trim edges of the acrylic sheet, you will require woodworking shapers and routers.

Of course, this is common in flat and formed parts to provide the best overall fabricated edge.

Now, let’s focus on how to use different types of saw blades to cut acrylic sheet.

Cutting Acrylic with Circular Blade Saws

Circular saws come in different shapes and designs that you can use to cut acrylic sheets.

You can choose from:

  • Small saws
  • Medium saws
  • Large and heavy duty saws

So, to cut the acrylic sheet in bulk, you may require an automatic system.

Circular saw

Circular saw by BOSCH

Remember, the term circularhere refers to the design of the saw blade.

However, circular saws come in different designs and shapes.

So, let’s have a quick overview of different types of the circular saw for cutting acrylic sheet.

a) Table Saw

They are suitable for medium duty applications with an arbor of about 5/8 to 1-inch diameter.

Most of them are powered by a motor of 1.5 to 5 horsepower.

Table saw

Table saw

To hold the work steady and improve the level of accuracy, you can use special fixtures or a clamp.

b) Swing Saws and Radial Saws

Here, you will hold the acrylic sheet stationary while moving the saw.

You can use them to make a cross and angle cuts on narrow pieces of acrylic sheets.

Figure 12 Radial saw

However, the radial saws are limited to cutting less than 24 inches.

c) Panel Saws

Panel saws usually come in two dimensions.

The first type has the blade, and the motor mounted right above the acrylic sheet you want to cut.

Here, you’ll place an acrylic sheet on a bench near the edge, while feeding the saw into the acrylic sheet.

Panel saw

Panel saw

The second type has the motor, and the blade mounted below the acrylic sheet you want to cut.

It comes with a hold down bar and saw guard.

The blade has an extension through the table that is high enough to cut through the acrylic material that is in place.

The design of these saws is such that the blade has to be retracted hold-down bar, and the saw guard can be released.

They are available with vertical or horizontal tables.

Normally, the vertical table is often preferred because it covers very little floor space.

Besides, it allows for easy placement of large acrylic sheets.

It is also safe and protects unmasked acrylic sheets from scratching.

Circular saws require power that is sufficient enough to operate them.

For instance, a blade that is 10 inches in diameter requires a motor that is about 2hp while a 14-inch diameter blade requires a 5hp motor.

The blades are often driven directly and can rotate at a speed of 3,450 rpm.

The saws should have heavy-duty production fences and sawdust removal systems.

For safety purposes, they feature kick-plate switches, electronic motor brakes that are frictionless and electromechanical.

In high production operations, you can use programmable tables.

Why am I telling you all these?

Because, it is important to choose a suitable circular saw for cutting acrylic.

How Circular Blade Saw Cuts Acrylic Sheet

First, make sure that the blade protrudes more than half inch the size of the acrylic sheet.

You should clamp acrylic sheet firmly.

Normally, this will prevent unnecessary movements when cutting acrylic sheet.

At the same time, it will prevent the possibility of overheating and chipping due to unnecessary movement of the acrylic.

The best part?

You can also cut many acrylic sheets at the same time. Of course, you will require special holding or clamping equipment.

Whenever you’re cutting unmasked acrylic sheet, you must be more careful.

Why?

It is to prevent any possibility of scratching its surface.

Cutting acrylic sheet

Cutting acrylic sheet with a circular saw

As you cut the acrylic sheet, you should use medium density felts to clean the acrylic sheet surface of chips or dirt.

Besides, angle cuts on stacked acrylic sheets require the use of a cutting board.

Also, when doing the finishing angles, use hold down clamps to prevent chipping.

With this, you can cut between 15 and 20 sheets of acrylic sheets at the same time.

However, you don’t have to worry about cooling the acrylic sheet at this stage.

It will only be necessary if you’re cutting thick angular acrylic sheet.

Still, you should ensure that the blade plate is flat and the saw arbor run true.

Alternatively, you can also use other types of saws to cut acrylic sheet.

Cutting Acrylic Using Band Saws

You can also cut curves from flat acrylic sheets.

And, this is the point where band saws usually come in handy.

Alternatively, you can use band saws for formed parts that are rough and require trimming.

Moreover, you can use band saws to make straight cuts in thick pieces.

High production requires large blades that are 30 to 36 inches even though small blades work best in smaller jobs.

The thick acrylic sheet will require less number of teeth on the blade.

You can also use blades for cutting metals.

These acrylic sheets will remain sharp for a long period.

The width, thickness, type, anda number of teeth on the blade depends on the thickness of the acrylic sheet.

An increase in the diameter of the wheel leads to an increase in the diameter of the wheel.

Band Saw Operation when Cutting Acrylic Sheet

First, apply enough tension on both ends of the blade to prevent it from slipping on the wheels.

Band Saw

Band Saw

As you tighten the blade, it must not cause any misalignments or overstretch the blade.

Set the guide blocks and rolls to miss the teeth. Still, it should provide enough support to the blade.

You should set the operation in such a way that the blade can be stopped by a thumb in case it is to be turned by hand.

The backup rolls should be adjusted to provide enough support and not turn when the saw is dormant.

Even as you go about this process, try to prevent any possible accumulation of dust.

Here, you can use thick brushes to clean blades as they rotate and cut the acrylic sheets.

Cut acrylic part

Cut acrylic part

Remember, in case you want to have internal cuts; you can use drilling machine for this,

And, by the way, drilling is also an important procedure – I will discuss that later in this guide.

To make internal cuts, insert and weld the blade.

After finishing this process, you can cut off the blade and weld it back to its original position.

I know this may seem like a complex process.

The truth is, it is a technique you’ll use for special cases.

It is also a slow process.

Even as you go through all these, make use you don’t scratch the acrylic sheet.

You should ensure the table is clean and free of nicks and burns.

Here, I can recommend a band saw with 10 to 14 teeth per an inch of a blade.

For a perfect cut, the speed should range between 2,300 to 5,000 feet per minute.

And, thicker material will require a slower speed blade.

Cutting Acrylic Sheet Using Scroll Saws

Do you want to cut closed holes and sharp radii on acrylic sheets?

Well, you should go for acrylic sheet.

Do not use scroll saws to cut sections in thick acrylic sheets or multiple sheets.

Scroll saws have short strokes. The strokes do not allow them to clear chips and in the process gum up.

As a result, the acrylic sheet will soften and weld up around the blade.

I can recommend this scroll saws for light jobs, and you must not subject them to a lot of pressure.

The teeth of the blade require frequent cleaning.

As soon as the efficiency of the blade cutting acrylic sheets reduces, you must clean it.

You can also scrape off the welding of acrylic material on the scroll blade.

Alternatively, you can also use air blasts which in turn removes the chips and cools the acrylic sheets.

Masking material should be intact to prevent any scratches.

Also, the blade should have between 10 and 14 teeth per inch.

During this process, make sure the acrylic sheet is held down to prevent any vibrations.

Cutting Acrylic Using Sabre Saws

If you’re looking for something that is portable, then sabre saw is a perfect choice for you.

You can use a sabre saw to cut both curved and straight curves on acrylic sheet.

Sabre saw

Sabre saw

Whenever you’re using a sabre saw to cut acrylic sheet, you must hold on or clamp the sheet.

It will prevent the acrylic sheet from breaking during the process.

A chisel type sabre saw should have about 3/16 inches more than the thickness of the acrylic sheet you want to cut.

Also, you can place two thick corrugated fiber boards below the acrylic sheet you want to cut.

It is because the blade will penetrate the acrylic sheet through to the boards underneath.

In the process, it drives the plastic chips into the boards.

You should use the same blade as the one in the scroll saws.

Cutting Acrylic Sheet Using Veneer Saws

These are small circular saws mounted on arbors which are usually powered by air or electric motors.

Most of them come as portable and stationary models.

Veneer saws

Veneer saws

 The blades are 3 to 4 inches in diameter with several teeth driven at about 10,000 to 15,000 rpm.

This gives a surface speed between 8,000 to 15,000 feet in a minute.

Do not use blades that are carbide tipped.

You should only use this for high-speed operations.

Portable veneer saws are suitable for acrylic sheet trimming.

The best part?

You can adjust the height of the blades depending on the type of work at hand.

Cutting Acrylic Sheet Using Hole Saws

This is a hollow tube with the teeth filed on its lower end.

Hole saw

Hole saw

The teeth of the tool are expected to cut a hole that is wider than that of the tool.

A shaft is fastened on the other end so that it can be attached to a drill.

It is this drill that provides power when cutting acrylic with a hole saw.

In most cases, you can cut acrylic sheet half way on one side.

Then turn to the other side and complete, the acrylic cutting process.

Cutting sheets that are 0.236 inches thicker require a coolant or lubricant.

You can use water or a detergent.

The cutting-edge usually leaves a rough and melted surface.

Therefore, acrylic sheet post-finishing operations are necessary.

I will take you through that later in this guide.

For better results, you can opt for a circle cutter or router.

Now, let’s move to yet an advanced acrylic sheet cutting technology.

Laser Cutting Acrylic Sheet

Laser cutting is a fascinating technology you can use to cut acrylic sheet.

Even though it is more expensive, acrylic laser cutting machines are crucial when you want complex designs and shapes.

Look at this:

But, even as you think of using a laser cutting machine for acrylic sheet, you must pay attention to the following key factors:

  • Type and size of the acrylic sheet to cut
  • Brand of acrylic laser cutting machine
  • Laser machine parameters

In addition to these, you should understand the process of laser cutting acrylic.

With all these, I am quite certain that you will have the best cuts.

You’ll get the outcome you desire.

The process of the laser cutting acrylic sheet is quite simple and straightforward once you have the right machine.

It involves vaporization of the solid material (acrylic sheet).

The laser energy makes an acrylic sheet to go through three main states – from solid, liquid to gas.

Of course, this transition is so fast that you will only see precisely cut part.

Laser cut acrylic part

Laser cut acrylic part

You can watch full video for this process here:

The best part?

Laser cutting acrylic sheet takes place with very low levels of chemical alterations.

However, the vapor formed could be chocking, and you should have a proper ventilation system.

Also, you need to be more cautious since the vapor can also be flammable.

You can pass streams of nitrogen or air to blow air from the cutting area to prevent possible ignition.

It also helps in the solidification of the liquid left behind along the cut line after the cutting process.

Even as you blow the air, you should be cautious – why?

Air can mess up the final finish more so when it becomes too strong.

You need a variable pressure regulator to control the air.

The good news is, modern acrylic laser cutting machines take care of all these.

From my experience, once you go for high-quality acrylic sheet brands, you’ll get the best cuts.

Even as you go about the laser cutting acrylic sheet, there a few things you must consider.

These include:

a) Laser Power

The typical rule in cutting acrylics is for every 10 watts of power; you should expect to cut through 1mm/0.04 inches of the acrylic material.

That implies you will get a surface that is easy to flame polish and still achieve a high speed of production.

From experience, I do recommend high laser power machines.

It is because the high power gives numerous options such as cutting at high speed on both thin and thick materials.

Besides, you will get high-quality cuts.

b) The frequency of Laser Cutting Machine

Two things determine the frequency in laser cutting acrylic sheet:

  • Types of cut
  • Brand of acrylic sheet

For flame polished cuts, begin with high frequencies for the cast acrylic.

On the other hand, for extruded acrylic sheet, you can start with low frequencies.

However, for separation cuts, you will start with frequencies ranging from 9 to 12 kHz for cast acrylic and 5 to 10 kHz in extruded acrylic.

c) The speed of Acrylic Laser Cutting Machine

Quality of acrylic sheet and laser power will determine the cutting speed.

You can choose from different lenses.

Normally, they have different focal lengths, which determine their waist length and beam radius.

d) Table Setup and Post Processing

A table comes in handy when cutting acrylic sheets using a laser.

It is an essential component in determining the quality of the outcome.

Don’t use a metal table since laser might bounce back into the acrylic sheet you’re cutting.

Maybe, you can consider acrylic tables since they will absorb most laser energy.

Other tables feature with a vacuum bed to absorb the vapor produced.

Acrylic laser cutting machine

Acrylic laser cutting machine

Also, you need a good exhaust system to prevent flaming of acrylic sheet, besides controlling solidification.

The exhaust system transports the gasses from the cutting area and also allows the acrylic material to melt from top to bottom.

In the end, it provides the perfect shape and texture.

The acrylic material usually comes with some protective mask to prevent scratches.

It is important to remove this material as they may have other components that may alter the desired result.

The masking material, on the other hand, can help in protecting the material that has been cut from external damage.

You need to be cautious when joining the material since it may also crack.

Now that you can cut acrylic sheet, I want to show you how to go about the bending process.

Bending Acrylic Sheet

At some point, you will wish to bend acrylic sheet.

Bending acrylic sheet

Bending acrylic sheet

The good news is, you can bend the acrylic sheet to form many shapes and designs.

In this section, I am going to take you through the process of bending acrylic sheet.

Tools You Need for Bending Acrylic Sheet

Bending acrylic sheet requires a range of tools and equipment.

However, for the scope of this section, I will focus on general tools and equipment.

Some of these tools include:

· Heat Source

For small projects, you will use simple sources of heat such as:

  • Butane torch
  • Embossing heat tool
  • Scrap bookers

However, for bending large acrylic sheets, you will require better tools such as:

  • Heat gun
  • Propane torches
  • Paint stripping heat guns, etc.

So basically, the choice of a heat source will depend on the type and brand of the acrylic sheet you’re bending.

· Clamps

At some point, you need to hold the acrylic sheet.

A reason why a clamp is a fundamental tool when bending acrylic sheet.

Generally, I prefer clamps with quick release bar strips, besides having the ability to hold acrylic sheets together.

· Scrap Wood

To make jigs, you need a straight edged piece of wood.

Here, you will use a scrap wood of about 1/8 inch.

The wood should be wide enough to fit the clamps.

· Acrylic Sheets

You can bend any size and brand of acrylic sheet.

However, the material should be of high quality.

In most cases, acrylic sheets come in 1/8 inch thickness.

Anything more than that will require changes in the material you’ll use.

More importantly, you’ll choose metal clamps for holding the sheets.

Remember, such sheets can withstand the heat you will apply during the bending process.

It is also important to note that acrylic sheets come in different forms.

There are other types of acrylic sheet that can withstand excess heat.

Please, request for technical information about the acrylic sheet you’re about to bend.

With this information, you will know the right tools and equipment you need.

· Protective Equipment

Hot acrylic sheet is very dangerous as it can cause burns and other injuries to the operator.

Therefore, you need protective clothing such as:

  • Goggles to protect your eyes
  • Gloves to protect hands
  • Nose masks to protect you from gasses
  • Industrial boots to protect your feet
  • Overall

Moreover, you should bend the acrylic sheet in a well-ventilated area with sufficient light.

Bending Acrylic with a Heat Gun

To bend acrylic sheet using a heat gun, you will need the following:

  • Acrylic sheet
  • Heat gun
  • Scrap wood
  • Cutting tools
  • A vise and clamps
  • Applicator and glue
  • Chinagraph pencil among other things.

Note: You can tailor this acrylic bending technique for your unique requirements and needs.

Read on to learn how to bend acrylic sheet.

Step 1 Know Dimensions and Measurements

Acrylic sheet comes as a large sheet which you will cut and bend to any shape or design.

Now, the first thing you should do it to know the dimensions of the final product you need.

Of course, you will use an appropriate acrylic sheet cutting procedure.

You can use tape measures, rulers, calipers, etc. to get the correct dimensions.

Then go ahead and mark areas you’d wish to cut or drill before the ending process.

Step 2 Prepare Acrylic for the Actual Bending Process

Now, set up an acrylic sheet between two pieces of wood.

One of the pieces will act as the jig, then clamp the whole set-up using a vice.

The jig can be cut according to the dimensions required in bending the acrylic.

You can cut the jig into various dimensions since you’ll use it to guide the machine when bending acrylic sheet.

Also, you need an extra piece of wood that you will use to guide heat during the bending process.

Step 3 Heat the Acrylic Sheet as You Bend

Now, bring the heat gun.

Make sure that the heating process is slow and precise to come up with a straight bend.

Slowly push the acrylic using the extra piece of wood gently.

The pressure should be even to ensure that the bend is uniform.

Move the heat gun back and forth on the area to be bent as the push continues.

Please note that the more heat you apply, the easier it becomes to bend.

At this point, you will have bent acrylic sheet.

The process can be repeated as many times as possible depending on the number of bends required.

Please make sure that every bend cools down before moving to the next step.

You can proceed to the next step of your work once the bends are in place.

Bending acrylic sheet with a heat gun

Bending acrylic sheet using a heat gun – Photo courtesy: WIKIHOW

After bending the acrylic sheet, you can take it through other processes.

For example, you can join it with other acrylic parts or assemble it with other components.

Bending Acrylic with a Strip Heater

Here, you will need the following tools and equipment:

  • A strip heater
  • Acrylic sheet
  • Jig
  • Pieces of wood
  • China graph pencil
  • Cutting tools and acrylic glue

Strip heaters come in different designs and configurations.

However, most of them have a heating element and a section where the acrylic sheet you want to bend rests.

It is the rests that protect acrylic sheet from direct heat from the strip heater.

Like in the previous process, you need to cut the right size and determine sections you want to bend.

Of course, you can go ahead to mark the area you want to bend.

Let all lines and angles be clear to avoid the possibility of having a bad design.

Now cut the jig to suitable dimensions.

You can use nails or other tools to assemble it.

Remember, you will use this jig to hold the acrylic sheet, with the help of a vice.

The acrylic is then set on the rests of the strip heater making sure that the marked area is right above the heating element.

Turn the acrylic sheet after every 30 to 60 seconds to avoid heating one side of the acrylic sheet.

Let the acrylic sheet remain on the heat long enough until it becomes flexible enough to bend.

With the gloves on, pick the acrylic sheet, place it on the jig making sure that the heated points are on the bends of the jig.

Strip heater

Strip heater

Make sure that it fits well on the jig. You can use a piece of wood to ensure the acrylic sheet is in place.

After bending the acrylic sheet, don’t bend it until it cools and forms the angles you want.

Of course, once you bend acrylic sheet, you can go ahead and either join or take it through other finishing processes.

Making Bends on Thin Acrylic

Making bends on thin sheets of acrylic can be tricky, and the process might lead to breakages or uneven structures.

Anyway, I will guide you through the process.

First, you should use an appropriate amount of heat.

Apply heat evenly on the surface before applying pressure to bend the acrylic sheet.

From experience, finding the right source of heat for bending thin acrylic sheet can be challenging.

In such cases, you can heat a piece of rod.

You can then use it to heat acrylic sheet – making it soft and flexible.

You can go ahead to bend the acrylic sheet.

Bending acrylic sheet into different shapes

Bending acrylic sheet into different shapes

As you can see, bending acrylic is a simple and straightforward process.

Once you know the brand of the acrylic sheet, you’re dealing with go ahead and adopt a suitable process.

With all these in mind, let me show you how to drill acrylic sheet.

Drilling Acrylic Sheet

Drilling is yet another popular way of making acrylic sheet useful for many applications.

It is one of the most popular acrylic fabrication and machining procedures.

If by any chance you want to drill an acrylic sheet, then this is a must-read section for you.

Let me show you how to drill acrylic:

Tools for Drilling Acrylic Sheet

The first step is to get the right tools and equipment.

In this case, you need:

  • A drill (there are many types of drilling machines available in the market)
  • Acrylic sheets
  • Chinagraph pencil
  • Clamps

Note: High-speed drill tips are not recommended for hard plastic because they might crack the sheet.

I can recommend plastic cutting drills with less pitch and very sharp points for this job.

Drill bits

Drill bits

Apart from that, drills made from diamond dust bonded at the tip will do a better job.

They ensure no gumming, cracking or chipping on sheets.

Make sure that the tips of the drills are sharp and the speed is kept moderate.

Moderate speed will make sure that heat generated through the process does not leave crystalline melted plastic around the hole.

Once you have all these, it is important to follow some safety procedures.

Safety Measures when Drilling Acrylic Sheet

You must protect yourself from any possible form of injuries when drilling acrylic sheet.

Like in other processes, you may need the following:

i. Goggles to protect the eye

ii. A nose mask for the respiratory system

iii. Gloves for the hand

iv. Overall or clothing that covers the body just in case of any accidents

Remember, drilling is also part of cutting acrylic sheet.

Therefore, you must protect yourself from fine particles of acrylic sheet.

Actual Process of Drilling Acrylic Sheet

Once you have everything set, it is now time to begin the actual process of drilling acrylic sheet.

You can begin by doing practice on small pieces of acrylic sheets.

Of course, this is a critical step for newbies.

This will help you test the machines that you have and also prepare you for the primary job of drilling the holes.

Make sure you maintain the speed between 500 and 1000 RPM.

Of course, this will also depend on the brand of the acrylic sheet you want to drill.

Here’s what you should do:

1. Position the Acrylic Sheet

Position the acrylic sheet on top of an already damaged acrylic sheet or chipboard.

This will make sure that the back of the acrylic sheet is safe from chipping or scratches after drilling the hole.

Position acrylic sheet

Position the acrylic sheet

It will also protect the tip of the drill from damage, especially after it has made the hole.

2. Clamp the Sheets

Clamp the acrylic sheet safely to ensure they do not move during the drilling process.

You can use as many clamps as possible here.

Of course, this will also depend on the size of the acrylic sheet.

At this point, I am assuming you have already marked sections you want to drill.

It’s not later – you can still do that at this stage.

Simply move the acrylic sheet away from the drill bit.

3. Drilling Process

At this point, you are ready to make the holes in the acrylic sheet, and it is important to plug in the drill and prepare it for drilling.

Drilling process

Drilling process

Position the drill to the points marked, turn it on and start drilling into the sheet.

Be careful during this process and do not centre punch the sheet (like for the case of metal sheets).

4. Maintain a Slow and Steady Pace

During the drilling process, make sure that the speed is maintained at slow and kept steady.

You should aim at 3.5 inches per minute usually 89mm in a minute.

The drill bit will produce acrylic shaving that might cover the tip of the drill.

For a clear vision, stop the drilling process and clean the tip plus the surface of the sheets.

Thick acrylic sheets will, however, require extra effort during the drilling process.

Peck drilling is suitable for thick sheets as the operator will have to drill a little at a time.

Clean the sheets and the drill before continuing the drilling process.

The drill is also given an allowance to cool down as it will help in reducing the heat that would cause the sheets to melt.

Repeat the process until you drill the number of holes you need.

Caution

Avoid making holes very close near the edge of the acrylic sheet.

Along the edges, acrylic sheet is likely to crack or chip.

If you have to do it, then be very careful.

Milling Acrylic Sheets

Milling is a crucial procedure in acrylic fabrication and machining.

Unlike metals, many people find it difficult to mill acrylic sheet.

Machinists complain a lot about the problems they encounter during the milling of acrylic.

Most have issues ranging from:

  • Melting
  • Chipping
  • Birds nesting
  • Inability to get clear edges and surfaces, etc.

Honestly, milling acrylic sheets can be so frustrating if you don’t have experience.

You can imagine even the seasoned manufacturers using expensive diamond coated tools also find it difficult to mill acrylic sheet properly.

Today, I want to give you a solution to this problem.

It is not just about using a solid carbide acrylic milling cutter but also following the right procedure.

The geometric design of this tool is such that it has acute cutting angles.

But, this is not the only tool you need for milling acrylic sheet, others include:

  • A milling machine with the right tools
  • Clamping mechanism
  • Marker pens

CNC Router milling acrylic sheet

CNC Router milling acrylic sheet

Even as you plan to mill acrylic sheet, there are some precautions you need to know.

Caution when Milling Acrylic Sheet

First, you should ensure that the cutter does not get too hot during the milling process as it might melt the acrylic.

Second, the speed should be favorable enough to clear the clutter and prevent the chips from accumulating on the surface.

Three, you need coolants nearby. You can use them to cool and smoothen the surface of the acrylic sheet.

i. Filing and Shaving

Begin by filling acrylic sheets using tools such as rasps, hand routing files, and other normal files.

The procedure will result in a rough surface – do not confuse this with the finishing operations on the acrylic sheet.

I will take you through that later in this guide.

Normally, it is the effect that you desire on the final acrylic sheet that will determine the tools you will use here.

Also, notching is a common problem in this process.

You can eliminate notching using flat ground triangular files and high-speed steel.

Do not file hollow surface since it may produce chatter marks.

In case you’re using a flat ground file, try to maintain the angle at zero degrees.

You can also use water and sandpaper during the process.

ii. Engraving Acrylic Sheet

It is a precise process that involves removing particles of acrylic material from the sheet.

I will discuss more on this later, as an important finishing operation.

For, now I want you to note the following:

You can use shaft engravers, which you should operate at a speed of 1000 rpm.

Remember, the air operated grinding, and milling tools operate at 6000 rpm.

In the process, the acrylic surface may melt.

You can reduce this by increasing the speed of the engraving tips.

In case it persists, air cooling and liquid coolants can offer better solutions.

You can also make the threads on acrylic sheets.

Here, you will use normal dies and taps.

Threads in acrylic material

Threads in acrylic material

Depending on your specific needs, you can make both internal and external threads.

These threads are meant for screwing.

During this process, you can produce smooth and polished surfaces using cutting oils or emulsions.

However, you should use emulsions that are compatible with acrylic.

While making the threads, remove the chips as they are being scrapped off the acrylic sheet.

Do not press the machine too much to the point of making unnecessary holes.

iii. Milling Acrylic using Lathes

The general rules dictate that the normal speed for milling the acrylics is ten times that of cutting steel (usually 650ft in a minute).

The radii of the tool bits are often at around 20/100th inches of high-speed steel, diamond tools, and carbide tips.

Reamers can also be used to deburr drill holes on the acrylic sheets.

Again, you need coolants or compressed air to prevent overheating that can damage the acrylic sheet.

Remember, as you feed the acrylic sheet in a milling machine, it may cause overheating.

And it is for this reason that you need to maintain the milling temperature.

Apart from these, you can also use:

iv. Mill Acrylic Sheet with CNC Router

A CNC router gives a range of flexibilities when dealing with acrylic sheet.

You can precisely mill and cut acrylic sheets.

The only difference here is that the machine uses a computer numerical control.

You can watch this video to learn more:

Remember, in milling acrylic sheet; the main focus is on rotary cutters removing material from the main sheet.

Closely related to this is turning acrylic sheet.

Do you want to learn more about this acrylic fabrication and machining process?

Well, keep reading.

Turning Acrylic

Acrylic fabrication and machining comes with unlimited opportunities.

It doesn’t matter whether you want to make holes, curved or round objects.

You’ll simply choose a suitable acrylic fabrication and machining technique.

In this section, I want to show you how to make round acrylic objects.

Round acrylic table

Round acrylic table

Turning acrylic is a sure way of making a round profile for your accessories such as furniture legs, knobs, and vases among other things.

The best part?

You can turn acrylic into any form using lathe machines.

Now, to turn acrylic, what do you need?

You need a tool bit.

It is a non-rotating component of a lathe machine (though it can move in different axes depending on the setting).

You can also use negative rakes which you can maintain at 0 to -4 degrees for the best results.

Here, you should maintain the angle between 5 to 10 degrees.

The speed of turning is usually 10 times higher than that of wood.

So, how do you go about this process?

First, ensure you have an appropriate tool and machine for the process.

Here, I recommend a lathe machine.

Lathe machine for acrylic

Lathe machine for acrylic

Once you have a lathe machine, go ahead to choose an appropriate tool bit.

NOTE: You must know how to use a lathe machine.

Before you operate lathe machine for any turning process, you must configure the machine appropriately.

Now, measure an appropriate length of acrylic material you want to turn on a lathe machine.

Then mount it on the machine like this:

Lathe machine diagram

Lathe machine diagram

Then put the tool bit in its position.

The idea here is to ensure that the workpiece (acrylic material), rotates as you feed the tool bit.

It is the tool bit that will cut acrylic to a circular shape that you need.

Ideally, this is what happens:

Therefore, as acrylic material rotates, you will slowly feed the cutting tool.

It will leave a uniform circular shape.

You should cut the acrylic material in bits – simply feed a small porting of the cutting tool onto the rotating acrylic.

Tool bit

Tool bit

You should repeat the process of removing (cutting) the acrylic material until you get the right shape and design.

Remember, turning acrylic is a versatile process, you can use to make different circular profiles.

It will depend on how you move the tooling system.

Of course, turning acrylic is another way of cutting acrylic material.

The only difference is that the procedure is quite different from the ones I had discussed earlier.

Now, let’s move to a completely different concept in acrylic fabrication and machining.

Thermoforming Acrylic Sheets

Unlike other acrylic fabrication and machining processes, thermoforming is unique.

It involves heating acrylic material to a pliable temperature, then shaping it to a suitable shape using either a male or female mold.

Thermofomring acrylic sheet

Thermoforming acrylic sheet

Depending on your acrylic fabrication and machining needs, you can go for:

i. Pressure forming an acrylic sheet; in this process, you will apply pressure forcing acrylic sheet to conform to the design and shape of the mold.

ii. Vacuum forming an acrylic sheet; to form an acrylic sheet into a desirable shape, you will apply vacuum.

iii. Drape forming an acrylic sheet; in this process, you will heat the acrylic sheet, then allow it to take either positive or negative shape of the mold. It is a perfect technology for making uniaxial parts.

As you can see, the three techniques of thermoforming acrylic sheet involve slightly different procedures.

For the scope of this guide, the main focus is on a general process of the thermoforming acrylic sheet.

It involves the following key steps:

Step 1: Pre-dry Acrylic Sheet to Eliminate Humidity or Moisture

The period for pre-drying will depend on the amount of humidity and thickness of the acrylic sheet.

By removing water or moisture, you will prevent the formation of blisters during the thermoforming process.

It can take about 24 hours at a temperature of 80 degrees centigrade to dry most of the sheets.

Step 2: Heat the Acrylic Sheet

At this stage, I am assuming you have the design or shape you want to make (a mould).

The process involves heating by radiation, conduction or convection heating processes.

It is a critical stage where you heat the acrylic sheet to pliable temperature (above glass transition temperature).

You should be careful to prevent any form of distortion or blistering.

In most cases, you can heat the frame to a temperature of 60 to 82 degrees centigrade since it will prevent edge distortion.

Besides, it also prevents tearing and the formation of asymmetrical shapes.

Thus, choosing the right heating system is key here.

For example, most vacuum thermoforming processes use infrared heating.

Of course, you’ll heat the acrylic sheet evenly after clamping the frame.

The duration of the process will depend on the heating method and thickness of the acrylic sheet.

Apart from that, factors such as the velocity of air in the oven and the distance between the panel, the heater also play a critical role here.

Step 3: Forming Acrylic Material after Heating

With the acrylic sheet at a pliable temperature, carefully form it using either male or female mould.

In most cases, I prefer female to male mould because it compensates for the shrinkage that occurs during cooling.

To prevent any forms of mark-offs, you can use rubberized flocking.

Cover the surface properly for cooling to take place uniformly all over the mould.

Step 4: Cooling Process

After thermoforming acrylic, let it cool to a temperature below 60 to 70 degrees centigrade.

Try as much as possible to ensure the cooling temperature is uniform to avoid any form of stress.

That is, both the interior and exterior should cool uniformly.

Drafts may occur on the model if the slow cooling thick walls are not covered well.

Some of the main factors that may affect the cooling time include the thickness of the material, air temperature and flow of air to the model.

As you can see, it is a simple and straightforward process.

However, there is one more thing you should know:

Factors Affecting Quality of Thermoforming Acrylic Sheet

Some factors affect thermoforming acrylic sheet process and they include:

  • Type of equipment – you can choose from pressure, stretching or vacuum equipment. It will depend on the type of thermoforming technique.
  • Source of heat; heating is an integral part of thermoforming acrylic sheets. For example, some of the most common heating methods include metal rods, coiled nichrome wire, ceramic elements, hot air ovens and quartz tube.
  • The design of the mould; complex designs will make the thermoforming process cumbersome and complicated.
  • Quality of acrylic sheet; you should expect better parts and components with a high-grade acrylic sheet.

Obviously, after thermoforming acrylic sheet, you may wish to cut, mill, engrave or drill holes.

Here, you will follow the instructions that I have already shared with you in the earlier sections.

Alternatively, you may wish to process the acrylic products further.

Don’t worry, I will take you through various processing procedures later in this acrylic fabrication guide.

For now, let me take you through another acrylic fabrication technique.

Injection Molding Acrylic Sheets

At times, you would wish to form complex shapes such as goggles, cups or any other accessory of your design.

Well, you can always count on injection molding acrylic sheets.

Why?

It gives you the freedom to form virtually anything.

Now, let me walk you through everything you should for a successful injection molding of acrylic sheets.

Acrylic injection molding products

Injection molding acrylic products

Key Parameter in Injection Molding Acrylic

First, you should note that acrylic sheet is somehow hygroscopic (may have moisture) so you need to pre-dry it.

It is a process that helps to remove moisture in the acrylic material.

Remember, moisture may cause aesthetic defects in the final product.

So basically, you cannot injection molded acrylic sheet with moisture.

Normally, the % of moisture in the acrylic sheet will depend on the injection molding temperature.

For example, when you wish to injection mold acrylic at low barrel temperature can be, the moisture can be 0.05%.

However, for you intend to use high barrel temperature, moisture levels should be as low as 0.02%.

For the drying process, you need a dehumidified system with a dew point of -29°C to -40°C.

Also, the drying temperature may vary depending on the brand of acrylic sheet.

In most cases, the drying temperature can be 82°C for about 4 hours.

Of course, the size of the acrylic material will also determine the drying time.

Second, you must choose a suitable injection molding equipment.

Acrylic injection moding equipment

Acrylic injection molding equipment – Photo courtesy: Custom Part Net

For injection molding acrylic sheet, you can go for a screw injection molding machine.

For injection molding acrylic, you can go for a screw injection molding equipment with the following specifications:

  • Feed zone for acrylic should be at least 50%
  • Compression zone should be 25%
  • The metering zone should be 25%
  • Screw length to diameter ratio is 18:1to 24:1
  • Screw compression ration2:1 to 3:1
  • A short and free flow nozzle

Also, you need a mold.

This is the shape you want to form.

From experience, I consider a good mold as one with the following specifications:

i. Highly polished mould surface – I recommend high chrome tool steel or stainless steel mould

ii. Better coring to allow for better water circulation – you should be able to adjust water temperature for a good balance and cycle time

iii. Choose any of these gating systems – tunnel, tab, edge, sprue, etc.

iv. Mould should allow for shrinkage of 0.003 to 0.008 mm/mm.

v. Better venting to eliminate trapped gases

Once you have all these in place, it is now time to focus on the actual process of the injection molding acrylic sheet.

The truth is, it is a simple and straightforward process.

Injection Molding Acrylic Process

Injection molding acrylic sheet involves the following key processes:

  1. Clean the feeder hopper to prevent any possible contamination
  2. After pre-drying the acrylic, feed small pieces of acrylic into the barrel
  3. Switch on the machine; the screw begins to turn heating acrylic to a suitable temperature. At this stage, it will also mix the acrylic material.
  4. Force the molten acrylic into a mould to form the shape of the component you need
  5. Allow the how acrylic material to cool and harden

Acrylic sheet injection molding machine

Acrylic sheet injection molding machine

There you’re – you have your injection molded acrylic part.

Maybe, you can take it through various finishing operations, which I will discuss later in this guide.

Still, you can also take it through other acrylic fabrication or machining processes such as drilling or cutting.

It will depend on the final acrylic product you need.

Now, let’s move to yet another vital acrylic fabrication and machining process – joining acrylic sheet.

Joining Acrylic Sheets

You can cut, drill, injection mold, bend or mill acrylic sheet.

Still, you may need to join the part to other acrylic or other components to form a useful product.

Acrylic sheet acquarium

Acrylic sheet aquarium

To make such complex shapes and designs, you will join different parts of acrylic sheet or material.

And, that’s exactly what you’re going to learn in this section.

Let’s dive right in:

Gluing Acrylic Sheet

It is a process where you will use an appropriate adhesive to join two or more different parts of the acrylic sheet.

Here, you will apply an adhesive solvent along different joints of acrylic sheet, clamp or press them together to form a suitable object.

Even before I go into some details, I want you to watch this video

As you can see, the process is quite simple and straightforward.

All you need to do is:

i. Choose an appropriate adhesive

ii. Prepare the surface you want to join

iii. Join the two surfaces using an adhesive

iv. Hold them together to form a good bond

Depending on the type of adhesive you use for the process, the process may vary slightly.

For instance, there are adhesives which will soften the acrylic, making it easy to form a suitable bond.

On the other hand, some adhesives will melt to form a bonding surface, thus, fusing the two surfaces together.

As a rule of thumb, you should use only the adhesives that the acrylic manufacturer recommends.

Remember, as I said earlier, acrylic sheets come in different brands that may vary in chemical composition.

However, as a general rule, you should avoid super glue or substandard adhesives.

Always go for an acrylic cement – it will give you the best results.

The acrylic cement melts the two or more parts of acrylic then fuses them together.

This forms a permanent bond (sort of a weld).

Now, let me take you through the process.

1. Prepare Acrylic Sheets

Prepare the acrylic sheet surfaces you want to join.

Sand any rough sides since this will ensure they bond properly.

Clean the acrylic sheets and make sure that the acrylics are free from debris and wipe them dry.

Also, this stage may involve cutting the acrylic sheet to size.

Of course, you can use other methods of acrylic fabrications and machining I have discussed earlier.

2. Note these Safety Precautions

After preparing the material, it is important to stay safe during the whole process.

The adhesive you will use in this process may not be good for your health.

And in fact, you should not inhale the fumes – a reason why you must have complete safety gear.

Keep acrylic cement solvents away from the direct source of heat.

3. Prepare the Work Surface

The working surface or in simple terms the bench should be compatible with the kind of material that you will be using.

Stick to a particular area that is concrete, wood or metal and is compatible with the cement solvent.

Do not allow glass or paper anywhere around the working bench.

4. Assembly of Acrylic Sheets

It is now time to bond acrylic materials with cement.

First, you should position the acrylic surface appropriately using a tape or clamp.

Apply cement solvent along the joints.

In the case of the box corners, apply solvents inside the edges.

However, for flat surfaces, you can apply the cement solvent on both sides.

Once you apply the solvent, give it about 30 minutes while holding parts in position for the bond to form.

Also, you should leave the structure for about 48 hours after joining to allow the structure to form a strong bond.

Joining acrylic sheet

Joining acrylic sheet

Apart from glue, in some applications, you may join acrylic sheet using nuts and bolts.

Obviously, in such a process, you have to drill holes on acrylic sheets after which you will join the parts together with nuts and bolts.

Now, by joining acrylic with either glue or nuts, you can make so many products.

For example, you can make office signs, store displays, picture frames among other things.

I will come to that later in this acrylic fabrication and machining guide.

For now, I want to take you through 11 common finishing operations in acrylic sheets.

Finishing Operation on Acrylic Sheet (Products)

Cutting, drilling, thermoforming or milling acrylic sheet is never enough.

You need to add more value to your acrylic products and surfaces.

For example, the end product of a milling operation may produce a surface with rough edges.

In such circumstances, you will have to polish or coat the surface.

It is these procedures that we refer to as finishing operations.

In this section, you are going to learn about 10 important finishing operations on acrylic sheets or products.

Keep reading to add aesthetic value to your acrylic parts.

#1. Acrylic Sheet Coating

Earlier, I said that the acrylic sheet is an excellent material with superior chemical and physical properties.

Therefore, you must add some coating to improve its performance.

Take, for example, when you use the acrylic sheet to make goggles or face shields, they will be susceptible to either fogging or scratching.

Remember, such features greatly undermine the performance of acrylic sheet in most conditions.

Honestly, there are many coatings out there.

Therefore, for the scope of this guide, I will not explain how to apply each coating on acrylic sheet or product.

However, I will give resources on how to learn more about them.

Normally, you can apply this coating before, during or after acrylic fabrication and machining.

Some of the main coatings you can apply on acrylic sheets to improve performance include:

  1. Hydrophilic anti-fog coating – it eliminates the possibility of fogging on acrylic sheets or materials. I have a complete guide for you on this: Anti-fog Solution: The Ultimate Guide.
  2. Anti-reflective coating – it eliminates glare or reflection, hence improving vision. Here is a complete guide on Anti-glare Coating for Plastics.
  3. Anti-scratch coating – it keeps the acrylic material surface free from scratches. For more information about this, I have this guide for you: A Complete Guide to Anti-scratch Coating for Plastics.
  4. Photochromic coating technology – acrylic surface with photochromic coating automatically tint on exposure to a certain threshold of UV light and fade in the absence of the light. For more information, read this guide: Photochromic Technology Guidebook.

Other coating technologies include hydrophobic coating, polarization, mirror coating, iridium coating, tinting, UV coating, augmented reality, etc.

Also, here are two useful resources where you can learn more about these technologies:

  1. 15 Goggle Technologies to Boom Your in 2018
  2. Infographic: 11 Great Technologies to Skyrocket Your Football Visor Business

The best part?

You can consolidate some of these coating technologies to make acrylic material multifunctional.

That is, you can have anti-scratch, anti-fog and anti-reflective coating on one acrylic material.

To achieve this, you can contact experts in acrylic coating technologies – at WeeTect, we can handle all that.

#2. Acrylic Sheet Engraving

You can engrave acrylic sheets using a CO2 laser which will produce a bright white image depending on the settings.

It usually produces outstanding images, thus saving on time, energy used and flame polishes are not required.

It is also very durable and less likely to wear out as time goes by.

More interestingly, laser engraving acrylic gives a designer limitless opportunities and possibilities.

Laser engraving acrylic

Laser engraving acrylic

I know, you’re wondering how this is possible – let me explain.

A laser is a highly concentrated beam of heat waves that melts and vaporizes material.

The process does not produce any form of residues such as dust and chips.

Once the laser jet, acrylic sheets and design required are ready, you can easily engrave an image using the following procedure.

  • Using a chinagraph pencil, you can trace the design on the acrylic sheet taking note of every detail.
  • Once the design is ready, use a laser gun to engrave your designs. You should be careful since laser light can cause injuries when it gets in contact with skin.
  • Engraving from the back is very common as it enables the model to have a dimensional view, thus, enhancing the look of the material.
  • The main rule in engraving acrylics is the old carpenter’s rules – measure twice and cut once.

The good news is:

With modern laser engraving machines, there are software that enable you to go through the entire seamlessly.

Simply program the machine, and it will do the engraving.

The most primary mode of engraving usually done without the use of expensive tools is explained below.

Parts and Tools needed

The simplest mode of engraving acrylics will require the following tools – paper, scissors, tape, computer, printer and a rotary device.

  • Make a design of the image that you will engrave the acrylic sheet using an application on the computer.
  • Print it out, then remove the big white borders around the paper by cutting.
  • Tape the design or the motive to be engraved on the back side of the acrylic sheet.
  • Choose a suitable head among the rotary tools most preferably a small head.
  • Flip the acrylic sheet and make sure that the design is seen clearly and then commence making a trace on the acrylic sheet.
  • Holding the acrylic sheet to light will help you notice any form of mistakes.
  • Apply enough pressure as you engrave it and try not to cause unnecessary scratches.

Voila, that’s all you need to engrave acrylic sheet.

#3. Acrylic Sheet Laminating

Lamination is a process by which flexible packaging webs are glued together using different bonding agents.

This process is sometimes referred to as face to face bonding where two or more sheets of acrylic sheets are glued together.

Most people use a solvent-free and clear adhesive usually the TENSOL 70.

What Do You Need Then?

Lamination of acrylic sheets requires very simple material including:

  • Acrylic sheets
  • Glue (most preferably TESOL 70)
  • Application kit (EVO-PLAS kit) among other things.

The bond that you’ll produce is highly durable for external applications, excellent mechanical strength and perfect optical clarity.

How to Go About Laminating Acrylic

You can follow this procedure to laminate acrylic sheet successfully:

  • Purchase the relevant material that is required for the process of lamination including solvent adhesives that will help in cementing the two acrylics together.
  • Remember to read the instructions on the material purchased and follow them well.
  • Put on goggles and rubber gloves to protect your eyes and hands from injuries before the process of lamination begins.
  • Open the acrylic adhesive solvent container and pour it into the applicator, making sure that it does not pass the ¾ mark.
  • Make sure that the acrylic sheet is clean and free of any form of chips. It is supposed to be smooth, and in case it is rough, lightly sand it with sandpaper.
  • Place the two faces that are supposed to be joined together, ensuring that they fit together at right angles. Use a combination square to ensure that the anglesfit
  • Squeeze air out of the solvent applicator with caution not to spill any on the acrylic sheets that you do not intend to laminate. The same caution should be taken to avoid the glue from getting in contact with the skin.
  • Apply the glue on one surface of the sheets in a particular pattern that does not allow air bubbles to form underneath the glue.
  • Place the acrylic sheets on top of the other that has glue on the surface ensuring that they fit at the right angles they are supposed to.
  • Squeeze the sheets together applying just enough pressure to release air bubbles that might be in between the acrylic sheets.
  • Apart from that, the two acrylic sheets can be put together, then the glue is applied to the joints. As this is happening, you will notice that the glue will be seen seeping through the joints.

As you can see, this is also a simple and straightforward process.

#4. Acrylic Sheet Polishing

Polishing acrylics is one of the most important processes after completing the process of fabrication and machining.

Perfect polishes are dependent on the type of machine and the kind of finish after the previous processes.

Here, am going to take you through a few ways of polishing acrylic sheet.

Polishing acrylic sheet

Polishing acrylic sheet

Polishing Edges of Acrylic

Here is what I have to say about polishing edges of the acrylic material.

i. It makes the best finishing of a product and requires a lot of work.

ii. You can polish acrylic best when it is in a stationary position with bleached diameter wheels (say 200 – 300 mm).

iii. The quality of the finished edge depends on the polishing compounds you will use.

iv. If you want edges with a highlustre finish, you can use a cutting compound that will get rid of all scratches.

Now, even as you go through this process, be careful to prevent possible heat build-up.

The heat can damage the acrylic sheet.

Flame Polishing Acrylic Sheet

You can polish acrylic using a flame burning at temperatures between 2700 and 3300 degrees Celsius using an oxygen-hydrogen welding torch.

It is this flame that melts the surface of acrylic, making it clear.

Remember to remove the masking from the surface.

So far, flame polishing acrylic is one of the most effective ways of polishing hidden edges such as in curves, holes and inner corners.

But, before you start on the main job, always practice with small acrylic.

From experience, it is a method I trust for polishing thick extruded acrylic.

Remember, cast acrylic products will appear burned.

Like polishing acrylic, you must prepare the surface by scraping its features, then using a flame to polish it.

And more importantly, you should anneal the part after flame polishing to avoid crazing.

Polishing Acrylic Holes

After drilling holes, you will have to polish them as a finishing operation.

You can also polish the acrylic hole using fine grits.

The process is quite different from flame polishing.

All you need are grits.

When polishing acrylic holes, start with a grit that is a little coarse, usually between 100 or 200 grit.

As the process continues, the grit is being halved progressively (usually from 100 – 200 to 400 -800 in every step).

You can apply the paste on your polishing tool to help in the process.

Vapor Polishing Acrylic Sheet

In this process, you need a solvent vapor flowing over the surface of the acrylic.

The finish is often translucent and usually depends on how good the original machines did the job.

It is beneficial in cleaning out surface irregularities, giving it a very shiny, water clear polished look and enables the passage of light freely.

As you can see, there are many options at your disposal when it comes to polishing acrylic material.

#5. Acrylic Sheet Silk Screen Printing

Providing a good finish to acrylic products usually involves painting.

However, this is not the only process as high volume jobs usually require a better technique which introduces the silk screening technique.

You can do it using ultraviolet curable inks or solvents making it very economical and saves on time.

For most acrylic sheet silk screen printing, you need:

i. Sheets of paper

ii. Printing medium

iii. Craft knife

iv. Masking tape

v. Meshed frame

vi. Printing blade

vii. Cutting mat

viii. Grease-proof acetate or paper and an acrylic block paper

Please, note that the accessories you need for acrylic sheet silk screen printing may vary depending on the procedure you want to follow.

You can also refer to screen printing as a stencilling process.

It is because we use paint on a silk screen which you can mount between wooden blocks.

The stencil that is under the silk screen is the determinant of where the paint mix will settle.

Advantages of Acrylic Sheet Silk Screen Printing

  • You can apply thick paint
  • It produces a unique and usually unpredictable finish
  • There is a minimal restriction on the size as compared to the printing press.

Acrylic Sheet Silk Screen Printing Process

  • Prepare and mix equal amounts of paint by using a clear printing medium.
  • The screen should be clear of any ink residues before applying the new mixture of paint.
  • Set up the whole unit by fixing the mesh on the frame and sketching out using ink and pens.
  • Prepare the stencil by placing a sheet of grease-proof paper over the sketch and make a trace of the lines.
  • Transfer the grease-proof paper to a cutting mat. Then cut out the print out areas using a craft
  • Fix the paper to a flat surface taping opposite sides to get rid of any air bubbles.
  • Apply ink on the edges of the screen that hinged to the desk.
  • The screen printing blade held at 45 degrees dragging the ink across its frame.
  • Do it in a downward movement at least once or in the least possible repetitions.
  • You can try the process on a different sheet of paper before doing the actual printing on the real sheet to ensure that the stencil and mesh are fixed
  • In case you intend to do more prints, you can use the remaining inks to ensure there is more paper for backup.
  • Wash it up with a wet sponge.
  • Clean up the large amounts of paint left overs using a palette knife.

And, there you are – you have successfully printed on the acrylic sheet.

#6. Acrylic Sheet UV Printing

Without the right equipment, printing different designs and information on acrylic sheets can be a great challenge.

There are many methods that you can use to print on acrylic sheets.

The most durable and beautiful printing on acrylics is often achieved using ultraviolet printers.

The printers come in different shapes and designs depending on the type of work you want to accomplish.

A few printers include the Compress iUV1200s and Compress iUV600s.

You can use the acrylic sheet UV printing on different platforms such as photo frames, acrylic signage, advertising signs, covering exteriors and interiors, display, etc.

You can print the signs on acrylic using “UV light flatbed printer” and following procedure.

Acrylic UV Printing Procedure

  • Have a rough idea of the image you’d like to print and complete it on a computer.
  • Use the RIP software to change the format of the image so that it can be easy to print.
  • Prepare the acrylic sheet you want to print on by wiping the surface with alcohol. Cleaning helps in eliminating static electricity.
  • The UV coating is not necessary, you can remove it
  • Place the acrylic sheet on the printing table
  • The printer is set up taking into consideration the measure of thickness on the media, the location of print and its origin, the output color among other things.
  • Printing process begins and to have a more transparent and durable effect, print a layer of vanish.

Printing on acrylic sheet

Printing on acrylic sheet

The printing process is fast and takes a short period.

 UV Flatbed Printer

This is well known for very simple workflow and operations.

It is compatible with most acrylic printing operations, hence a perfect choice for most industries.

The acrylic printing machine features LED-UV lamp curing technology.

You can use it to print circuit boards and electric components because of its sensitivity to heat-sensitive materials.

A wonderfully printed acrylic increases and maximizes the value of the product.

#7. Annealing Acrylic Sheet

There is a lot of acrylic fabrication and machining technique you can use to make different products.

However, the acrylic fabrication process might cause a lot of stress on the material, making it vulnerable to damage and other unwanted craze.

Annealing acrylic is the process of heating the material to certain levels of temperature, then cooling to “remove” stress associated with various fabrication and machining processes.

This results in an acrylic material that is strong and durable, free from either cracks or scratches.

Annealing plastic

Annealing plastic

The process of Annealing Acrylic Sheet

  • Prepare an acrylic sheet and make sure that it has gone through all the other processes of fabrication.
  • Remove paper masking from acrylic to avoid heating it into the acrylics. Do this before the heating process begins.
  • Heat the acrylic to 80 degrees centigrade which is just below the temperature of deflection. Allow the acrylic sheet to heat every millimeter per hour which might lead to heating for about 2 hours.
  • Heat the acrylic inside an oven with forced circulation of air. Such ovens are designed for annealing different types of plastic material.
  • Allow the acrylic to cool down very slowly taking into account that the cooling process will always be shorter than the heating time. This will also depend on the thickness of the acrylic sheet.
  • Cooling acrylic slowly removes possible thermal stresses. Thus, it produces acrylic that is strong enough and durable.
  • Allow the temperatures inside the oven to cool way below sixty-degrees centigrade before removing it from the oven. Failure to do so will disrupt the positive effects of annealing on the acrylic.
  • The acrylics require support when they are being heated and cooled in the oven. Do not support it from the edges because it will lead to warpages and the acrylics will also lack “relaxation”.
  • Remember, the structure of the acrylic material will determine the heating time. For example, flat acrylic sheets do not require a lot of time in the oven as compared to others that have joints and edges.
  • Allow joined or glued parts to dry very well for approximately about 6 hours before annealing. It might lead to evaporation of the cement solvents and cause bubbles within the joints.

Once you finish the annealing process successfully, you can use your acrylic component for the intended purpose.

#8. Buffing Acrylic Sheet

The highlustre on acrylic sheets can be achieved easily using certain machines to buffer.

Using machines is one of the easiest ways of polishing.

However, there are other buffing processes that do not need machines.

Instead, you can use pieces of cloth and an abrasive that is very fine.

However, this second option may prove to be very difficult, tedious, time-consuming.

Also, it may cause soars on the hand of the operator.

Considerations when Buffing Acrylic Sheet

i. Always keep the protective films on the acrylic sheet as long as possible.

ii. Use wet sand scrapers to do the buffing on the acrylic sheets.

iii. Sand edges with electric sanders should not be wet

iv. You can use waterproof sandpaper, starting with the coarse sandpaper and proceeding all the way to the fine, coarse paper.

v. Take a lot of care when doing polishing on the acrylic material.

Acrylic Buffing Process

After sanding and acrylic material, you can use a stationary buffing machine to polish it (make finer details).

To take care of any heating problems that usually occur when buffing, use a muslin of approximately 8 to 14 inches in diameter and 2 to 3 inches with very minimal flows.

Such a wheel will have enough specifications that will allow it to rotate in a cool process.

  • Clamp the acrylic to ensure it does not move during the buffing process
  • There are certain circumstances when you can use stationery buffing machines. You can pass acrylic component on the machine as it polishes smoothly to a texture you need.
  • Remember, the polishing compound you will use during the buffing process has a huge impact on the end
  • Medium compounds will result into a very glossy finish on the model.
  • You can achieve high lustre finishes using very fast cutting compounds. It can be a long process, but worth the wait.

The good news?

You can use the buffing process to clean acrylic surfaces that have been in use for a long time (they’ll be dirty).

When it comes to refurbishing, they make objects shine.

Therefore, even older acrylic parts can remain in very good condition for a long time.

#9. Sandblasting Acrylic Sheet

The principle behind the whole process of sandblasting involves friction generating heat on the acrylic sheet.

The heat is often strong enough to melt the acrylic sheet and leave a mark on it.

Make sure you do this carefully not to cause damage to the acrylic material.

Sandblasting acrylic sheet

Sandblasting acrylic sheet

Materials for Sandblasting Acrylic Sheet

Sandblasting acrylics is quite a simple process when you have the right tools.

Make sure you have the following:

  • Acrylic sheets
  • Pressurized air
  • Pen
  • Scissors
  • Knife
  • Sandblasting gun

The process of Sandblasting Acrylic

  • Make a template of the kind of design that you need. Try doing it early enough and fix them in the right place because making adjustments on the acrylics can be very difficult.
  • Choose acrylic that is thick enough to prevent breaking during sandblasting process. The bigger the sheet, the better.
  • Trace the design on the template onto the acrylic sheet using a pen or a chinagraph pencil.
  • Cut out the shape of your design using cutting tools that can bring out the shape perfectly. You can use a Styrofoam board as support to keep the sheet from breaking.
  • During the whole process, the protective film should be left intact. The edges are then made smooth using sandpaper to a suitable texture.
  • At this point, the blasting template can be applied to the acrylic sheet and stuck to it to the sheet. You can do this after removing one side of the protective film. Press it down gently to remove the air bubbles which might cause breakage during the sandblasting
  • Cover the other parts using a masculine tape or any other protective measure.
  • After that, bring the sandblast and blast the whole thing gently doing routine checks. The checks are important because the template might fall from the pressure of the sandblast.
  • Repeat the whole process until the whole thing is well done.
  • Remove the protective layer from the acrylic sheet revealing the pattern and design. Remove the protective film on the other side.
  • The sheet is then rinsed in water to make sure that all the sand residues are removed completely from the surface.

#10. Scraping Acrylic Sheets

You can do acrylic fabrication and machining using modern or homemade tools.

Most of the time, the work is never as perfect as it is expected to be.

So other processes such as scrapping are necessary.

Scrapping involves using sharp steel tools to clear the small markings left on the acrylic sheet model after buffing with the machines and other processes.

Scrapping acrylic

Scrapping acrylic

Finishing processes such as scrapping are not for beginners especially when somebody is not sure about the damage they may cause on the model.

The tools required include razors or steel chisels for fine-tuning.

Scraping can also be used in other processes such as shaping the uneven or jagged edges.

The process of Scraping Acrylic

  • Purchase the right tools, such as a razor or a steel scraping tool.
  • The object is clamped vertically on the bench, and scraping often starts at the edge at an angle of about 45 degrees.
  • The scraping id down gently with uniform pressure towards the front of the model.
  • A uniform line is seen straight from the edge where the job began towards the end of the model.
  • The sharp object is expected to remove the small pieces of marks left behind by machines.
  • The razor is moved back and forth gently across the surface of the acrylic model evenly getting rid of the scratches and exposed chips.
  • The operator is advised to be very careful to avoid chipping into the acrylic sheet. This is the reason why experienced individuals should handle this task.
  • The tool will be angled at about 10 degrees to avoid chipping into the acrylic model and causing further damage.
  • For a perfect finish, the procedure stated on edge polishing. This will bring about the perfect finish.

It is considered to be the easiest of all the processes done during the finishing of fabrication.

You don’t have to buy scraping tools – they are readily available locally.

Any piece of fine metal that has a square edge and a sharp end can suit a scraping tool perfectly.

Hand scraping is an alternative to sanding.

It plays a significant role in polishing acrylic sheet.

If you use these technologies with other polishing techniques, you can easily achieve the best results.

Main Applications of Acrylic Sheet

By fabricating or machining acrylic you can make quite a number of products.

And in this section, I am going to focus on some of the top 15 products you can make from acrylic fabrication and machining.

They include:

1) Acrylic Aquariums

I know it sounds strange, but the truth is that not all the aquariums you see around are made from a glass material.

Nowadays, acrylic aquariums are making in-roads in various commercial and residential premises.

Acrylic Aquarium

Acrylic aquarium

Do you know the reason?

It is because it’s relatively easy to mold and form the acrylic material into various shapes.

One fundamental reason that makes acrylic aquarium reasonably popular these days is the fact that it provides clearer view of the contents.

Besides, the sheets are comparatively lighter hence easy to move when necessary and it’s also cheaper to repair and replace.

Again, you can find this material in various colors.

2) Building and Construction

Nowadays, you’ll come to realize that building contractors tend to defy the logic of physics in several ways.

What this means is that the need for strong and durable materials for such structures is inevitable.

Acrylic windows

Acrylic window

And in many instances, the acrylic sheet becomes an ideal choice, especially if the material needs to be clear and have high molecular weight.

It so happens that acrylic offers thickness and finishes options thus making it suitable for building and construction designs.

3) Helmet and Face Shield Visors

This is arguably one of the most common applications for acrylic sheet.

Most of the helmet visors for different applications nowadays incorporate acrylic sheet material on the surface.

Visors

Visors

It is vital because this substance enhances your vision and also protects your eye from imminent obstruction within the surrounding.

The acrylic face shield visors are applicable in different sectors including hockey, football, motorcycle, and racing among others.

The fact that this sheet is readily available in different shades is also a plus to this application.

Necessarily, it enables you to make a better choice in regards to the type that best suits your needs.

4) Swimming Pool Windows

Most of the luxury pool design nowadays incorporate acrylic sheets in different aspects.

Typically, these sheets are affordable, flexible and provide a better alternative to glass material.

You see, for a suitable outdoor residential swimming pool, you need a product that offers UV resistance and durability.

Acrylic swimming pool enclosure

Acrylic swimming pool enclosure

And therefore, acrylic is often common in such instances due to the practicability and aesthetic value it adds to your pool.

Swimming instructors also prefer pools with acrylic viewing windows and panels to enable them toobserve their students when under water.

5) Submarine Windows

Acrylic is mostly preferable material for manufacturing submarine windows because of its water resistance and durability properties.

Submarine windows

Submarine windows

It happens that different companies with submarine operations always look for top-notch material for their various machinery.

The clarity that this substance enables visitors to have a better vision of the wonders of the ocean.

And because the acrylic possesses better quality, it has become a favorite material not only for submarine windows but also other devices.

6) Signage

Again, this is also the other popular application of this material.

Ideally, most of the signage that you see around are made of acrylic materials.

A clear cast acrylic sheets offer significant foundational material for manufacturers to create this item.

Acrylic signage

Acrylic Signage

Of course, it’s the clarity, lightweight and appealing nature of this material that makes it possible for forming attractive signage.

The signage you can create from acrylic materials varies from traffic, malls, advertisement, and billboards among others.

7) Airplane Canopies

This refers to a transparent enclosure over the cockpit of an aircraft.

Essentially, the design of this component is to provide a weatherproof and somewhat silent setting for the pilots.

Aircraft

Aircraft

So acrylic is commonly applicable in creating this particular component because of its lightweight and shatter-resistant nature.

Acrylic is also an ideal material for this part since it helps to reduce the possible aerodynamic drag.

8) Jewelry Cases

Most of the cabinets for storing and displaying jewelry and other related ornaments are made of acrylic material.

The fact that this sheet is transparent and shiny makes it the ideal choice for storing these products given that it adds aesthetic appeal.

Jewelry cases

Jewelry cases

Incidentally, this is not limited only to the commercial outlets selling these items.

You can as well get one for your acrylic jewelry at home for storing your rings and watches.

And the great element regarding these acrylic jewelry boxes is that you can get customized options if you need one.

It’s so easy to form one that meets your standards given that acrylic is also a flexible material.

9) Point-of-purchase Displays

Listen, the notion that these types of displays can or must only be made from cardboard is baseless.

In fact, with the current trends, the only way of having an attractive point of sale displays is upgrading it using the acrylic material.

acrylic point of purchase display

Acrylic point of purchase display

And to make it more interesting, you wouldn’t inherently have to spend a lot of money to upgrade this kind of unit.

Instead, you can go for a cast acrylic sheet, which still makes lovely point-of-sale displays.

10) Trade show, Exhibition, and Convention Displays

Again, the acrylic sheet material is also widely common in such business presentations.

You see, what happens is that for your booth to attract the necessary traffic and possible customers, its design has to stand out.

And since the acrylic sheet is a type of material that you can bend, and mold to the precise lines you prefer, it becomes an appropriate solution.

Acrylic display

Acrylic display

Well, many organizations, institutions and business units use acrylic often to design appealing and durable displays that grab attention.

Its strength means that your presentation will endure the rigorous trade show circuit.

11) Light Fixtures

Incidentally, most of the light fixtures that you see around are certainly made from acrylic materials.

Like I’ve mentioned before, this is a material that can withstand the worst environmental and physical condition it’s subjected to.

Acrylic light fixture

Acrylic light fixture

And for that reason, it offers the best alternative for all types of light accessories.

It doesn’t matter whether it’s for street lighting, indoor or outdoor lighting.

For instance, fluorescent tubes are some of the components that are common with acrylic sheet materials.

The fact that acrylic has a greater light transmission makes it a suitable material for this function.

12) Vehicle Windscreens and Mirrors

Looking around, you’ll realize that the influx of acrylic in manufacturing vehicle windscreens and mirrors is on the rise.

Acrylic mirror

Acrylic mirror

Manufacturers have also come to notice that is quite cheaper to produce and fix acrylic windscreens that those of glasses.

Of course, these influx is also attributed to the fact that acrylic is resistant to scratch, abrasion, fog and UV rays.

In most cases, therefore, you’ll find that the manufacturers opt to use the acrylic sheet to meet the ever-growing demands in motor-vehicles.

13) Cellphone Touch Screen

At present, the most common types of cell phones that companies manufacturer are smartphones.

Phone screen

Acrylic phone screen

Now, one outstanding feature of smartphones is the touchscreen display which is arguably one of the attracting elements.

And since there is a need for enhancing the performance of these screens, many manufacturers are instead using an acrylic sheet.

Acrylic is fundamental in the smartphone and other portable devices since they have epic sensitivity, are durable and resistant to water.

Acrylic also provides outstanding clarity display, resistant to scratch as well as abrasion hence a suitable choice for cellphone screens.

14) Recreation

Acrylic is also becoming a popular material for manufacturing a wide range of recreational items and facilities.

Most of the sporting equipment, stadia components, and watercraft manufacturing are mostly products of acrylic sheets.

Acrylic kayak

Acrylic kayak

Some of these products include sporting venue windows, boat windshields, as well as face masks or goggles.

Mostly, this material is preferable in the sporting and recreational sector because of its exceptional impact and corrosion resistance.

While we’re on the subject, acrylic is also safe to use in the various recreational activities since it hardly reacts with the body or environment.

Other application of acrylic fabrication and machining include instrument panel, machine guards, display, sound barrier, light guide panel, skylight domes, ballistic glass, etc.

Acrylic light guide panel

Acrylic light guide panel

As you can see, acrylic fabrication and machining is an integral process.

As a result, you can make many products and accessories.

In fact, my list is not comprehensive – the number of products you can make is unlimited.

WeeTect Acrylic Fabrication – Your Trusted Partner in Acrylic Sheet Fabrication

Do you have any product idea that you want to fabricate or machine?

Here at WeeTect, we would like to transform your acrylic sheet into a useful product.

With over a decade in the industry, we can machine and fabricate acrylic for different applications.

WeeTect uses the best equipment and technology to make functional products from acrylic sheet.

Our know-how in acrylic fabrication enables us to fabricate acrylic sheets of varying thickness.

And our workshop has high-quality machines such 5-axis CNC milling machine, modern injection molding machine, acrylic laser machines and many more.

And we don’t stop there.

WeeTect is the grand master of plastic coating technologies.

Whether you want an acrylic product with anti-scratch, anti-reflective, hydrophobic or anti-fog coating – WeeTect provides exactly that.

Besides, we can handle all acrylic fabrication and machining processes such as milling, drilling, cutting, bending, joining, etc.

What’s more?

To add aesthetic value and style to our acrylic products, WeeTect handles all acrylic finishing procedures such as printing, polishing, engraving and many more.

Talk to us today,and WeeTect team will add value to your acrylic sheet.

We will help you choose the best acrylic fabrication and machining techniques.

Conclusion

As you can see, fabrication and machining is an important procedure when you want to produce useful acrylic products.

However, choosing a suitable fabrication and machining technique, alongside the right finishing procedures is very important.

Even though you can handle some procedures at home, others require complex machines.

And, that’s the reason WeeTect is here to help you.

At WeeTect, we can tailor acrylic fabrication and machining processes to your specific needs.

Talk to us now, and we will solve all your plastic fabrication needs – Contact WeeTect.

Why WeeTect?
  • Full capacity of acrylic fabrication
  • High quality acrylic coating technologies
  • Military technology acrylic manufacturing
  • Optical acrylic sheet casting or extrusion
  • Experienced engineer to support your design
  • Capability to consolidate all components for final assembly
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