Difference between revisions of "Acrylic"

From ProtoLab Wiki
 
(22 intermediate revisions by 5 users not shown)
Line 1: Line 1:
 
[[File:AcrylicSamples.jpeg|thumb|right|Acrylic Samples]]
 
[[File:AcrylicSamples.jpeg|thumb|right|Acrylic Samples]]
 
==About Acrylic==
 
==About Acrylic==
Poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA), also commonly known as acrylic or acrylic glass is a transparent thermoplastic often used in sheet form as a lightweight or shatter-resistant alternative to glass. '''The Idea Shop stocks acrylic in following thickness and respective colors<nowiki>:</nowiki>'''
+
Poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA), also commonly known as acrylic (Plexiglass and Acylite are all brand name acrylics) is a transparent thermoplastic often used in sheet form as a lightweight or shatter-resistant alternative to glass. '''The Idea Shop stocks acrylic in following thickness and respective colors<nowiki>:</nowiki>'''
  
 
;0.0625" (1.5mm) Acrylic
 
;0.0625" (1.5mm) Acrylic
 
:white, <span style="color:#000"> black</span>
 
:white, <span style="color:#000"> black</span>
 
;0.125" (3mm) Acrylic<nowiki>:</nowiki>  
 
;0.125" (3mm) Acrylic<nowiki>:</nowiki>  
:<span style="color:#FF0000"> opaque red</span>, <span style="color:#DC143C">transparent red</span>, clear, <span style="color:#FFA500"> orange</span>, white, <span style="color:#000"> black</span>
+
:<span style="color:#FF0000"> opaque red</span>, clear,  <span style="color:#33CC99"> glass tint </span>, <span style="color:#FFA500"> orange</span>, white, <span style="color:#000"> '''black'''</span>, <span style="color:#999999"> opaque grey</span>
 
;0.25" (6mm) Acrylic   
 
;0.25" (6mm) Acrylic   
:glass texture, clear, white, <span style="color:#000"> black</span>
+
:clear, white, <span style="color:#000"> black</span>
  
 +
==Working with Acrylic==
 +
----
 +
Acrylic can be used in many different ways and can be formed into different shapes and sizes. Here in the Idea Shop, the [[Panel Saw|panel saw]], [[Table Saw|table saw]], [[Bandsaw|band saw]], as well as the [[Epilog Laser|laser cutter]], can all be used to cut acrylic. We also have a [[Line Bender|line bender]] for folding and curving sheets of acrylic.
 +
 +
===Lasers + Acrylic = A match made in heaven===
 +
The best option for cutting acrylic is the [[Epilog Laser|laser cutter]]. As a side effect of laser cutting is immense heat, the heat leaves acrylic with a polished edge, highly suitable for adhering. Using the laser to cut acrylic offers the best surface finish possible for the edges.
 +
 +
===Adhering Using Acrylic Solvent===
 +
'''Note: always wear surgical gloves before working with acrylic solvent. It is also highly flammable.'''
 +
Acrylic solvent is low viscosity transparent fluid that will bond and dissolve two sections of acrylic permanently. Acrylic solvent is not an adhesive; rather, the solvent softens the acrylic, and allows the molecules from each piece to intertwine and fuse together into one piece.
  
The IdeaShop offers ACRYLITE® products.
+
The video below offers a great introduction to using acrylic solvent.
  
==Working with Acrylic==
+
{{#widget:YouTube
Acrylic can be used in many different ways and also can be formed into different shapes and sizes. Depending on the scope of the project you either need to just use a laser cutter to cut your geometry or use a combination of methods listed below to fabricate your design.
+
|id = hT6Ow_cBTps
===Engraving===
+
|width=800
[[File:ACRYLITE_example.jpg|thumb|right|Acrylic Samples]]
+
|height=500
Engraving is the process of incising small groves of patterns or shapes onto a hard surface. This process can be used to easily personalize items and imprint a specific drawing or sketch on a acrylic item. The easiest way of engraving is using the laser cutter since it is also designed for engraving besides cutting material. In order to engrave your parts, open your geometry in AUTOCAD and select the areas that need to be rastered and then in the layer selection menu select raster (represented by red color), after that follow the rest of laser cutting process explained [[Using AutoCad to Laser Cut |here]]''
+
}}
===Cutting===
 
There are may ways of cutting acrylic, depending on the geometry being cut and the size of the cut some tools give better results than other tools.
 
;For a cut length that fits inside a 24" by 18" box
 
:The "'laser cutter"' is the ideal tool to use.
 
:The "'band saw"' is also a good alternative where the laser is cant be used but you need cut geometry that has curves and the material is too thick for the laser i.e 0.5". The band saw can follow almost any cut geometry, ideal for small parts. But note that the band saws cut quality and accuracy depends on the user and more than likely not be a match for the quality and accuracy the laser cutter will produce.
 
;If the cut length is bigger than 24" by 18" then there are a couple of options listed below
 
:The "'Pannel Saw"' is only ideal to make straight cut lines.
 
:If the part you are trying to cut also has intricate geometry then the ShopSabre CNC can be used.
 
  
===Adhering===
+
'''Helpful Tips'''
Adhering acrylic can be a tedious task and would require lots of patience. Ways to adhere acrylic are listed below:
+
*The two bonding pieces must be held securely together. Consider using clamps or a jig.
;'''Using acrylic solvent'''
+
*In a situation where there is excess solvent on the bonding surface, '''do not attempt to wipe up the solvent''', as it will leave a cloudy smudge. Instead, allow the solvent to evaporate.  
'''Note: always wear surgical gloves before working with acrylic solvent. Its is also a highly flammable substance '''
+
*Allow a minimum of 24 hours for the solvent to cure before exerting load on it. Use of excess acrylic solvent may leave a frosty texture around the bonding surfaces.
Acrylic solvent is low viscosity transparent fluid that will bond and dissolve two sections of acrylic permanently. The two bonding pieces must be held securely together using clamps or a jig. Now the acrylic solvent can now be applied on the bonding surface. Since acrylic solvent has low viscosity it is easy to make a mess and over flow the solvent on the bonding surface, make sure to not use your hands or anything else to dab away the excess solvent as it may imprint the material texture on the surface of the acrylic. In a situation where there is excess solvent on the bonding surface, use a paper towel and place it in contact with the solvent not the acrylic surface and wait for the paper towel to absorb the excess solvent. The curing time of bonded pieces varies depending based on size and shape of the bonding area. The pieces that are being bonded together must be held in place for at least 5 mins(again depends on the bonding shape and size) before letting go and allowing minimum 12 hours for the solvent to cure before exerting load on it. Use of excess acrylic may leave frosty texture around the bonding surfaces.
 
  
;'''Using superglue'''
+
===Vacuum Forming===
'''Note: always wear surgical gloves before working with super glue.''' Idea shop stocks two varieties of super glue, a high viscosity and low viscosity super glue. depending on the type of bond one is attempting to make, you could utilize one or the other. For bonding surfaces which have many crevices and inlets using low viscosity super glue is ideal. For bonding external surfaces high viscosity super glue is ideal.  The two bonding pieces must be held securely together using clamps or a jig. Now super glue can be applied on the bonding surfaces. Super glue requires any where form 2-3 mins to dry and should be given minimum 2 hrs before exerting loads on the bonded parts. Unlike acrylic solvent It is hard to clean off excess super glue without altering the finish of acrylic, using isopropyl alcohol to clean off excess super glue will help but, will not completely remove all of the super glue. If excess superglue is used to bond acrylic surfaces it will leave a "frosty" texture around the bonding surfaces.
+
Acrylic can also be used for vacuum forming molds. For more information, visit the [[Vacuum Former]] page.

Latest revision as of 18:24, 22 April 2020

File:AcrylicSamples.jpeg
Acrylic Samples

About Acrylic

Poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA), also commonly known as acrylic (Plexiglass and Acylite are all brand name acrylics) is a transparent thermoplastic often used in sheet form as a lightweight or shatter-resistant alternative to glass. The Idea Shop stocks acrylic in following thickness and respective colors:

0.0625" (1.5mm) Acrylic
white, black
0.125" (3mm) Acrylic:
opaque red, clear, glass tint , orange, white, black, opaque grey
0.25" (6mm) Acrylic
clear, white, black

Working with Acrylic


Acrylic can be used in many different ways and can be formed into different shapes and sizes. Here in the Idea Shop, the panel saw, table saw, band saw, as well as the laser cutter, can all be used to cut acrylic. We also have a line bender for folding and curving sheets of acrylic.

Lasers + Acrylic = A match made in heaven

The best option for cutting acrylic is the laser cutter. As a side effect of laser cutting is immense heat, the heat leaves acrylic with a polished edge, highly suitable for adhering. Using the laser to cut acrylic offers the best surface finish possible for the edges.

Adhering Using Acrylic Solvent

Note: always wear surgical gloves before working with acrylic solvent. It is also highly flammable. Acrylic solvent is low viscosity transparent fluid that will bond and dissolve two sections of acrylic permanently. Acrylic solvent is not an adhesive; rather, the solvent softens the acrylic, and allows the molecules from each piece to intertwine and fuse together into one piece.

The video below offers a great introduction to using acrylic solvent.

Helpful Tips

  • The two bonding pieces must be held securely together. Consider using clamps or a jig.
  • In a situation where there is excess solvent on the bonding surface, do not attempt to wipe up the solvent, as it will leave a cloudy smudge. Instead, allow the solvent to evaporate.
  • Allow a minimum of 24 hours for the solvent to cure before exerting load on it. Use of excess acrylic solvent may leave a frosty texture around the bonding surfaces.

Vacuum Forming

Acrylic can also be used for vacuum forming molds. For more information, visit the Vacuum Former page.