Difference between revisions of "Acrylic"

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[[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>'''
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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>, <span style="color:#DCD814"> yellow </span>, white, <span style="color:#000"> black</span>, <span style="color:#0000FF"> opaque blue</span>, <span style="color:#1468DC">transparent blue</span>
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:<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>
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:clear, white, <span style="color:#000"> black</span>
  
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==Working with Acrylic==
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----
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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.
  
The IdeaShop offers ACRYLITE® products.
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===Lasers + Acrylic = A match made in heaven===
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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.
  
==Working with Acrylic==
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===Adhering Using Acrylic Solvent===
Acrylic can be used in many different ways and 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.
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'''Note: always wear surgical gloves before working with acrylic solvent. It is also highly flammable.'''
===Engraving===
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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.
[[File:ACRYLITE_example.jpg|thumb|right|Acrylic Samples]]
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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 an acrylic item. The easiest way of engraving is using the laser cutter, since it is designed for engraving and cutting material. In order to engrave your parts, open your geometry in AUTOCAD and select the desired areas. Next, in the layer selection menu, select raster (represented by red color) and follow the rest of laser cutting process, explained [[Epilog Laser|here]]''.
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The video below offers a great introduction to using acrylic solvent.
===Cutting===
 
There are may ways of cutting acrylic. For assistance deciding how to work with your acrylic, consider the size.
 
;For a cut length that fits inside a 24" by 18" box
 
:The '''[[Epilog Laser|Laser Cutter]]''' is the ideal tool to use. Be sure to select the appropriate material settings to achieve the desired cut.
 
:The '''[[Bandsaw]]''' is also a good alternative when the laser cannot be used, such as if the acrylic is too thick. The band saw can follow almost any cut geometry, ideal for small parts. Note that the band saws cut quality and accuracy depends on the user; the laser cutter is the most accurate choice.  
 
;If the cut length is bigger than 24" by 18" then there are a couple of options listed below
 
:The '''[[Panel Saw]]''' is only ideal to make straight cut lines.
 
:If the part you are trying to cut also has intricate geometry, consider the '''[[ShopSabre]]'''.
 
  
===Adhering===
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{{#widget:YouTube
Adhering acrylic can be a tedious task and requires lots of patience. Methods to adhere acrylic are listed below:
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|id = hT6Ow_cBTps
;'''Using acrylic solvent'''
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|width=800
'''Note: always wear surgical gloves before working with acrylic solvent. Its is also a highly flammable substance.'''
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|height=500
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. Once secure, acrylic solvent can be applied on the bonding surface. Because of the low viscosity, it is easy to make a mess and use too much 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 on the size and shape of the bonding area. The pieces that are being bonded together must be held in place for at least 5 mins before letting go. Allow a minimum of 12 hours for the solvent to cure before exerting load on it. Use of excess acrylic may leave a frosty texture around the bonding surfaces.
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}}
  
;'''Using superglue'''
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'''Helpful Tips'''
'''Note: always wear surgical gloves before working with super glue.''' The IdeaShop stocks two varieties of super glue, one of high viscosity and one of low viscosity. For bonding surfaces which have many crevices and inlets, use low viscosity. For bonding external surfaces, use high viscocity. The two bonding pieces must be held securely together using clamps or a jig. Super glue requires 2-3 mins to dry and should be given a minimum of 2 hours before exerting loads on the bonded parts. Unlike acrylic solvent, it is difficult 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 glue. If excess superglue is used to bond acrylic surfaces it will leave a "frosty" texture around the bonding surfaces.
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*The two bonding pieces must be held securely together. Consider using clamps or a jig.
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*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.
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*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===
 
===Vacuum Forming===
Acrylic can also be used for vacuum forming molds. To vacuum form, you must have at least a 12" x 12" sheet.
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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.