3 Acrylics For Crisp & Clean Typography Designs

New Materials In USA Catalog: Two-Color Acrylic Sheets

Gold On Black Acrylic Wedding Invitation Styled

Serif. San serif. Kerning. Line space. Alignment. A lot goes into typography design. Fonts communicate masculinity vs. femininity, modern vs. retro, professional vs. casual, serious vs. whimsical.

Typography establishes a visual identity and expresses personality. So when your designs incorporate wordplay, you need the right laser cutting material to showcase this message: Two-Color Acrylics. And we have three new color combos to get the job done: Matte pink on white, brushed gold on black and matte orange on white.

Benefits Of Two-Color Acrylics

Because the top layer is engraved away, the bottom layer of the acrylic is revealed. This results is excellent readability because the precision of the laser cutting gives the illusion that the graphic and lettering work is printed. Thus, two-color acrylics are ideal for products that need text or graphics along with the unique shape achieved with laser cutting.

Compared to printed paper products that seem more disposable, two-color acrylic plastics offer more permanence and longevity. Cardstock is 0.3mm where these acrylic plastics are 1.5mm thick—a massive difference compared to paper—so use them as an upgrade to standard printing for a more robust product to make an impact.

Two-color acrylics are also manufactured with a UV-resistant additive. So while there will naturally be some fading with extended sun exposure, these acrylics hold up much better in UV light, making them quite durable for signage applications.

Finally, these materials are Microsurfaced Impact Modified Acrylics. This means they contain a small amount of polymer that is similar to styrene to give the acrylic extra strength and flexibility. As a result, two-color acrylics are slightly more flexible and melt a bit more during cutting than standard acrylics. This ability to be bent makes two-color acrylics particularly suitable for trophy plates.

Get Inspired: What You Can Make With Two-Color Acrylics

You may not have seen many laser cut products made from two-color acrylics. But not because these materials aren’t cool. They’ve just been primarily used in the trophy industry, so they’re less common in the maker world. Now you have an advantage to make something unique and, if you sell your designs, something different from your competitors.

To show you how amazing laser engraving contrasts on two-color acrylics, check out these examples we made for the three new colors:

Pink On White Acrylic – 1.5mm

Want to send a not-so-mushy valentine? Letting your crush know that “I like your face” is a lighthearted way to show affection without getting overly romantic.

Pink On White Acrylic Valentine Sign

Beyond Valentine’s Day, use matte pink on white acrylic to celebrate Mother’s Day or commemorate Breast Cancer Awareness Month. You can also use it for signage in businesses with predominantly female clientele such as spas, nail salons or clothing boutiques.

Learn more about Pink On White Acrylic and get a Pink On White Acrylic Sample.

Brushed Gold On Black Acrylic – 1.5mm

For special occasions where you want to make a statement, create invitations using brushed gold on black acrylic.

Gold On Black Acrylic Wedding Invitation

In addition to designing invites, you can use brushed gold on black acrylic for VIP tickets, signage, jewelry, holiday decorations and front panels for electronics enclosures. Plus it is a great alternative to using metal since it is less expensive and laser cuts quicker.

Learn more about Brushed Gold On Black Acrylic and get a Brushed Gold On Black Acrylic Sample.

Orange On White Acrylic – 1.5mm

Because of its high visibility, matte orange on white acrylic is ideal for making signs, especially for food products because citrus colors are associated with healthy foods and stimulating appetites.

Orange On White Acrylic Julice Sign

You can also use this orange on white acrylic for fall harvest designs and Halloween products. It’s also applicable to spirit promos where orange is part of a school’s or university’s color palette.

Learn more about Orange On White Acrylic and get an Orange On White Acrylic Sample.

Now Available: Two-Color Acrylics

With the addition of matte pink on white, brushed gold on black, and matte orange on white acrylics, there are now nine two-color acrylics in the USA Catalog.

Pink Gold Orange Acrylic Sheets And Engraving

When designing for these materials, make sure the small details for cutting are a bit bigger than they would normally be constructed on standard acrylics. Also keep in mind that the top layer is very thin so the underlying substrate is sometimes visible along the cut line as well. This is most noticeable in corners or angles of designs, so prepare files accordingly.

Join The Conversation: What Will You Laser Cut With Two-Color Acrylics?

Whether you have a whimsical or elegant message to convey, two-color acrylics will make your words come to life. How will you use these new materials? Give us a shout in the comment box and let us know what you can’t wait to make!

 

Why We Love Laser Cut Matte Red, Blue & Purple Acrylics

New Materials in USA Catalog: 3 New Shades Of Matte Acrylic

Matte is the new smooth! With our new red, purple and light blue shades of matte acrylic, you can add a touch of luxury to your designs as well as a more diverse color palette.

Why We Love These Materials

These new colors are pretty sweet. No longer are you restricted to strong solid tones, now you have the option to use more subtle and refined colors in your designs.

What’s also great about these new acrylics is that they are matte on both sides, giving you an elegant textured finish that doesn’t show all those pesky fingerprints when handled.

Did we mention that they are translucent? This means you can rock them to diffuse light and play with a sense of depth in your designs.

With a 3mm thickness, these acrylics are perfect for lighting projects, jewelry, enclosures, signage, business cards, luggage tags, name badges or anything that needs a soft, matte finish.

Available Now – Matte Purple Acrylic

Need a color that’s better suited to your design sensibilities? …

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Check out our new Matte Purple Acrylic, it will have your designs looking like a gem. Here are some pretty nifty glasses that we remixed from the super cool designer ARTCAD on Thingiverse. Costumes and props have never looked so professional!

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Learn more about Matte Purple Acrylic and grab a Sample.

Available Now – Matte Red Acrylic

Matte red will have you spinning …

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Our new Matte Red Acrylic is one of those versatile colors that inspires playfulness and fun. We had a play with 123D Make and made a wee spinning top. Let’s be honest, any excuse to make a toy for work is a good one. What toys/puzzles would you like to make?

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Learn more about Matte Red Acrylic and buy a Sample.

Available Now – Matte Light Blue Acrylic

Blue like a sunny summer’s day …

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Our new Matte Light Blue Acrylic has such a subtle and pleasing color, we feel like cloud watching every time we look at it. Still on the 123D Make buzz, we whipped up the bowl pictured above. We think the translucent nature of the material complements the 3D form, to give it that extra point of interest.

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Learn more about Matte Light Blue Acrylic and purchase a Sample.

Now It’s Your Turn

What do you think would look great in these three new Matte Acrylics? We’d love to hear how these new colors and textures inspire you. Share by leaving a comment below.

Or get straight to making with these awesome new acrylics!

 

Why We Love Laser Cut Green Glass Acrylic

New Material In NZ Catalog: Green Glass Acrylic

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This popular material in the USA is now also available in NZ! Introducing laser cuttable ‘glass’ without the cost.

Why Green Glass Acrylic Is Amazing

Green glass acrylic is smooth on both sides and transparent, making it perfect for projects where the objective is to have the look of glass without the high price and pesky breakage issue.

The mini snowflakes above really take advantage of the icy, glass-like color you get with this material. But keep in mind that the smaller the design, the less green and more transparent it will look on the edges.

Green Glass Acrylic And A Samsung Camera

Because of the transparent nature of green glass acrylic, you can combine it with other materials to create one-of-a-kind displays like this one from Milos Paripovic.

This point-of-sale store display for a Samsung camera was laser cut and then mirror foil was fixed to the head so customers could simultaneously see the back side of the camera. The design is certainly an attention-getter, and what could be better camera holder than a hand!

Green Glass Acrylic On Etsy

How are Etsy sellers using green glass acrylic in their shops? Check out this mini greenhouse from 2of2.

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The little structure brings the outdoors in with an interior stand of tiny trees. The sleek geometric lines of this “glass-look” house are softened by the whimsy of the trees inside. A fun way to tap into the terrarium home décor trend.

Next, you won’t believe what OMGoshShop can do with green glass acrylic. Cut into the sensuous curve of the Kanagawa wave, this bracelet is based on the famous woodblock print by Hokusai.

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The waves, though they look ferocious, have been designed so that the tips won’t scratch or snag. The acrylic is etched, hand highlighted to emphasize the crashing waves, heated to 140+ degrees and then molded by hand. Unlike mass-made round bracelets, this cuff is oval and curves closely to the wrist making it comfortable for everyday wear.

Available Now – Green Glass Acrylic

This acrylic is clear with just a hint of green tint on the edges, giving you a subtle acrylic option versus the stronger colors available.

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Learn about Green Glass Acrylic details and get a Green Glass Acrylic Sample.

Now It’s Your Turn

You could clearly have tons of fun making with this new material. What ideas do you have? Tell us all about it by leaving a comment below. We have a $20 coupon for the best idea!

Make Oh-So On-Trend Light Boxes

New Material: Opal Acrylic Is Re-Released In The NZ Catalog

opal-acrylic-laser-cut-lightbox

If you want to light up someone’s life, then you need to be making with the re-released Opal Acrylic. With its popularity in the USA, we’re now bringing it back to New Zealand for all the makers down under.

Why Opal Is A Great Choice

Since it’s the first single color 2mm acrylic in NZ, makers benefit from a lower base material cost. Additionally, the thinner thickness is faster to cut through, so it costs less to make the same design on 2mm than on 3mm. Double cost savings. Sweet!

Opal Acrylic is slightly translucent, making it perfect for projects where the objective is to diffuse light—such as electronics projects, signs and lamp shades. Or make a light box to really be on-trend.

opal-acrylic-laser-cut-lightbox-bamboo-frame

How Etsy Sellers Are Using Opal Acrylic

RoKDesignStudio has made this lamp from natural oiled oak, complemented by red twisted cloth vintage wire and opal acrylic for light diffusion. Use it on the floor, bookshelf, table or anywhere else where a mood light can be placed to create atmosphere.

What Else Can You Use It For?

Opal Acrylic isn’t limited to functional light sources. It can also be used artistically. Helen Reynolds, a Wellington-based artist, created a series of work exploring cloud shape and formation, including a sculptural installation she created with the help on Ponoko’s laser cutting service. See behind the scenes of how she did it in the article “Creating Cloudscape Sculptures From Laser Cut Layers.”

Acrylic – Opal

The acrylic tends to pick up light on the edges, which gives off a kind of subtle glow. And the color of light can easily be changed by using different colored light bulbs.

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Learn more about Opal Acrylic and get a Sample.

What bright ideas do you have for making with this re-released acrylic? Would it be functional…or more artistic? We’d love to hear all about it. Share by leaving a comment below!

 

New Materials: Brushed Gold On Black Acrylic

Just Released In The NZ Materials Catalog

golden-ticket

Do we have a golden ticket for you! Now you can add some bling to any project with our new 1.6 mm Two Color Acrylic – Brushed Gold on Black. The first gold colored option for New Zealand, this acrylic features a metal-like, brushed-gold finish on top with a smooth black finish on the bottom.

Since the two-color acrylic engraves beautifully to reveal the black underneath, it’s perfect for making jewelry, signage, front panels on electronics and holiday decorations. Snowflakes are super pretty!

gold-black-snowflakes

You can also make “golden tickets” for wedding invitations or use them as event VIP tickets.

For the ambitious, make golden tickets to kick off a special adventure for friends and family that would make Willy Wonka proud. (And there’s no purchase of Willy Wonka chocolate bars necessary. But you may start singing “I’ve Got The Golden Ticket” like Grandpa Joe. Don’t say we didn’t warn you…)

Acrylic – Two Color – Brushed Gold on Black

Learn more about Brushed Gold On Black Acrylic and get a Brushed Gold On Black Acrylic Sample.

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With the addition of this new two-color acrylic, we now have 23 acrylic colors (some with multiple thicknesses) currently available in the NZ catalog. And if you love the gold and black combo, you’ll also want to check out Brushed Silver On Black Acrylic and Matte Black On White Acrylic to see how these cool graphic qualities can be added to designs.

 

What kind of golden projects do you want to make with this new material? Share your ideas by leaving a comment below!

 

New Materials: 3 Two-Color Acrylics With Matte Finish Top

Just Released In The USA Materials Catalog

red-blue-green-product-collage

Just in time for the holidays: Three new 1.5 mm Two-Color Acrylics have made their debut in the USA catalog. With the addition of Red On White, Blue On White and Green On White, you’ll be happier than Buddy the elf when he finds out Santa is coming to town.

This material is special because it gives you the ability to “print” directly onto the material by engraving away the matte top layer, making it great for products that need text or graphics along with the unique shape you get with laser cutting.

Christmas tree ornaments, name badges or holiday baubles are just a few of the things you can make with this new material.

Acrylic – Two Color – Red On White

Learn more about Red On White Acrylic and get a Red On White Sample.

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Acrylic – Two Color – Blue on White

Learn more about Blue On White Acrylic and get a Blue On White Sample.

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Acrylic – Two Color – Green On White

Learn more about Green On White Acrylic and get a Green On White Sample.

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To see all the acrylic colors (some with multiple thicknesses) currently available, check out the USA catalog. While the majority of our acrylic sheets are smooth, these three new two-color options have a matte top to give you more options for bringing designs to life while tapping into the matte-finish trend.

 

What do you think? Got any ideas for what you want to make with these new materials? Tell us about it by leaving a comment below!

 

Laser Cut Toys For The Big Boys

Serious Fun With Drones And Robots

laser-cut-robots-bider-letsmakerobots

What is it about building robots that is so much fun? If you ask a kid, you will likely get a meaningful answer… however when it comes to grown men the wide-eyed fascination of youth has developed into a serious pursuit of quirky techno-novelty. In recent years, drones have joined the venerable robot as one of the top projects for big boys to tinker away at.

Through laser cutting, the design process for both drones and robots is streamlined and fully functional prototypes are just a mouse click away.       (more…)

New Material: Brushed Silver On Black Acrylic

Just Released In The NZ Materials Catalog

silver-and-black-acrylic-laser-cut-necklace

Silver and black is classy. Elegant and understated. Nice contrast without being as stark as black and white. And this brushed silver on black acrylic will give the New Zealand market a new alternative to metal at an affordable price.

It’s 1.6mm thick black acrylic with a thin layer of brushed silver on top. Having the second color means the hassle of hand painting to achieve contrast has been eliminated. And since this two-color acrylic engraves nicely to reveal the black underneath, it’s ideal for making jewelry, signage and front panels on electronics.

 

Acrylic – Two Color – Brushed Silver on Black

Learn more about Brushed Silver On Black Acrylic and get a Brushed Silver On Black Acrylic Sample.

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With the addition of this new two-color acrylic, we now have 22 acrylic colors (some with multiple thicknesses) currently available in our NZ catalog. And if you like the concept of dual color combos, you may also want to check out Matte Black On White Acrylic.

 

Are you ready to have some fun with this new material? We are. So let’s get making. Share what you’d like to create with this new material by leaving a comment below!

 

New Materials: 3 Matte Acrylics – Turquoise, Yellow & Pink

Just Released In The USA Materials Catalog

From nail polish to furniture (and even some cars!), matte finishes are so on-trend. And now you can incorporate a matte finish in your designs with the introduction of three matte acrylics for the USA market: Turquoise, Yellow and Pink.

What’s super cool about these new acrylics is that they are translucent with a matte finish on both sides. So not only is the finish and texture new but so are the exciting new colors!

With a 3mm thickness, these acrylics are perfect for jewelry, enclosures, signage, business cards, luggage tags, name badges or anything that needs a soft, matte finish color.

 

Acrylic – Turquoise (Matte)

Learn more about Turquoise Matte Acrylic and get a Turquoise Sample.

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Acrylic – Yellow (Matte)

Learn more about Yellow Matte Acrylic and get a Yellow Sample.

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Acrylic – Pink (Matte)

Learn more about Pink Matte Acrylic and get a Pink Sample.

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With the addition of these three new matte finishes, we now have 42 acrylic colors (some with multiple thicknesses) currently available in our USA catalog. While the majority of our acrylic sheets are smooth, we recently introduced a couple that are matte on one side and shiny on the other. But the turquoise, yellow and pink matte acrylics are the first to be matte on BOTH sides.

 

So what do you think? Are you as stoked about these new materials as we are? Let us know what great ideas you have for using these acrylics by leaving a comment below!

 

Capture The Kids’ Market With These Toys For Girls

When Laser Cutting Gets Cute

laser cut 4girls heart shaped box justaddsharks

For a market that is all about playtime, the toy industry is a serious business indeed. In the US, spending on dolls alone tops $2.6 billion each year, and sales are on the increase. Through the Ponoko Personal Factory we’ve got one of the most accessible ways to make unique fashion items and toys at our fingertips, and this means you too can laser cut yourself a slice of the toy industry pie.

In this article we are taking a look at how designers and makers are using laser cutting to tap into the ‘toys for girls’ market. First up is a heart-shaped box from Just Add Sharks (pictured above). Ideal for storing keepsakes and sweet whimsies, it is the feature of an Instructables post that shows how you don’t need a multi-million dollar factory to produce desirable products that are just right for this discerning market segment.

laser cut 4girls isabella woodums

Customization is one of the reasons entrepreneurs and designers turn to laser cutting. As we can see with Isabella’s name plaque by Woodums (above), the laser cut and etched ply brings added depth and vibrance to an already playful font.

laser-cut-4girls-collage1-crown-and-fairy

Knock on Isabella’s door, and chances are high there will be a fantastical land filled with princesses and fairies inside. Etsy seller FoxyFunk knows that every princess needs her crown (above, left). Wearing an actual tiara may not be the fashion-forward statement some young girls are looking to make, but the mirror acrylic crown brooch will sit right with almost any outfit. Fairies are certainly not forgotten and this necklace from CataCakeCreations (above, right) also taps into the huge costume jewellery market.

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Perfect for use as pendants, jewellery or even suspended in a mobile, laser cut silhouettes are a fantastic way to engage with these eager consumers. The Alice in Wonderland themed cutouts from EasyCutPrintPD (above, left) are offered as a digital file that can be incorporated into a broader laser cut design or simply sent straight to Ponoko for production in your favorite material. Other silhouettes and figures can be purchased already cut, as with this set of playful characters from Joann (above, right).

Drawing inspiration from Disney classics introduces familiar characters that can be laser cut in the dazzling array of acrylic material options. The Mermaid Pendant from imyourpresent on Etsy (below, left) uses opaque, mirror, pearl and laser etched acrylic to define the form. The precision of laser cutting means that combining materials can be achieved with very neat results. Add a little surface finishing to the process, and you’ve got a recipe for success as YouMakeMeDesign know. Check out their cute 2D Roly Poly Dolls (below, right).

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We can’t really talk about toys for girls (and boys too, really) without taking a look at doll houses. A universal favorite, the dolls house captures imaginations and opens the door to immersive worlds of pretend play.  Laser cutting allows for doll houses of every imaginable shape and size; we have collected a few here to show just how diverse they can be.

laser cut 4girls flatpack dollhouse katherinebelsey

Starting elegantly simple, the flat-pack design from Katherine Belsey can very quickly become populated with all you need for a home sweet home. Out of the box (above, left) the house is a classic laser cut raw canvas, and with a little paint and doll house furniture (above, right) it really comes to life.

laser cut 4girls dollhouses karenbensonminiatures

Doll house furniture can also take form through laser cutting. Karen Benson Miniatures (above) have refined this to a fine art, with a range that covers period pieces, modern designs and others that are just plain fun. As with the doll houses themselves, the combination of laser cutting and laser etching will allow for a high level of detail and customization in the form, the surface features and the construction methods used for miniature furniture pieces.

laser cut 4girls dollhouse 3starstudioarts

Parents with an eye for particular design eras will often encourage their kids to follow the same aesthetic sensibility. The retro-modern curves of 3StarStudioArts’ laser cut doll house (above) are continued through to the included furniture, and the whole set becomes a vibrant and stylish pad once bright colors are applied.

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In an excellent example of how laser cutting can accurately replicate almost any design style, the period houses from Laser Dollhouses feature an attention to detail (above) that makes for a serious showpiece. This dedication to architectural authenticity is also a feature of the clear acrylic house from Made By Hidden (below, left) that is not actually a toy, but would certainly be loads of fun to play with. In contrast to the geometric rigidity of architectural miniatures, Cartonus’ Fairy Doll House (below, right) invites imaginative play with its smooth curves and large openings.

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Doll houses are usually set at a scale to allow for other toys to fit inside, which integrates well with existing collections of toys and figures. Through laser cutting, it can also be a lot of fun to go much, much smaller… the colorful buildings from Moe Miniatures (below, left) have a charm all of their own, and whole dioramas can emerge when you include miniature critters like Megan Baehr’s cute little laser cut lion (below, right).

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Make-believe and pretend play is an important part of a child’s daily activities, and whether it’s through miniatures, doll houses or character jewellery; laser cutting gives designers and makers direct access to this lucrative market. By utilising the strengths of laser cutting such as ease of customization, accuracy and diverse material range small companies and independent sellers on Etsy are able to mix it up with the big guys. The added benefits of low cost and rapid design to manufacture process that laser cutting is famous for enables clever makers to move and flow with design trends, further integrating them into the commercial arena.

Are you a toy designer making products for girls? What cool laser cut toy ideas for girls have you seen? Let us know in the comments below!