Ponoko

Laser cut acrylic

Acrylic is a versatile material for laser cutting and engraving. Commonly used as signage, furniture inserts, fish tanks, jewellery and tableware, Acrylic comes in a wide range of colours. It's even available as mirror material! The possibilities are endless.

Showroom

Showroom
Bumble Bee Necklace
by Richardson & Richardson
Pi Head Case
by Nwazet
Vampire Themed 3D Typography
by Alex Golin

Materials

Acrylic
Clear

0.060 / 0.080
0.118 / 0.177
0.220 / 0.354 inches

Acrylic
Fluoro Pink

0.118 inches

Acrylic - Mirror
Gold

0.118 inches

Acrylic - Clear

What is it

Acrylic (PMMA) is a thermoplastic that is available in a wide range of colors including transparent tints and clear to opaque solid colors.

Acrylic has a thickness tolerance of +/-15% of the material thickness.

Design notes

Acrylic is hard and stiff as plastics go. It is sensitive to stress concentrations sharing a certain fragility with glass. This is most evident if parts are small or thin. Details should not be smaller than 1mm/0.04" as they are likely to be too fragile.

Acrylic retains detail when laser cut and it engraves well. For tips on engraving see this blog post - How to improve your engraving results.

Adding radii to corners can reduce the risk of breaking. For some tips on how to design for acrylic see this blog post - How to make snug joints in Acrylic.

Acrylic can scratch easily and should be cleaned with a mild solution of dish detergent and warm water. Never clean with a other cleaners not suitable for acrylic or with a dry cloth.

Typical uses

Acrylic is commonly used as signage, glazing and in building applications, fabricated point of sale displays, menu holders, display cabinets, machine guards, furniture inserts, aquariums & fish tanks, jewelry and tableware.

Environmental info

Acrylic is non toxic and recyclable in some areas.

Adhesives, joints & fastenings

Acrylic can be joined with epoxy, Weldon 3, 16 and 40. Dichloromethane and chloroform. Screw joints should be pre-drilled to avoid splitting.

Order a sample

Acrylic - Fluoro Pink

What is it

Acrylic (PMMA) is a thermoplastic that is available in a wide range of colors including transparent tints and clear to opaque solid colors.

Acrylic has a thickness tolerance of +/-15% of the material thickness.

Design notes

Fluoro Acrylic absorbs light through the surface of the material and emits it from the edge.

Acrylic is hard and stiff as plastics go. It is sensitive to stress concentrations sharing a certain fragility with glass. This is most evident if parts are small or thin. Details should not be smaller than 1mm/0.04" as they are likely to be too fragile.

Acrylic retains detail when laser cut and it engraves well. For tips on engraving see this blog post - How to improve your engraving results.

Adding radii to corners can reduce the risk of breaking. For some tips on how to design for acrylic see this blog post - How to make snug joints in Acrylic.

Acrylic can scratch easily and should be cleaned with a mild solution of dish detergent and warm water. Never clean with a other cleaners not suitable for acrylic or with a dry cloth.

Typical uses

Acrylic is commonly used as signage, glazing and in building applications, fabricated point of sale displays, menu holders, display cabinets, machine guards, furniture inserts, aquariums & fish tanks, jewelry and tableware.

Environmental info

Acrylic is non toxic and recyclable in some areas.

Adhesives, joints & fastenings

Acrylic can be joined with epoxy, Weldon 3, 16 and 40. Dichloromethane and chloroform. Screw joints should be pre-drilled to avoid splitting.

Order a sample

Acrylic - Mirror - Gold

What is it

Acrylic (PMMA) is a thermoplastic that is available in a wide range of colors including transparent tints and clear to opaque solid colors.

Acrylic has a thickness tolerance of +/-15% of the material thickness.

Design notes

***WE CUT & ENGRAVE MIRROR ACRYLIC THROUGH THE BACK OF THE MATERIAL - AS SUCH ENSURE YOUR DESIGN HAS BEEN FLIPPED OR "MIRRORED".***

This variety of Acrylic has a grey finish on one side and a clear glossy finish on the other. The grey side is the reflective coating that creates a mirror effect on the other side (just like standard glass mirrors).

Design files for mirror acrylic should be mirrored, otherwise they will be fabricated back to front.

By default, the material will be placed coated side up in the laser cutter, so any engraving will be on the coating. The engraving will remove the reflective coating making that section of the acrylic translucent.

If you want to engrave on the gloss side, make a note in the shipping instructions for your order. Engraving on the gloss side can only be done through the protective backing paper, so only heavy raster and vector engraving are suitable.

Acrylic is hard and stiff as plastics go. It is sensitive to stress concentrations sharing a certain fragility with glass. This is most evident if parts are small or thin. Details should not be smaller than 1mm/0.04" as they are likely to be too fragile.

Acrylic retains detail when laser cut and it engraves well. For tips on engraving see this blog post - How to improve your engraving results.

Adding radii to corners can reduce the risk of breaking. For some tips on how to design for acrylic see this blog post - How to make snug joints in Acrylic.

Acrylic can scratch easily and should be cleaned with a mild solution of dish detergent and warm water. Never clean with a other cleaners not suitable for acrylic or with a dry cloth.

Typical uses

Acrylic is commonly used as signage, glazing and in building applications, fabricated point of sale displays, menu holders, display cabinets, machine guards, furniture inserts, aquariums & fish tanks, jewelry and tableware.

Environmental info

Acrylic is non toxic and recyclable in some areas.

Adhesives, joints & fastenings

Acrylic can be joined with epoxy, Weldon 3, 16 and 40. Dichloromethane and chloroform. Screw joints should be pre-drilled to avoid splitting.

Order a sample

Getting started

Latest article about laser cutting

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.

The Robot Uprising

Laser cut robots take on many forms, often with a principle function driving the design of structural elements. A good example is the four-legged robot walker pictured above, from user hardmouse on Let’s Make Robots.Laser cut MDF body and leg segments support the servos and electronics which enable the robot to move at an impressive pace across smooth surfaces.

When speed is the priority, wheels are the way to go. The distinctive neon green acrylic glows alonglaser cut edges of the MURCS wheeled robot (below, left) by Robot Freak.This little robot moves about in much the same way as a robot vacuum, and is primed and ready to taunt cats (amongst other important tasks).

A robot of a different sort, Brian Roe’s Roy the Robot was lovingly constructed with education in mind. Here we see one raised hand (below, right), highlighting the detail and precision that enabled Roy to win over so many hearts on Kickstarter and beyond.

lasercut-robots-collage-3laser-cut-robots-collage-1

Inspired by the stately and graceful Strandbeests from Theo Jansen, the laser cut acrylic walker from 4volt(above, bottom-left) has an organic locomotion that is beautiful to watch. Returning to a more traditional robotic mechanism, the grasper clawandrobotic arm (above, bottom-right) fromletsmake.org is one of those ‘learning tools’ that would be a lot of fun to subvert and get up to mischief with.

lasercut-robots-collage-5

As well as being the focus of much amusement, robots can also provide practical help. The Etch-a-Sketch Bot is perfect for times when your thumbs are worn out from an etch-a-sketch marathon (above, left) and the unusual cardboard ninja robot by romanjurton Thingiverse (above, right)dispenses smarties while rolling its eyes at you.

Laser cut projectssometimes take on a robot persona without the need for any mechanism or mechanical parts. For example, the laser cut bamboo critters from Dickson Chow(below)are actually sophisticated moisture monitoring devices that will alert you when your house plants start to run dry.laser-cut-robots-water-alertrobots-lasercut-chibipocket

Sometimes it is enough to be robot-shaped and cute. No moving parts, no cogs or gears or electronic components. The delightful Chibipocket series (above) are full of character and help to remind the big boys of where this fascination with robots all began.

 

Taking Flight With Laser Cut Dronesdrones-lasercut-octocopter

Drone enthusiasts are getting pretty excited about thelatest commercial products, but that doesn’t hold these guys back from having a go with their own DIY laser cut drones. The octocopter pictured above from Jared Reabow on Instructables is a part of a range that includes cleverly resolved gimbals robust enough to support a full sized DSLR camera.

laser-cut-drones-collage-1

Laser cut acrylic is ideal for drone components. Pictured above are two ‘mini racing’ drone chassis. The red acrylic of the partially assembled unit from DIY Drones(above, left) and the smooth contours of the clear acrylic version (above, right) from Whiplash42 presenta refined visualthat laser cut wood can only dream of.

Continuing on this theme, the acrylic drone with built in blade guards from Banana_Science on Thingiverse (below, left) is frugal indeed with a parts and material cost of just $100. Another interesting direction for laser cut drones is to further accessorise and enhance commercial drone products. The transparent acrylic crash guard (below, right) from Phantom Pilots attaches to a DJI drone and shields expensive camera equipment from being a point of impact if the drone crashes.laser-cut-drones-collage-2

For the first-timer, it is a good idea to follow through step-by-step with an existing project that has proven success. When it comes to drones, the Shendrone by Andy Shen (below) is cost effective with structural material laser cut from bamboo ply, and a snap-fit assembly means no glues or screws to slow down the construction process.

drones-lasercut-shendrone

Whether you’re building a two, four or ten-legged walker or a zippy DIY drone, laser cutting enableshighly resolved outcomes quickly and at low cost. As we’ve seen in this small collection of examples, there is a broad scope for what can be considered a ‘robot’, and while drones require a tighter focus so that they can actually get off the ground, there is still a healthy variability in design options and materials.

Do you have ideas for a clever robot or drone that can be laser cut in the Ponoko Personal Factory? Let us know in the comments below!

 

The post Laser Cut Toys For The Big Boys appeared first on Ponoko.