Ponoko

Styrene - White

0.020 inches

Styrene_edge_large
There are 5 images for this material

What is it

High Impact Polystyrene Sheet (HIPS) is a white thermoplastic with a glossy finish on one side and a matt finish on the other.

How fast will this material ship?

Orders using this material will ship as fast as same day. Find out more.

Can I get a sample?

You can get a sample here.

Design Notes

Styrene's low melting point means it needs to be laser cut with special attention. Simple shapes work best as intricate detail tends to melt and be lost. The sheets have tendency to warp as it heats up when being cut so be sure to allow lots of space in between the pieces.

The manufacturers tolerance for the thickness of the materials is as follows:

Material thicknessPossible Range
inchesmm
0.020” / 0.5mm0.018" - 0.022”0.4 - 0.6mm


Engraving Styrene

Due to its low melting point Styrene does not engrave very well. Line engraving is favored over area engraving and intricate details are not recommended. There are 3 types of engraving possible with laser cutting. Area engraving, line engraving and a combination of both.

Line engraving is like a really shallow cut. To achieve this effect the stroke color to red with RGB values of 255, 0, 0 and set the stroke style to a width of 0.01 mm. The laser beam follows along the red lines that you have in your design and marks the surface of the material. The result is crisp but it can be a time consuming technique if you have a lot of small details like text.

Area engraving is great it you need to mark a large area on the surface of the material. To specify area engraving set your shapes to have a fill color of black with RGB values of 0, 0, 0. The way this engraving is performed is like an old dot matrix printer except instead of dots of ink it uses pulses of the laser beam. This is a surface finish not deep enough to be used for pocketing or inlays. The depth of the engraving ranges between 0.1-0.2mm.

Using a combination of both engraving types typically gets the best result. Set your shapes to have a fill color of black with RGB values of 0, 0, 0, the stroke color to red with RGB values of 255, 0, 0, and set the stroke style to a width of 0.01 mm. The line engraving causes the laser beam to trace around the edges of the engraved areas making them more crisp and bringing the details to life.

Construction Techniques

To achieve a 3D form Styrene is typically heat formed or layered. Typically a etched line will disrupt the surface tension of the material and cause it to snap rather than to fold.

Typical Uses

Styrene is commonly used for making architectural models, stencils, book marks, pot plant ID tags, point of purchase displays, packaging, etc.

Environmental Information

Styrene/Polystyrene can be recycled in some areas as number 6. Check with your municipality to see if this is recyclable in your area.

Adhesives, joints and fastenings

Styrene can be bonded using Weld-On #40 or #4052.

Tips from other designers


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