Ponoko

Acrylic - Black (Matte 1-Side)

0.118 inches

Matt_black_edge_large
There are 5 images for this material

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.This variety has a matte finish on one side and a glossy finish on the other.

By default the material will be placed matte side up in the laser so any engraving will be on the matt side. If you want to engrave on the gloss side, make a note in the shipping instructions for your order.

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

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.

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

Material thicknessPossible Range
inchesmm
0.118" / 3.0mm0.088" - 0.138"2.2 - 3.5mm


Engraving Acrylic

There are 3 types of engraving possible with laser cutting. Area engraving, line engraving and a combination of both.

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 0.1-0.5mm.

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.

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

Creating structures from acrylic can be tricky due to variations in the material thickness. Creating a design that can accommodate variations in the material thickness is the best way to go.

For some tips on how to design for acrylic see this post.

Additionally the laser cuts at a slight taper (1-2 degrees) since the laser beam is shaped like a cone. The tapering causes one side to be slightly smaller than the other side. The taper is almost unnoticeable in 1/8" material; the thicker the material, the more noticeable the taper. When using laser-cut parts such as wheels or gears, you might need to position the parts in an alternating pattern so that the tapers “cancel out”.

Typical Uses

Acrylic is commonly used for making jewelry, tableware, electronics enclosures, conference badges, signage, book covers, point of sale displays etc

Environmental Information

Acrylic is non toxic and recyclable in some areas.

Adhesives, joints and fastenings

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

Tips from other designers

None-set-small
Matthew says:

Does this matte acrylic reduce the fingerprint marks that are left on regular, glossy acrylic?

Added almost 2 years ago. ( delete )
281243_947619580668_381710_n_small
Dan says:

Hi - In our experience there are hardly any fingerprints left of the matte side when compared to the glossy acrylics.

Added almost 2 years ago. ( delete )
None-set-small
steve says:

If I want to heat bend this material, what temp is required?

Added 11 months ago. ( delete )
281243_947619580668_381710_n_small
Dan says:

Hey Steve -

You can bend acrylic using a heat gun or an oven at 175F - 200F.

We don't have much first hand experience with this, so you'll want to start at a low heat and go from there.

I hope that helps for starters.

Cheers,
Dan

Added 11 months ago. ( delete )
None-set-small
steve says:

Dan, thanks for the info. On your advice I tried the oven method and found 200F would soften the materials a bit but not enough to form a tight corner. After some experimenting, 300 for 15 minutes (for a 3mm piece about 3"x5") was just the ticket. I was able to form the material into a nice tight 90 degree corner.

Also, over 350 causes the material to bubble (bummer) and be ready to work fast. the material starts to loose its flexibility very quickly.

Added 11 months ago. ( delete )
281243_947619580668_381710_n_small
Dan says:

Steve -

This is great! Thanks so much for taking the time to share this with us.

I've updated our notes on our end, so we've got these temps ready for next time.

Can't wait to see the final project!

- Dan

Added 11 months ago. ( delete )

Sign up for our newsletter
to get special offers: