Acrylic - Clear - Abrasion Resistant
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 special surface coating that will help prevent surface scratching.
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 samples here.
Design NotesAcrylic 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 thickness||Possible Range|
|inches||mm||0.118" / 3.0mm||0.088" - 0.138"||2.2 - 3.5mm|
Engraving AcrylicThere 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 TechniquesCreating 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”.