Ponoko

Acrylic - Clear - Abrasion Resistant

0.118 inches

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There are 3 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 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 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

In addition to being abrasion resistant, this material is also somewhat chemical resistant. Adhesives that rely on a chemical reaction to bond acrylics together (such as Weld-on 3) will not work well with this material. Laser engraving the area to be bonded will remove the AR coating and allow the material to be glued. Another option is to carefully sand off the AR coating in the area to be bonded, or use a different type of adhesive (e.g. Cyanoacrylate adhesives or super glue).

Tips from other designers

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Michael says:

Can this material be engraved in the same way as regular clear acrylic?

Added 10 months ago. ( delete )
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Dayma says:

Hi Michael. It sure can :)

Added 10 months ago. ( delete )
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Nathan says:

Does this have UV resistance and yellowing like automotive grade PC? How does it hold up to salt and full spectrum light?

Added 3 months ago. ( delete )
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Jason says:

Hi Nathan,

AR acrylic is resistant to chemicals and weathering, it should not turn yellow in sunlight. I can find no data on the effects of salt, and while it should not be damaged by UV I don't know if it will block UV from passing through it.

Added 3 months ago. ( delete )

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