Ponoko

Acrylic - Clear

0.060 inches 0.080 inches 0.118 inches 0.177 inches 0.220 inches 0.354 inches

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.

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

GET A SAMPLE

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.

Adding radii to corners can reduce the risk of breaking. For some tips on how to design for acrylic see this blog post.

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.

Please note: 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 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.

Tips from other designers

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Alex says:

Curious how flexible the thinnest acrylic you offer is, the 1.5mm sheet. If i get the P3 size (approx 31 inches by 15 inches), and you held it up by the center, how much sag would there be on the longer dimension at the ends? I am trying to recreate an acoustic lens and need thinness and rigidity (not so much strength) where originally metal sheets were used.

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Dan says:

The 1.5mm acrylic sags by ~2 inches at each end when held as you described.

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Seth says:

Do the custom acrylic parts come with finished edges like the sample piece does, or do customers have to finish the edges once the piece is delivered?

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Dan says:

The images and samples show how the material comes off the laser cutter, without any additional finishing. With acrylic the finish is similar to flame polishing.

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Akin says:

" Acrylic has a thickness tolerance of +/-15% of the material thickness. " what does this mean? does it mean that the 3mm thickness can actually be anything between 2.55 to 3.45mm ?? can this never be guaranteed ??

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Dan says:

@Akin - that is correct, the thickness can be between 2.55 to 3.45mm. This is the tolerance that the manufacturer makes the acrylic to and is typical among different manufacturers.

Generally the thickness is not at the extreme ends of the spectrum. 2.7-3.3 is more common.

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Barry says:

Does the acrylic become more opaque when etched? I'm guessing from the shadows it does, but any chance of a photo of the ponoko logo behind an etched piece?

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Dan says:

@barry - yes the acrylic gets a kind of frosted appearance where the etching is performed. It's best to order a sample or make a prototype on a P1 to see how the engraving will come out in real life. Trying to capture the subtleties in a photograph is quite difficult :(

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Lucy says:

I'm helping my son with a project from the Making Things Move: DIY Mechanisms for Inventors, Hobbyists, and Artists by Dustyn Roberts. Her book pointed us to this site to buy a sheet of 1/4 inch thick clear acrylic approximately 15 X 31, but I don't see an option for ordering 1/4 inch thick. Can someone tell me how to order that here - I'm new to this site. Thanks!

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Dan says:

You can read how to do that here - http://support.ponoko.com/entries/498894

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Lucy says:

Thank you Dan!

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justice says:

that 15% is only for variance from overall thickness requested right? meaning i wont get a sheet that is 2.7mm on one end and 3.3 on other?

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Dan says:

@justice There can be some variation within a sheet but it is usually not at each extreme. Generally I'd say it could range 0.2-0.3 within a sheet.

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Kiandra says:

Is clear acrylic etched from the back as mirror acrylic?

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Dan says:

Hi Kiandra- The mirror acrylic is the only material that we engrave from the back. The clear acrylic here is the same on both sides, so until we make your design there isn't really a front or a back. Hope that helps!

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