Ponoko

Acrylic - Black

0.059 inches 0.118 inches 0.177 inches 0.220 inches 0.354 inches

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There are 4 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.

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
0.060" / 1.5mm0.032" - 0.083"0.8 - 2.1mm
0.118" / 3.0mm0.088" - 0.138"2.2 - 3.5mm
0.177" / 4.5mm0.139" - 0.199"3.5 - 5.1mm
0.236" / 6.0mm0.191" - 0.261"4.8 - 6.6mm
0.354" / 9.0mm0.294" - 0.384"7.4 - 9.8mm


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

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Tom says:

Can light shine through the engraved area, if the piece is back lit?

Added 12 months ago. ( delete )
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Dayma says:

Hi Tom,
Black acrylic is the most opaque color of acrylic and no light transfers through it even when engraved. Gray tint acrylic would be the closest thing we have - http://www.ponoko.com/make-and-sell/show-material/351-acrylic-gray-tint

Added 12 months ago. ( delete )
None-set-small

Does this black acrylic have a gloss or matt finish? The description does not specify?

Added 10 months ago. ( delete )
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Dayma says:

Hi Shane. Acrylic black has two glossy sides and acrylic matte black has one glossy, one matte. Thanks.

Added 10 months ago. ( delete )
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Joanna says:

Hi! I know this has been asked already, but I just wanted to check will light shine through the thinnest thickness of this material (1.5mm)?

Added 8 months ago. ( delete )
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Dayma says:

Hi Joanna,

No light gets through any of the thicknesses of black acrylic. They're completely opaque.

Thanks.

Added 8 months ago. ( delete )
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Tim Ashley says:

Will the engraved details show through if the acrylic is spray painted?

Added 3 months ago. ( delete )
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Dayma says:

Hi Tim,

If you're asking if it's possible to paint raster engraved areas, it is. Here's a tutorial from Instructables that may help - http://www.instructables.com/id/Improving-Laser-Etched-Acrylic-Panels-with-Acrylic/

Added 3 months ago. ( delete )

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