Laser Cutting Acrylic – Using Lasers For Perfect Polymers
Acrylic is a mainstay in the manufacturing world for a reason. With myriad benefits and applications ranging from signage to toys, and even in the construction of vehicles, it’s easy to see why acrylic has been a staple material for almost a century. At Vector and Raster, we have a wealth of experience helping manufacturers, artists and designers alike achieve their visions through laser cutting acrylic. With that said, let’s get into the benefits of laser cut acrylic!
First of All, What is Acrylic?
Near the start of the 20th century, there was a considerable amount of work and research going into developing new synthetic plastics and materials for manufacturing. This led to the invention of neoprene, polythene and, most importantly for this article, Perspex. A word that has become an exchangeable synonym for acrylic, Perspex is, in fact, a trademarked brand of acrylic sheet. However, we didn’t set out to write a historical discussion of laser cutting acrylic, so let’s get into the practical side of things.
What are the Benefits of Laser Cutting Acrylic?
Given that (in its traditional form) acrylic is clear and quite durable, it makes an excellent tough alternative to glass. This makes laser cutting acrylic quite effective when compared to other materials, as it is easy to avoid most damage and minor blemishes that can occur with more fragile options. Acrylic is quite strong and easy to work with, making it a tremendously versatile material. No further edge finishing is required after laser cutting, and no surface finishing is needed after etching details. It is also easily folded and formed, making it a perfect fit for designs that require fabrication. Plus, most acrylic variants sport a high-gloss surface, making them a popular pick for eye-catching designs.
For some fantastic examples of laser cut acrylic designs, here are a few pieces we have done for customers that we’re especially proud of:
This beautiful blue symbol was laser cut from 6mm thick blue acrylic from the PERSPEX Frost range. As you can see, this material is perfect for angular pieces; offering stark lines and an extremely clean border.
This large Herradura horseshoe piece is made up of a combination of 2mm aluminium, with 6mm and 10mm clear acrylic layers which have then been sandwiched together to create a unique, marvelous looking piece. It has then been taken one step further and installed on a base with L.E.D. lighting, which illuminates and accentuates the laser etched areas. This technique is commonly used for signage, POS displays and more, due to its eye-catching results.
Simple and effective; the clear Judd acrylic boasts laser etching, which allows high contrast and crisp detail on even the smallest of design pieces. It is laser cut out of 10mm thick acrylic, showcasing the optical clarity that acrylics are known for.
Whether you are looking to create intricate one-off signage designs, or step up the durability of your product range, laser cut acrylic is an absolutely fantastic option. If this sounds like something you would be interested in, contact Vector and Raster today to learn more!