Since 1988, American Acrylics has used lasers to cut all types of plastic materials. Fast, clean, cost effective and dimensionally accurate, we laser cut products for many different industries. We laser cut all of the plastic components for our printing and fabrication departments.
Laser Cutting Plastics American Acrylics Laser Cutting Services
From prototyping to large production, lasers are our cutting tool of choice.
We currently own and operate two laser systems, both have enough power to provide our customers with great looking parts at a very competitive price. Programming is done by our own talented staff and parts can be produced from a wide variety of sources. With Cad / Cam software, we can develop new ideas, bringing parts to life quickly and competitively. With our parts nesting software, we maximize sheet yield effortlessly, providing the customer with a lower product cost and limiting material waste. We cut many of the materials we offer in our products section.
Lasers have changed the way we manufacture products. Even the most intricate shapes and profiles can be produced at a fraction of the cost of conventional cutting methods.
So let us quote on your next project !!!
American Acrylics Laser Cutting - "One Super Service"
Acrylic Sheet - How we cut, glue, bend & more.
Acrylic is a wonderful plastic that can be used for all sorts of different projects. It comes in both transparent and colored options, and can be machined, laser cut, or heated and bent into almost any shape
Types of Acrylic
Acrylic comes in two varieties: extruded and cast. While they may look identical, there are reasons you may choose one over the other based on your fabrication plans.
Extruded acrylic has a lower melting temperature than cast acrylic, which makes it ideal for vector cutting on a laser cutter. This same property, however, makes it less ideal than cast acrylic if you are milling or drilling it.
When laser engraving, cast acrylic is preferred, as the resulting engraving will be a frosty white color that contrasts against the rest of the acrylic. Laser engraving extruded acrylic will result in a clear engraving that doesn’t contrast as well.
Working with Acrylic
If the edge of a cut piece of clear acrylic is frosty, and you’d like to make it clearer, it can be flame polished. While it takes some practice to get right, slowly brushing the flame from an MAP gas torch across the edges to melt them slightly can give them a transparent, polished appearance. Just be sure not to polish edges that must be glued, as the resulting joint may not be as strong.
Using a strip heater, acrylic can be heated and bent at different angles. Profesional strip heaters can be quite expensive, but allow for precision bending. Placing our laser cut parts on the heater, waiting for it to soften enough, and then bend it to the angle desired. We use different cooling fixtures to allow the finished part to slowly cool, forming different shapes.
You can cut acrylic with more traditional blade tools such as a jigsaw, band saw, table saw or a production panel saw for large volume cutting. High tooth-count plastic-cutting blades are available for these tools, and are recommended.
Acrylic is typically glued using solvent-based glues, such as Weld-On 4. Unlike many other gluing processes, acrylic glue softens the surfaces of the acrylic and welds them together, chemically bonding the two pieces into one.
To glue acrylic with solvent glue, typically a squeeze-bottle applicator with a needle tip is used. Put the acrylic on the edge where you want it, and place the needle of the glue-filled applicator where the two pieces meet. Lightly squeeze the applicator while pulling it toward you. Capillary action will draw the glue into the joint. Hold the pieces in place for several minutes (a jig with clamps works great for this), and then allow the glue to set for 10–15 minutes before moving it. After 24–48 hours, the joint will cure to full strength
If you try to drill a sheet of acrylic with conventional metal or wood drill bits, there’s a chance you’ll end up cracking it. If the sheet is thin, use a step drill bit instead. If you’re working with a thick piece of acrylic, you can use conventional drill bits if you first place a piece of masking tape over the area to be drilled. If the hole is especially thick, spray some WD-40 to act as a lubricant. This will help remove chips and dissipate heat as the hole is drilled. Of coarse we laser cut all of our holes, no matter what size, leaving a perfect polished hole.
Beveling, bull nose, different radiuses and evan a frosted edge can be achieved using our variety of edging machines. All of these styles can also be buff polished
to a near surface quality shine.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Others Are Saying
Thank you for the wonderful service. Producing thousands of parts every month for us without any rejects plus your on time delivery sets you apart. American Acrylics has and continues to be a wonderful supplier! Chuck.
We have worked with american acrylics for over 20 years. The sheet products they supply us, either domestic of import, always meet up to our standards. Thank you! Ben.
American Acrylics produce some of the finest laser cut edge quality we have ever seen. Our parts are edge lit and require a highly polished blemish free edge. Keep up the good work.
We order hundreds of 4x8 foot styrene mirror sheets per year and American Acrylics great packaging and on time delivery is the best.
American Acrylics produces 600,000 first surface acrylic mirror circle on an annual basis. They hold tight precision cutting tolerances and package them 18,000 to a box for easy handling. Great supplier. Thanks.
Call us today at 847-674-7800 or email us at email@example.com
Let us quote on your next project!