Quick Guide on How to Cut Acrylic Sheets
Before you set out to cut and design acrylic sheets as per your requirements, it is important to know more about this material.
Acrylic sheets are hard, clear plastic, and are manufactured by combining polymethyl and methacrylate. They are commonly referred to as Plexiglass in the construction industry and are a widely preferred material.
It is one of the most robust materials available on the market. It provides as stylish a look as real glass but is sturdier and capable of withstanding heavy impacts.
This guide will help you cut small or large acrylic sheets without damaging their quality.
Cutting Compact Pieces
When you are handling small pieces of Plexiglass which are compact in size and can be easily held in one hand, follow the method provided here.
As soon as you buy the product, you will notice that the seller has wrapped a protective paper over it. Acrylic sheets are robust materials which won’t break like a glass but because of their plastic finish, they can easily get scratched. The protective paper ensures that it retains its transparency without any scratches.
Before you begin cutting the sheet, leave a major portion of the paper over the sheet as it will secure it from scratches and allow you to work with ease. Once you are done with the process, simply peel the edge of the paper and lift it up to completely pull it off. Keep the small sheet over a flat surface, preferably a wooden table. A work bench may not be readily available in your residence. In that case, you can use two or three saw horses to support the weight of the sheet and work over it.
Measure Your Requirement
Measurements are highly important because even an extra inch or two can create problems, when you try to fix the sheet in the desired place. Use a yard stick to do the measurements as they are flat and will ideally fit onto the acrylic sheet. Do not use cloth or metal measuring tapes as they don’t go as well with the sheet material as a yard stick does.
Keep a black marker or a grease pencil handy to mark the measurements. Once the initial setup is done, it is important to choose the right type of equipment to cut your sheet. A glass cutter or a box cutter should be able to ideally meet your requirement.
Choose Your Cutter
The number of times you score the line is important because the higher it is, the easier it will be for the sheet to snap off without any rough edges. Make sure you score it at least five to ten times based on the thickness of the sheet. Do not try to snap off the sheet within one or two scores as this will most probably damage the entire area. When using a box cutter, ensure that the sharp tip of the blade is removed, or you could consider using the back of the knife to score the sheet. Additionally, score the front as well as the back of the Plexiglass which will allow you to make an indent with depth to easily snap off the piece.
There are different methods that you could utilize to snap off the piece. The first is to keep the to-be scored side on the edge of the desk so that it snaps off once you create the indent. The other way is to clamp the sheet to your work bench and score on the marked line. You can do it whichever way that you find the most comfortable. Everything related to acrylics and design materials can be found at Acrylics Online, a convenient online store that has all the essential accessories to help you bring your design to life.
Cutting off large pieces of acrylic sheet is similar to the method stated above, except that you should be using a circular blade saw, instead of cutters for higher precision. Once you finish cutting it, do not wipe the debris off your sheet but blow it off with a fan to avoid scratches. Make sure the work bench that you use is free of debris and always use a protective sheet below Plexiglass when you attempt to cut it.