Acrylic is one of the most popular and versatile plastics available today. It is known for being clear, lightweight, impact resistant, and easy to form. CNC cutting and fabrication can make this material even more powerful by providing customization options that make acrylic perfectly suited and ready for use in specific applications.
If you’re looking for a versatile plastic that can be molded and cut to suit the specific needs of your operations, acrylic should be at the top of your list. A supplier that offers CNC cutting and fabrication can make the material even more powerful. Here’s a guide to acrylic CNC cutting and fabrication for those interested in reaping these benefits.
Attributes of Acrylic
Acrylic is a clear, lightweight plastic that is ubiquitously known as Plexiglass. It sometimes also goes by the trade names OPTIX®, Acrylite®, or Plexiglas®. It is a thermoplastic that can be formed into a variety of specific shapes and used in a broad range of industries and applications.
One of the attributes that makes acrylic stand out is its excellent optical clarity. Sheets of acrylic allow almost all light to pass through, making it a perfect choice for applications where clear visibility is key.
Because of this, acrylic is often used as a replacement for glass. However, it is significantly lighter and more impact resistant than glass. This makes it easier to transport and install. And it also provides more protection for applications that may be exposed to flying debris or heavy or sharp equipment, since it doesn’t generally shatter upon impact like glass is likely to do.
Acrylic is also durable enough to hold up in various settings, including outdoor applications. Specifically, it offers low UV sensitivity and overall weather resistance. So it does not quickly wear or show signs of damage when exposed to the natural elements.
Another element that makes acrylic incredibly popular is its versatility. It can be shaped easily and cut to specific sizes. CNC cutting and fabrication can enhance this versatility even more. From there, coatings can be added to provide extra functionality in specific instances. These include options for scratch-resistance, anti-fog, and even reflective characteristics.
Applications of Acrylic
Because of the factors explored above, acrylic is a popular choice for a wide range of industries. Nearly any company that can use a clear, lightweight, impact resistant material can utilize acrylic in some way. But here are a few areas where it tends to be especially popular.
In retail and general business settings, acrylic is often used in the production of signage and displays. It is durable enough to be used in outdoor signs or storefront displays. Its impact resistance also allows it to house valuable products that retailers want to show off without exposing to direct contact with the public. It’s even lightweight enough to work in tradeshow or special event signage and displays.
In the construction industry, acrylic is often used in place of glass, especially when it comes to things like windows and skylights. The material provides extra strength and is generally easy to work with, especially in high volumes, since it is easier for crews and construction equipment to carry large loads without all the extra weight of glass. It can even be used in the construction of added structures like greenhouses.
Similarly, acrylic is often used as a glass replacement in vehicles. The transportation industry relies on materials like acrylic and polycarbonate to provide extra impact resistance in case there’s a collision or other issue that may impact the windshield, mirrors, or similar components. Acrylic is also often used in custom transportation applications like operator protection in mass transit vehicles, golf carts, and RVs.
These are just a few of the industries where the properties of acrylic come in handy. It is also commonly used in the production of machine guards, construction equipment, and sound stage components, among others.
Custom Fabrication for Acrylic
Acrylic CNC cutting and fabrication can make this material even more versatile and well suited for specific applications. Basically, CNC machines are used to cut and shape plastics and other materials into specific, computer aided designs. Users can create a digital file of the cuts they want made in a piece of acrylic, and then it is automatically produced to those exact specifications.
This allows acrylic sheets to be offered in a wide array of dimensions and thicknesses. You can even get rods, tubes, and other shapes that are cut to the needs of each specific project. Additionally, acrylic is offered in a wide array of colors and finishes, though clear is the most popular. And various grades are available like those that prevent glare or those that can be used to diffuse light. All of these factors make it the perfect customizable option for tons of industries — all you need is a reliable acrylic supplier who offers CNC cutting and fabrication.
If you’re looking for a supplier that can offer the benefits of acrylic CNC cutting and fabrication, contact Polymershapes Toronto today. We offer acrylic sheets, rods, and tubes in various colors, finishes, and grades. And our team has access to CNC routers to provide completely customized products that are ready for use in your specific applications. In addition to acrylic, we’re able to offer an extensive inventory of various plastics thanks to our affiliation with Polymershapes, an internationally recognized leader in the plastics industry. However, our facility is located in Ontario and is dedicated to helping local clients obtain quality, customized products and helpful service. Our team understands the needs of local industries and provides fast turnaround times on orders. To get started with acrylic CNC cutting and fabrication, visit our website to request a quote today.