The acrylic fabrication process is a very clean, detail-oriented way of manufacturing acrylic. There are virtually no defects due to manufacturing.
Fabricating acrylic by hand will eliminate the relief marks and/or blue haze you would get with injection molded pieces. There are four main steps when creating a custom fabricated piece – Cut, Bend, Glue, and Polish.
Before anything can be constructed with the acrylic sheets, they must first be cut into necessary sizes.
- Linear Bend
To do so, each piece is set a few inches a top heat strips. Eventually, heat from the strips causes the acrylic piece to soften along the thinner grooved areas, making it malleable and ready for bending. And we bend the part according to the blueprint.
Some parts require a specific radius. In this case, the heat strip is not working. We need to make a mold and soften the panel in an oven with the correct mold. This process is quite more time consuming .
The next step in the acrylic fabrication process is gluing. A very thin strip of acrylic glue is added precisely to where it need adhesion. Then it is held in place by clamps and weights to ensure proper drying. It is very important to glue your acrylic pieces accurately. Failure to do so could result in unfavorable defects.
The glue seams is a marker of the job quality. For quick cheap jobs, there are bubbles in the seams. For highest quality, there is not.
Once all of your pieces of acrylic are cut, bent, and glued it is time to polish the necessary pieces. Some individual pieces must be polished before they are assembled.
Usually, we polish these pieces by using a very hot flame. By slightly melting the surface of the acrylic, surface tension smoothes out the surface of the acrylic piece. When done properly, flame polishing produces a clear finish. The flame polishing, by changing the tension in the acrylic, makes it subject to creasing (microscopic cracks on the edges) when an alcohol or ammoniac solution (or both like Windex) is used to clean.
To decrease the risk of creasing and have a better quality, the diamond edge polishing and the sand/buff are two other way with higher quality result. These techniques are more time consuming.
- With this process we are able to Build Table Tents Small and large displays as well as wood displays mixed with acrylic also in house Vacuum forming / CNC Machining / Laser Cutting / Engraving. High quality Bubble Free Glue joints
Do you have something in Mind Give us a call 602-340-1236 or Info@coolplastic.com
Desert Star Plastics
My brother told me that it may be a good idea to get acrylic for a custom aquarium tank. It’s good to know that having it fabricated by hand will eliminate relief marks that I find unsightly. I think I’ll hire someone to do this for me in case I get a discount for a 300-gallon oblong tank.