Acrylic plastic sheets are known to have incredible durability and weather resistance compared to glass and other plastics. This makes it suitable for many applications. However, the supply of acrylic sheets is usually in the form of rectangular or large sheets (1220X2440mm), therefore relies on custom cutting in order to use them for specific applications.
Strength, clarity and its scratch-proof properties are all advantages of using acrylic sheet in your product project, and one of the key aspects that makes it an ideal material for product applications or building construction is that it can be cut by using standard saws. Whether you use a hand saw or a high-powered cutter, it’s a flexible material when making what you need.
Tools for cutting acrylic sheet
Different product applications will have different requirements, and usually you need specific measurements and cuts to match. we offer custom cutting, but be aware of cracking if you wish to cut the acrylic sheet yourself, if you use any commercially available machine operated tools, these may cut too fast and too firmly to cut the acrylic sheet, resulting in cracks or plastic cracking.
To avoid cracking during cutting acrylic sheet you need to prepare the best tool and follow procedure exactly.
Tools you can use include:
- plastic cutter
- Table saw
- Jig saw
- Circular saw
the tools you cut the plastic depends on the shape you want and the thickness of the acrylic sheet.
The setting is crucial, just like any other product you cut, you always need a stable surface and enough surrounding space to avoid injury or damage. Make sure your countertop is stable and firm before cutting. When cutting a sheet of Plexiglass, use clamps to hold down the acrylic sheet to the work surface
Mark and score a line
For most cuts, you will need to line the acrylic sheet firstly to provide you with a guide as you cut. Use a small hook knife or Stanley knife with very sharp edges, and use a ruler or ruler to mark firmly on your sheet. If the plastic is fairly thin (4mm or thinner), then this should be enough to outline where you want to cut. Make a few strokes back and forth across the plastic and then cut.
You should only score about 1/8 deep. You should then align the plastic sheet precisely with the surface edge just below the notch. This should be a perfect cut. Break it if it is a thin acrylic sheet.
Cut thick acrylic
To cut thick acrylic sheets, you should use a table saw or circular saw to ensure stability and safety. Attempting to use a hook knife on thicker sheets of acrylic is very dangerous and is likely to damage or mistakenly break the acrylic sheet – in fact, it can also cause the sheet to cut with uneven edges and require more polishing and sanding of the edges. Circular saws are also suitable for cutting thicker sheets and are more useful and safer.
Tips to Avoid Cracking Acrylic as You Cut
Do Not Remove the Protective Film
plexiglass usually comes with a thin layer of plastic film intended to prevent scratches as the material travels from manufacturer to retailer to your workshop. keep this covering film on to prevent chipping during the cutting process. The protective film will protect the Plexiglass from scratching on the surface when clamped to the table.
Score deep Groove
When using a knife such plastic cutter to cut plexiglass, be sure to score a straight, deep line before attempting to break the material at the mark. make the cuts along the same line to create deep ones. This ensures the Plexiglass breaks easily when separating the cut parts.
Use the right blade
Whether using a hand tool or a power saw to cut plexiglass, it’s important to use a sharp blade. A dull blade will fight against the material, potentially causing cracks and breaks and uneven cut along the edges.
Keep the blade cool
an overheated blade on a power saw will melt the acrylic sheet and cause plexiglass to crack and break during the cutting process. Leaving the thin plastic film on the surface acts as a lubricant to an extent, but if your blade starts to overheat, pause and turn off the saw to let it cool. You can also add a small amount of soapy water to the plexiglass surface for additional lubrication while cutting.
Need a Acrylic sheet cutting service?
Best Blade to Cut Acrylic/Plexiglass
there are different tools that can be used to cut Plexiglass, and the quality of the blades on the tools will make the biggest difference during the cutting process. we could choose the base of the blade on following aspects.
Cut Acrylic sheet without cracking- Laser cut
Laser cutting is a contact-free cutting method, laser can cut a variety of patterns, words, etc., technology is using energy of laser beam irradiation to the acrylic surface released to melt the acrylic sheet, laser cutting method can accurately cut complex shape of the material, the cutting material only needs to do polishing treatment.
Many people use laser cutting to cut sheets of acrylic instead of a hook knife or hand saw. Because acrylic is a type of plastic and is sensitive to heat, certain tools used to cut can have an impact and actually warp or damage the sheet if cut too fast, but laser cutting will not crack the acrylic sheet in any case due to non-contact
Clean Lens of laser
The laser machine uses a lens to focus the laser. A dirty lens will not focus the laser properly and lead to an uneven cut. So cleaning the lens is vital to have a perfect sheet cutting.
Check The Wattage
Use appropriate wattages on the laser cutter when cutting the acrylic according to varying thicknesses of acrylic sheets.
Example: use about 150 watts for thin glass and up to 400 watts for thick ones.
Focus the laser on the surface of the sheet through the laser lens to achieve a clean cut on the Acrylic, If the rays are spread out, it will not work.