Material In Depth: Acrylic

Laser Cutting Acrylic
Laser Cutting Acrylic

Acrylic is a hard, brittle and stiff thermoplastic. It is extremely versatile in application and structurally strong.

Structural integrity Acrylic is approximately half the weight of glass and has great impact resistance and surface hardness, and unlike glass it is less vulnerable to shattering. Strong and versatile with varied uses.
Flexibility Thin (2mm) acrylic has limited flexibility. Thicker sheets are not flexible
Cost $ - Low to $ - High Depending on thickness and colour
Engrave quality / legibility Engraves well with reasonably clear result. Engraved acrylic appears frosted.
Score quality / legibility Scores very well with clear result.
Material burn We laser cut acrylic with protective paper still intact on both sides to reduce laser burn.
Transfer tape recommended? Our acrylic comes with a protective paper applied on both sides. Not recommended for mirrored acryic. Why?
Example uses Signage, architectural model making, displays, jewellery etc. Matte acrylic is matte on one side only, non-matte acrylic is shiny. Matte black acrylic works really well for signage.
Residue / handling Acrylic can scratch very easily and also attracts dust. Can be carefully cleaned with lint-free cloths.
Lifespan / longevity No issues
Water Resistance Repels Moisture, aside from Mirrored Acrylic which is not compatible with moisture.
Post production options Can be spray painted, frosted, sanded.
Thicknesses available 2mm 3mm, 4.5mm, 6mm
(check our materials page for latest stock available)

Matte acrylic is matte on one side only. We cut with the Matte side up, unless instructed otherwise.

We generally process acrylic jobs with both sides of the protective paper intact, however we tend to peel off the top layer on engraving jobs for clear, white and opal acrylic. We find that this produces a cleaner result as engraving through the protective paper often leaves a dark residue on the acrylic. Note that frosted acrylic does not come with protective paper applied, you can add transfer tape if required.