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How to easily cut acrylic sheets

June 29, 2020
2 min read

Wondering how to cut the acrylic sheet you just bought for your next project? In this tutorial we will teach you how to cut your acrylic sheet in TWO easy steps.

Let's cut to the chase, laser cutting is the best way to cut acrylic sheet.

Laser cutters can cut acrylic sheets very fast and very accurate.

You're also not limited to linear cuts. A laser cutter can cut complex shapes, thin lines and curves that would be totally impossible if you do it by hand.

How does it work?

1. Create your design

First you need to create a vector file of your design. You can use Adobe Illustrator or hire someone to create your vector file for you. Make sure the dimensions of your design matches the size of your material.

2. Hire a laser cutting service

Easiest and cheapest way is to have a local laser cutting company cut it for you. If you're doing this in a long-term, investing in laser cutting machine would be more cost-efficient. But keep in mind, you have to learn how to operate and maintain the machine. Hobbyist laser cutting machines usually start at $5,000 and bigger ones can go up to $25,000.

How much does it cost to laser cut your acrylic?

It depends on the company. For example, our standard pricing is $65/hour of cutting time for our laser cutting service here in NYC.

How long does it take to laser cut acrylic sheets?

It depends on your design! Smaller projects can take as fast as 15 minutes, while bigger projects can last up to 6 hours or more. A key thing to remember is that, thinner sheets are faster to cut, while sheets that are about 1/4" in thickness take longer to cut. More complex designs also take longer, while simpler designs take much shorter.

Complexity + Thickness = Time

Limitations

Sadly, laser cutters can only cut acrylic sheets up to 1/4". But that shouldn't stop you from making your project using laser cutters! You can also stack acrylic sheets after they are cut using acrylic glue. That way you can have 1" thick acrylic cuts.

Final thoughts

That's basically it! The simplest way to laser cut acrylic sheets. If you want to learn more about laser cutting, you can email us at contact@prtwd.com

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About the author

Travis Gagnon

Travis is a freelance writer and a 3D printing enthusiast. He loves his dog as much as he loves to cook.