Plexiglass cutting on an industrial scale
In production, the most common method is cutting plexiglass with a laser beam. Of course, it is faster and more convenient than other methods. The laser cuts the sheet along a perfectly flat mowing line, the cuts remain slightly rough and require little effort to polish, and there is practically no waste. There are a couple of drawbacks to this method. not everyone has acquired a laser device yet. This is the main disadvantage. And even when cutting with a laser, an internal stress appears in the material at the level of atoms and molecules. this is the second drawback. It’s just that the sheets of plexiglass after laser processing are not recommended to be connected with glue. the connection will not be strong.
We cut at home
To begin with, we note that plexiglass has a very low thermal conductivity, and therefore it is recommended to cut sheets at home with its minimum possible thickness and maximum speed in order to avoid accidents, since the cut point heats up instantly. If a milling machine or circular saw is used, then the plexiglass will most likely smoke and foam during cutting, so you need to think about cooling in advance. with water or a strong stream of air. So, how to cut plexiglass at home, the most famous ways:
When all the necessary pieces are cut off, you should use a cutter to remove the excess in the unsuccessful cuts, and then start cleaning them with a joiner jointer. And then, if necessary, you can polish with sandpaper.
It turns out that plexiglass can be processed at home, there would be a desire, but our imagination is already over the edge. How grandma liked our amateur performances, after all, we made decorations in her house from what was left, we got carried away. Now rest, and don’t wake me up, even if suddenly the sky decides to collapse to the ground.
DIY Plexiglass Cutting Tools
Since plexiglass is a thermoplastic transparent plastic (it can also be called acrylic, plexiglass, acrylic glass, etc.), in principle it will not be difficult to cut it at home, only ordinary tools are needed. Often, an ordinary metal hand saw, circular saw, cutter, milling machine and others are used for this. If the thickness of the sheet is not more than 2mm, then it can be easily cut with a simple stationery knife. Thus, the cutting tool must be selected based on the thickness of the sheet.
When self-cutting plexiglass, the edges of the sheet remain sharp, so they need additional grinding and polishing. over, this is necessary regardless of whether you have chosen a milling machine, circular saw or other tool. That is, as the cooks “bring to taste” the finished dish, so the cut plexiglass needs to be “brought to the form”.
How and what to cut plexiglass
Grannies have become modern. ours, for example, called early in the morning and said: “I want a gazebo in a garden with a transparent roof, right under a spreading apple tree, and a new greenhouse.” No, what a habit of waking good people up at dawn? She herself gets up with the roosters, and wakes us up! She figured out the touchscreen phone and wakes up, she’s bored, you see, she also came up with something.
We will build the gazebo itself, but what kind of roof to make, not glass, in fact, to put. Although why not. “plexiglass” is possible! Plexiglas is light, transparent, durable, perfect for a gazebo, and for a greenhouse too. And you can cut it yourself if it does not fit in size. Do you know how to cut plexiglass and how to do it correctly? Let’s take a closer look at this issue.
How to bend plexiglass
Step by step instructions for bending plexiglass. Our experts reveal the secrets of this technology and.
How and what to cut plexiglass?
One of the most common synthetic materials used for domestic and industrial purposes is plexiglass, which is produced by polymerization of methacrylic acid and ether components. Because of its composition, plexiglass got the name acrylic. You can cut it using a special device or improvised means. When cutting plexiglass with a power tool, difficulties often arise due to the fact that the material begins to melt and stick to the cutting blade. Nevertheless, there are still ways to help cut acrylic at home.
What to cut?
Colored and transparent organic glass has certain properties that affect the electric tool at the moment when the material is cut. The fact is that acrylic tends to melt at 160 ° C. If you need to bend a flat sheet, then this can be done after heating it to 100 ° C. When exposed to the cutting blade of a power tool, the cut site heats up and the material in molten form sticks to its surface, so cutting off the plexiglass is a rather problematic task.
Despite the complexity of processing, acrylic glass has a wide range of applications. To cut the material, thereby giving it the desired size, modern equipment is used in production conditions:
- a CNC laser machine, where a laser, like a knife, cuts an acrylic surface;
- an electric cutter with which you can make holes or a shaped cutout;
- machines equipped with a band saw;
- disk type electric cutter.
Laser cutting and milling have a high degree of productivity and are used in mass production. This equipment is capable of cutting acrylic material with a high degree of precision and accuracy. Most of all, laser processing is currently widespread, the accuracy of work is achieved due to the fact that a beam is formed, the thickness of which is 0.1 mm.
The cut edges of the material after laser work are absolutely smooth. Most importantly, this cutting method does not generate waste.
Mechanical cutting of acrylic glass is accompanied by heating of the material, as a result of which it begins to melt, while forming significant smoke. To prevent the melting process, the cutting operation must be accompanied by cooling the acrylic, which is carried out using the supply of water or a stream of cold air.
Home craftsmen often perform organic glass processing on their own, using available tools.
- Hacksaw for metal. The cutting blade is characterized by the presence of small teeth located at a minimum distance from each other. The hacksaw blade is made from a tough, hardened steel alloy, so the cutting edge dulls slowly. Using it makes it possible to get an even cut due to a smooth tangential motion. In the process of work, it is not recommended to cut quickly so that the acrylic does not heat up and undergo plastic deformation. The finished cut is obtained with roughness that will need to be sanded with sandpaper.
- Acrylic glass cutter. This device is sold in retail chains and is intended for cutting plexiglass with a small thickness. up to 3 mm. To obtain an even cut, a ruler is fixed on the surface of organic glass, then a cut of the material is made using a cutter (approximately half of its thickness). After that, the cut is broken off the sheet along the intended mowing line. The finished cut turns out to be uneven, therefore, in the future, the workpiece will have to go through a long grinding.
- Circular saw. The disc for cutting plexiglass should be with small, frequent teeth. If you use a disc with a large pitch between them, then chips and cracks may appear on the processed material. After receiving a cut, the workpiece requires finishing grinding.
- Milling cutter with bearing. This power tool makes a high-quality cut on plexiglass, but at the same time the cutting knives quickly become dull and become unusable. When working with a cutter, acrylic heats up quickly, this process is accompanied by strong smoke. To avoid heating the material, use water to cool the work surface.
- Electric jigsaw. This tool is convenient in that it has the ability to adjust the feed speed of the cutting blade. To work with organic glass, special cutting blades are used, which are fixed in the jigsaw holder. You can replace such saws with a blade for wood, the main thing is that the teeth of the blade are often located and have a small size. You need to work at low speeds, otherwise the material will begin to stick to the canvas. Once the cut has been completed, the workpiece can be sanded or flame treated with a lighter. You can make straight or curved cuts with a jigsaw.
- Angle Grinder. For cutting a thick sheet of plexiglass, you can use a disc with three large teeth, which is designed for woodwork. Such a tool does a good job of making straight cuts. During operation, acrylic glass does not melt or stick to the disc. It can be used to process acrylic with a thickness of 5-10 mm.
Some home craftsmen use a regular glass cutter to cut organic glass. The results of the operation of the listed tools completely depend on the experience of the master, and no one is insured from the possibility of spoiling the material in this case.
In order to qualitatively cut plexiglass with your own hands at home, experienced craftsmen advise you to adhere to some rules (they are applicable not only to acrylic, but also to plexiglass, as well as cellular polycarbonate).
- It will be much easier to cut a curly workpiece to size or saw off an even piece of acrylic glass if, before starting work, you warm up the material over a heat source: a gas burner or a hair dryer. This must be done at a considerable distance so as not to melt the material.
- Cutting out a workpiece from plexiglass with a small thickness from 2 mm to 5 mm can be done using an electric jigsaw. With its help, you can not only make a straight cut, but also cut a circle. For work, you need to take a narrow and thin canvas with fine teeth.
- It is easier to cut the glass with a blade marked MP. S. Steel for the production of sheets is hardened and high strength.
- Sawing glass is necessary at low speeds of the cutting blade feed. You can find the speed for each tool in the process of work in a practical way. During the sawing process, it is important to ensure that the acrylic glass does not start to melt.
- Work on cutting organic glass should be carried out in goggles or a mask. When cutting the material, a large amount of small flaked chips is formed, which scatters in different directions at a high speed.
The greatest difficulties in home cutting of organic glass arise when creating complex curvilinear cuts. The easiest way to solve this problem is using laser industrial equipment, where automated control allows you to perform all the necessary functions with the highest accuracy and without human intervention. Manually curly cutting of acrylic is performed according to a pre-made template. The easiest way to make such a cut is a cutter. The contours of the resulting workpiece will be jagged and rough, which are eliminated by grinding.
At home, you can accelerate the cutting process of organic glass using a hot nichrome wire connected to a voltage source of 24 V. The heated nichrome wire melts the acrylic material through and through in the right place of the cut. At the same time, the cut edges are smooth.
It is quite possible to assemble such a device on your own at home, the main thing is to choose a high-quality nichrome wire with the correct diameter that would withstand heating to a temperature of 100 ° C.
How to Hand Cut Plexiglass Easy
In order to cut the acrylic sheet straight, it is important to monitor the feed speed of the cutting blade during work. It is best to start the cutting process with the lowest rotational speed of the power tool. You can choose the optimal mode only experimentally. If during operation the acrylic material began to melt and adhered to the cutting blade, then the work must be stopped, the blade must be cleaned of contamination, and the workpiece being sawn must be allowed to cool down.
When cutting acrylic, it is best to work in a well-ventilated area, since organic glass, when heated, smokes very strongly and releases chemical components that are harmful to health into the environment.
You can use a slotted screwdriver to cut a small piece of organic glass. The screwdriver is heated over a gas burner and held with its slotted part along the ruler attached to the workpiece.
Under the influence of the heated section of the screwdriver, a shallow groove will appear in the material. This groove can be deepened even further and then break off the edge of the glass, or take a sawing tool and cut the material further in the direction of the groove. After cutting, the edge of the workpiece will be uneven. It can be leveled by long grinding.
This method takes a lot of time, but it allows you not to spoil the glass by the sudden appearance of cracks or chips.
In the next video, you will learn how to cut plexiglass quickly and easily.
How to polish plexiglass with your own hands?
In order for the polishing of plexiglass at home to proceed conveniently and reliably, it is necessary to remove the glass to be processed from the product.
First of all, it is necessary to protect the edges of the glass with adhesive tape, pasting it from the ends along the perimeter with an overlap of 1. 2 mm. If for some reason it is impossible to pull the glass out of the product, then work like this, but glue over all non-glass parts of the product. To prevent glue from remaining on the glass at the end of the work, use a proven high-quality adhesive tape. Although we have already described in the previous article how to wipe off the adhesive from the tape. After that, round the corners and remove the remaining adhesive tape by cutting them off with a scalpel.
When all the above preparatory work is done, we proceed to polishing. We take the sandpaper 800 and begin to grind the glass surface with it with a small addition of water. This process should be smooth and gentle. When the sanding is complete, we wipe the surface and see what we have.
Oddly enough, the plexiglass should be completely opaque. There is no need to be afraid of this, it should be so. If the glass is not evenly frosted, continue sanding until you achieve uniformity, and also pay close attention to the absence of potholes on the surface.
When you achieve the desired result, take 2000 sandpaper and continue sanding with it. You will notice that the glass is starting to get clearer. Scratches and various cracks should not be observed throughout its area. If you find any defects on the glass, then sand again with 800 sandpaper until they disappear, and then again with 2000 sandpaper. When the desired result is achieved, wipe the plexiglass surface.
Next, you will need a small amount of polishing paste, which can be purchased almost anywhere. Apply the paste to a piece of soft cloth and continue sanding with gentle, measured strokes. Very quickly you will notice that your plexiglass acquires an increasing shine.
After that, you will have the opportunity to carefully examine the glass for any residual defects. If you find any, you will have to repeat all the grinding steps again. If everything suits you, you can remove the tape and make sure that it does not leave any glue on the edges of the glass.
If you removed the glass before work, then after removing the tape, you need to grind the edges of the glass in the same way. After that, your organic glass will shine like new.
Required tools and materials
Many who came across this material wondered how to polish plexiglass on their own, without resorting to the expensive help of a professional. It is possible to polish plexiglass at home quickly and efficiently without significant costs. over, the result will be significantly better than with machine processing, due to the rapid heating and melting of the surface.
To do this, you will need the following materials and tools:
- Roll of masking (paper) tape;
- Polishing paste;
- Sandpaper 800 and 2000;
- Soft rag;
- Blade knife or sharp scalpel.
Unique polishing agent
Any polishing method has positive and negative sides. For example, in the composition of GOI paste, chromium oxide is present, penetrating into any surface irregularities, from where it is very difficult to get it. Also, the glass can be damaged if there are rather large grains in the GOI paste. Therefore, it can be easily replaced with another substance, while you need to ensure that this substance does not contain ammonia, due to which the glass can become faded.
You can make a unique plexiglass polish yourself. You will need a can of any spray, hot water, and white wine vinegar. Mix water with vinegar 1: 1 and fill a canister with this mixture. This will give the glass a smoothness and keep it from mold and mildew.
You can also polish plexiglass with various toothpastes, powders or chalk with a soft cloth.
Alternative resurfacing methods
For grinding, you need a polishing wheel, paste, chalk, sandpaper, but at the same time you always need to prepare felt or other necessary fabric.
Crystal clarity and dazzling shine are not always achieved from glass. Sometimes the task is to obtain frosted glass, for example, for some musical equipment or simply to make various items of home or office interior original. To do this, glass is treated with coarser abrasive materials, for example, fine-grain emery paper or using chemical matting.
Plexiglass polishing with GOI Paste
In addition to the above method, there is a good opportunity to polish plexiglass at home using felt and GOI paste. If you do not have felt on hand, it can be easily replaced with a piece of felt boots, a woolen insole or a regular cotton wool disc. The method is quite simple: apply GOI paste on plexiglass and process the surface with one of the above materials until the desired result is obtained.
If the processed organic glass is rather old, then you need to use a fine emery cloth, moisten the surface with a spray bottle and make sure that it does not dry out. After that, wipe it with a soft cloth and rub it to a shine with GOI paste.
You can also use car polish for polishing. Apply it to glass and rub with felt. But, it is worth noting that before that, test the polish on a small area of the glass and make sure that it does not spoil it. After all this, rub the surface with any liquid oil, from machine oil to sunflower oil.
If you have a burner available, you can polish the glass by first treating it with zero sandpaper, and then evenly burn the surface with a burner. But be careful not to stay too long in any place, so as not to scorch the plexiglass.
How to polish plexiglass
Plexiglas is a thermoplastic material known for its impeccable quality. It has a high level of transparency and significantly surpasses ordinary glass in this, freely passes light rays without any distortion, haze and other defects.
Plexiglas is widely used in the production of all kinds of showcases, partitions, special viewing windows, accessories for cars, telescopes, lamps, microscopes, as well as medicine, construction, industry and many other industries. However, with all its advantages, in order for it to last for a long time, it requires conscientious care. Next, we will consider how to polish plexiglass, but we also recommend that you familiarize yourself with the material how to glue plexiglass.
What you need to know about plexiglass polishing? No matter how strong and reliable the plexiglass material is, minor cracks and minor scratches and cuts will still appear on it. This is due to mechanical stress during its operation. Although polishing plexiglass at home is not a super difficult process, it is quite a long, meticulous and patient task.
The main thing that a polisher should know is that aggressive, strong chemicals and substances cannot be used for polishing. If polished with their use, the glass can become dull, cloudy and poorly transparent.
Notes for beginners!
At the time of polishing organic glass, you must constantly remember about your own protection and safety for your health. For example, when grinding with GOI paste, you need to know that it can be severely poisoned if it gets into the internal organs.
Therefore, you must be careful to maintain moisture during the polishing process and avoid the formation of dust that is easy to inhale. It is best to use personal protective equipment: respirator, gloves, goggles. This will prevent poisonous substances from entering your body and polishing the plexiglass at home will not harm you.
What else can you cut plexiglass
In addition to mechanical methods, thermal methods are also used for cutting plexiglass. This allows you to quickly cut sheets of material of any thickness, as well as get workpieces with curved surfaces.
The main tool here is a nichrome thread, which is connected to a transformer with a voltage of 24 V. At the ends of the thread there are handles made of electrically insulating material. When an electric current passes through the nichrome filament, it heats up to 160 ° C. This temperature is sufficient to melt the acrylic glass. Therefore, when the incandescent filament comes into contact with the plexiglass, it melts, resulting in a smooth, neat cut, the edges of which do not require additional processing. Instead of nichrome thread, you can also use a slotted screwdriver.
HOW TO CUT ORGANIZED GLASS IN HOME CONDITIONS
Plexiglas is one of the most popular construction and ornamental materials. Due to its technical characteristics, plexiglass is widely used in industry, construction and everyday life. The household use of acrylic glass is very diverse. souvenirs, key chains, business card holders, as well as decorative elements, lamps, aquariums and much more are made from it. Such widespread use of block plexiglas in everyday life is due to its high strength, low weight, attractive appearance and ease of processing.
Most often, home craftsmen are faced with the question: how to cut plexiglass at home into pieces of various sizes and thicknesses. How to do this and what tools are better to use for cutting plexiglass. we will consider further.
How to cut plexiglass with a cutter
The cutters allow you to quickly and easily make a straight cut on a sheet of acrylic glass, which is 2 to 3 mm thick. To keep the cut straight and neat, it is best to use a metal ruler. It is applied along the mowing line of the future cut and the sheet is cut to half its thickness. Next, the acrylic glass is broken off along the resulting cut and the resulting edge is processed.
How to cut plexiglass at home with a cutter
The cutter allows cutting organic glass with a sheet thickness of 5. 10 mm. In addition to the cutter, you can use a circular saw or jigsaw. With all these tools, you can cut out complex shapes with curved surfaces from Plexiglas sheets.
The cut is made according to preliminary marking with subsequent processing of the edge. When working with a hand-held power tool, acrylic dust can be emitted, and the surface of the material heats up, which can cause the sheet to swell and melt at the cut. Therefore, in this case, you should use personal protective equipment (glasses, respirator, etc.), as well as provide for cooling systems for the surface of the plexiglass, for example, you can use a bottle of cold water, etc.
How to cut plexiglass while at home
Acrylic glass is a fairly lightweight and durable material that lends itself to any type of mechanical processing, including cutting, bending, grinding, etc. All these operations are performed using special machines and tools, in fact, according to algorithms similar to laser cutting of metal. However, you can cut plexiglass at home using a hand tool or improvised means.
The plexiglass cutting technology depends on the choice of tool, sheet thickness, as well as the shape that must be given to the finished product. The following methods are used to process this material:
- Milling. allows you to grind parts of various shapes from a solid sheet, including those with curved surfaces;
- Drilling. used for the manufacture of parts with holes of various diameters;
- Heat treatment. you can get even straight cuts of sheets of any thickness.
At home, hacksaws, hand cutters, circular saws, special cutters, as well as nichrome threads for temperature processing are used to cut acrylic glass.
How to cut plexiglass with a hacksaw?
If you need to cut the Plexiglas sheet into smaller pieces, it is best to use a metal hacksaw. To do this, mark the place of the proposed cut on the sheet. Such markings are made with light scratches on the surface without the use of markers and other dyes.
Next, a piece of plexiglass is cut off along the intended mowing line with a hacksaw, and the resulting edge is sanded with sandpaper.
Cutting organic glass at home is a fairly simple operation that can be performed using the tools at hand. In order to determine how and what to cut the plexiglass, you need to pay attention to the thickness of the sheets, the presence of curved elements in the part, as well as the set of tools available from the home craftsman. The most versatile is the method using a cutter and nichrome thread, and the simplest method is cutting with a hacksaw.
Method two. cutter
If the thickness of the material is not large, even a regular stationery knife will suit you. So, before you can cut the required elements, you need to prepare. In order for the line of the cut to be even, such as you need, prepare a ruler. It is better if it is metal, if such is not found, any other will do. Place the ruler along the intended mowing line of the cut, and then, with neat but confident movements, slide the cutter along the ruler. It can be multiple movements. The sheet thickness must be cut by 50%. Now, with a neat but precise movement, break the sheet. the cut line will also not turn out perfectly flat, additional grinding will be required.
If necessary, you can make the cutter yourself. Some home craftsmen use an ordinary piece of glass, having previously secured the place where they hold with their hand.
How to cut plexiglass
Cutting plexiglass at home is an activity that the average person rarely encounters. Despite this, from time to time the question arises. how to cut plexiglass? But those people who like to craft with their own hands and use this unique material in their works are very often faced with such a task. to quickly cut acrylic into the necessary elements. In production conditions, some methods of cutting this material are used, at home it is more convenient and practical to use other methods. Below we will consider what methods are used not in production.
Method one. hacksaw for metal
Surely almost every home craftsman has such a hacksaw in the toolbox. It is quite simple to work with it, your actions should be exactly the same as when cutting metal or wood. In advance, on a sheet of material, it is necessary to mark the cutting line of the cut, after which you can proceed. In the process, control the evenness of the hacksaw and do not be too zealous so that the material does not start to melt, otherwise you will get an uneven and melted cut.
After you have cut off the necessary elements, pay attention to the cut. It turns out to be rough. Additional resurfacing will be required. You can use a file or sandpaper.
Cutting plexiglass at home
If you need to cut a sheet of plexiglass into certain elements, you can use one of the following methods:
Method three. circular saw or cutter for metal
Cutting plexiglass with your own hands can also be done using a circular saw or a cutter for metal. If you choose a milling cutter, please note that its thickness should be no more than one millimeter. In the process of work, the cutter is very quickly triggered.
When cutting plexiglass with this method, it is necessary to take into account that a lot of smoke will be emitted, and the material will warm up rather quickly, possibly foaming at the processing site. To avoid possible consequences, you should take care of cooling the material with water in advance. Cooling can be organized in this way: take a regular bottle and fill it with water, fix it near the cutter and supply water to the work surface using a plastic hose. If you use a hose with a thickness of 2.5 mm, about one liter of water will flow out per hour. By establishing this cooling method, you will be able to get a neat and transparent cut.
- You can build a tool to cut this material. You will need a nichrome thread. As a result of heating, it will be able to cut the plexiglass due to melting. To build such a tool, take a nichrome thread, a transformer whose power is 24 V. Connect the thread to the transformer, having previously fixed it on both sides or attaching a handle on one side, and hang a weight on the other. When the filament is hot, you can cut the acrylic along the intended mowing line.
- Slotted screwdriver. Press the screwdriver against the sheet of material, hold it by the edge of the handle. Heat the tool blade with a soldering iron. When the sheet of material begins to melt, you can cut it by moving the tool with your hand. Use a metal ruler to get straight line. After running the mowing line over the acrylic surface, it can be easily broken in the right place.
In addition to the listed methods, plexiglass at home can be cut using other tools, it can be a jigsaw (you need to choose the right mode) or a glass cutter. Each master, by trial and error, selects his own, suitable method for him. After studying the proposed information, it became clear that cutting Plexiglas products is not such a complicated process as it might seem at first glance.
For cutting polymethyl methacrylate, an electric jigsaw with special files for organic glass is used. Plexiglass files have a special marking. the letters of the Latin alphabet MP.S.
For cutting plexiglass at home, a jigsaw with saws marked MP.S is often used.
When cutting the blade, you need to control the speed of the tool. The more the number of revolutions, the higher the speed of the jigsaw. At high cutting speeds, the synthetic resin begins to melt. The cut area becomes white and sealed. such material is unusable.
The filing speed and the number of revolutions of the nail file are selected experimentally. Before starting cutting the working blade, it is recommended to practice on unnecessary fragments of PMMA.
An electric jigsaw is used to create straight and curved cutting lines.
Rules for neat cutting of plexiglass at home
Rank 5 Builder
Plexiglass, which is called acrylic, polymethyl methacrylate and metaplex, is a hard transparent synthetic polymer. Unlike ordinary glass, polymethyl methacrylate is characterized by high strength, water resistance and resistance to various physical and chemical influences.
The material is widely used in industry, construction, national economy, outdoor advertising, landscape and interior design.
To cut plexiglass at home, you can use an ordinary hacksaw for metal
Cutting plexiglass at home is extremely rare. Often, this issue is dealt with by specialists in workshops for cutting synthetic plastic, glass and other building materials. However, sometimes the skills of cutting polymethyl methacrylate can be useful in everyday life.
A hacksaw for metal is available in every home, so this method of sawing organic glass is considered the simplest and most affordable:
- Clean your work surface from debris, broken branches, small stones and dust.
- Place the PMMA sheet on your work bench. Use a marker pen to mark the cutting lines.
- In the process of cutting the blade, check the evenness of the hacksaw stroke and the pressing force. To prevent the material from melting, try not to rush. Otherwise, the cut line will turn out to be uneven and slightly melted.
This method of cutting organic glass has one significant drawback. the roughness of the cut site. Sand the edges of the plexiglass with sandpaper or a file.
The most convenient method for cutting acrylic is called a laser. However, this method cannot be applied at home, it is used exclusively in industrial production.
A thin laser allows you to make precise cuts and cut out even the smallest details of a future design or product. If necessary, you can contact a specialized workshop or an enterprise that produces organic glass and products from it. It is recommended to make drawings in advance and apply markings on the polymethyl methacrylate canvas.
The laser allows you to accurately cut and plexiglass even small parts, it is used only in industrial production
Polymethylmethacrylate of small thickness can be cut with a clerical or assembly knife, a homemade cutter.
In order for the line of the cut to be even, it is necessary to make markings. Along the intended mowing line of the cut, you need to place a metal ruler and press it firmly with your hand. Using gentle but firm strokes, slide the cutter along the ruler several times. When the blade is more than 50% cut, gently break the material along the mowing line of the formed fold. Irregularities and roughness must be treated with emery or a grinder.
As for the disadvantages, this method of cutting plexiglass requires certain dexterity and skills. Lack of experience and inaccurate movements can cause damage to building material.
Plexiglas as a type of modern building material is in great demand among builders, designers and even farmers. Sometimes there is no opportunity to seek help from a specialist who is engaged in cutting polymer, so you need to know what other methods of cutting plexiglass exist.
In some cases, it is allowed to use a circular or band saw. A circular saw helps to make an even and neat straight cut, a band saw is used to make blanks and small parts.
Nichrome thread, which must first be well heated, precisely and accurately cuts the fabric with a thickness of 4, 6 and 8 mm. This method is not suitable for cutting thicker PMMA sheets.
Hot nichrome thread is widely used for cutting plexiglass
To cut a single piece of plexiglass into parts, some craftsmen use a slotted screwdriver. The tool blade must be heated with a 25 W soldering iron, pressed against the acrylic and the fishing line drawn. After the polymethyl methacrylate begins to melt at the place where the cut is formed, the sheet is broken by hand. The cut place should be treated with emery or grinding.
Plexiglas is characterized by low fire resistance, for this reason it is not recommended to work with this material near an open fire.
Working with organic glass requires accuracy, care and care. Failure to follow simple safety rules can lead to dire consequences. So, when working with polymethyl methacrylate, you must wear protective clothing and goggles that reduce the risk of injury or burns.
Compliance with a number of safety rules, the correct choice of tools and a responsible approach to business is a guarantee of high-quality cutting of polymethyl methacrylate.
Some features of the use of industrial equipment
Before cutting the plexiglass with a circular saw or using a milling machine, there are some precautions to take. The material heats up quickly and begins not only to melt, but also to smoke. Constant cooling is required. To do this, use a strong stream of air or ordinary water. One liter of water is enough to work quietly for an hour.
The container is installed on one side, and water flows through a plastic hose with a diameter of about 2.5 millimeters. This allows you to make a straight and even cut without melted edges.
Cutting plexiglass at home using a milling machine or laser installation is in most cases impossible, since this complex technical equipment costs a lot of money and takes up a lot of space. At the same time, shops with such machines appear in many cities in increasing numbers, which makes it possible to use the services of professionals.
DIY cutting methods
But how to cut plexiglass at home, which tool will be preferable? This largely depends on the type and thickness of the material chosen.
Nichrome thread, which is able to make not just a cut, but create a certain notch or a complex curly shape, has proven itself quite well. For its operation, the simplest 24 Volt transformer is usually used. When the thread is heated, the plexiglass begins to melt, and even a complex pattern can be made in a matter of minutes.
We must not forget about the simplest and most accessible method. Cutting glass with your own hands at home or in a garage usually involves using a tool such as a hacksaw for metal. Of course, the cut will be somewhat rough, but this is easy to fix with a file, file or fine sandpaper.
A spitz screwdriver can also help in a dead-end situation. It is enough to warm up its blade with a soldering iron with a power of more than 25 W, and then press the end part against the plexiglass and draw a straight line. The organic glass starts to melt and a groove appears. The operation will not take long, and the steel ruler will serve as a guide.
Methods for cutting plexiglass
Plexiglas is one of the first composite materials, it combines well the properties of plastic material and glass. Due to the special physical and mechanical features of this polymer material, among which strength and flexibility can be distinguished, it turned out to create a product that lends itself to a variety of processing methods.
Plexiglas, also called acrylic or plexiglass, can be cut, sawed, cut, sharpened, and more. The different names are in most cases associated with manufacturers and brands. It not only replaces glass well, but also surpasses it in a number of indicators:
- has a high mechanical strength compared to glass;
- withstands heavy loads, which allows you to create large containers from it;
- due to ease of processing, it is used to create elegant interior elements or other small things of complex shape.
Production methods of cutting
One of the advantages of widespread use of plexiglass is light weight and good flexibility. This is especially important when installing a gazebo or greenhouse, since the creation of these structures often requires a large amount of organic glass, which has a variety of sizes.
Many people are interested in the question of how plexiglass is cut, and what tools are used for this? After all, if you do not know certain technological subtleties, it is quite easy to damage this material. For processing large volumes, industrial cutting methods and related equipment are most often used:
- milling cutting;
- laser cutting;
- band saw cutting;
- circular saw cutting.
Some time ago, special milling machines were most often used, which have a shaft rotation speed of at least 4000 rpm. Milling cutting of plexiglass is used in cases where it is necessary that the material does not have time to quickly heat up in the cut zone. After cutting, a number of additional operations are usually carried out, which include polishing or engraving.
Today, one of the most popular methods is laser cutting glass. This is the only way to achieve an accuracy of up to 0.005 millimeters, which is made possible by a laser beam width of 0.1 millimeters. The cut edges are immediately transparent and absolutely smooth, and there is practically no waste.
Industrial cutting of polycarbonate or polypropylene is carried out in the same way. The downside is that this method affects the internal stress of the material, after which it is not recommended to glue such a composite.
Band saws are often used to cut Plexiglas blanks. The negative side of this method can be called the fact that the cut will come out somewhat curvilinear. A straight cut gives a circular saw, but you need to be able to work with this tool, and also observe certain rules of caution during work.
As a summary
Working with plexiglass at home in most cases is not particularly difficult and requires the use of the simplest set of tools. Despite the simplicity, when choosing a certain method of cutting, it should first be tested on a small part of the material, and after a kind of “training” to start finishing work.
It is better to entrust the use of a circular saw, milling or laser machine to specialists, especially since the number of workshops that offer these services is constantly growing. Often there you can find the right type of plexiglass.
Band saws, which are commonly used for metal and wood cutting, are often used for trimming the edge of molded plexiglass and contour cutting of organic glass. As a result of the use of band saws, the cut line turns out to be rather rough, therefore, additional processing is required in the future. Depending on the cutting contour, the width of the saw is selected in the range of 3. 13mm. The number of teeth is from 3 to 8 pcs. one centimeter of blade length.
In industry, acrylic is usually cut on cutting circular saws with a table, and in trade. vertical panel saws. In mass production, automatic cutting mowing lines equipped with computer control are used. In the technological plan, three main parameters must be mutually linked:
- disc diameter;
- saw rotation speed;
- acrylic cutting speed.
When cutting thick (more than three millimeters) sheets and blocks, cooling of the cutting zone must be applied (for example, using cooling spray guns). Although quite often this requirement is neglected for two reasons:
- it is not possible to install a cooling unit (due to lack of free space);
- unwillingness to introduce an additional operation for cleaning the workpiece before the subsequent operation (gluing, for example, or painting).
How and how to cut plexiglass and what are the requirements for the tool?
The properties of organic glass pose certain challenges in the machining process of this popular material.
How and how is it better to cut plexiglass so as not to get something twisting, covered with burrs and cracks, instead of a clear mowing line of the cut?
Organic glass is produced in the following types:
- flat and corrugated sheets;
- bars and pipes;
Mechanical processing influences the behavior of acrylic parts. It is expressed in the occurrence of internal stresses in the processing area. This subsequently affects further operations in the manufacture of the product (for example, when gluing). To avoid rejects, the workpiece after cutting is subjected to annealing in special thermal furnaces. Sometimes annealing precedes machining. The annealing temperature in these cases exceeds the softening temperature of the material. Such a technological technique avoids warping (deformation) of the workpiece.
Equipment and tools
Plexiglaz is processed using the same equipment as wood or metal. A clean cut is obtained when processing material on high-speed machines.
Only requirement: Plexiglass cutting machines and circular saws must be equipped with an extractor to quickly remove chips and waste.
For cutting plexiglass, a tool made of tool steels, hard alloys, and diamond is used. It is very important that the cutting edge is sharply sharpened, since the use of a low-quality blunt tool leads to chips, burrs and stresses in the cut zone. For the same reason, you cannot use a tool with which previously cut metal or wood.
Several types of drills are used to drill holes in plexiglass:
- screw with an angle between the cutting edges of no more than 90 degrees (and the main rake angle up to 4 degrees);
- stepwise. with one edge. Such a tool gives the generatrix of the holes of a strictly cylindrical shape;
- conical. when drilling with such a drill, the hole takes on a slightly conical shape, but chips do not form at the point of its penetration into the material.
In addition to drills, countersinks are used for finishing pre-drilled holes.
Cutting plexiglass at home
A hacksaw for metal is the most affordable tool for cutting plexiglass at home. The resulting cut will be rough and rough, so you need a file or a file (sandpaper) to grind it. Also, at the end of cutting, you can polish the plexiglass, this process will give the details the final look.
You can also use a cutter, which is essentially a single-tooth saw. Before cutting the plexiglass with a cutter, prepare a metal ruler of the required length. The ruler is placed on a sheet of plexiglass along the mowing line of the intended cut and several times is carried over the plexiglass with a tool.
For cutting plexiglass at home, use a circular saw or cutter for metal up to 1 mm thick. During operation, the cutter is triggered very quickly, cutting occurs with the release of smoke, and the plexiglass in the cut zone sometimes foams from the high temperature arising from friction.
To avoid this, it is necessary to constantly cool the saw blade. To do this, you can take a bottle of water, fix it on one side of the cutter and supply water to it through a plastic hose. With a hose diameter of 2.5 mm, up to 1 liter of water is consumed per hour. With this cooling method, the cut is transparent and even.
Also for cutting, as well as for bending plexiglass, a nichrome thread is used, which heats up from a connected transformer with a power of up to 24 V. The heated thread cuts the plexiglass by melting it. This feature allows you to get not only straight, but also curly cuts.
Some craftsmen successfully use other tools at home, sometimes very simple ones, for example, a slotted screwdriver. A screwdriver is pressed against a sheet of plexiglass with an end, holding it by the very edge of the handle. The blade of the screwdriver is heated with a 25-watt soldering iron.
When the plexiglass begins to melt slightly, a straight line of the intended cut is drawn with a screwdriver sting. To build a straight mowing line, a metal ruler, a hacksaw blade (of course, the side without teeth) or another similar tool is taken. After cutting the line with a heated screwdriver, the plexiglass breaks easily and quickly.
How To Cut Plexiglass The Easy Way
How to cut plexiglass
Plexiglas combines the performance characteristics of plastic and the appearance (transparency) of glass. Unlike glass, this material does not break, which makes it extremely popular for specific tasks. Durability opens up areas of application in which conventional glass is problematic and dangerous to use. This material is also called acrylex, acrylite or plexiglass. These are not product varieties, but trademarks of manufacturers.
Plexiglas can be processed by almost all available methods: planing, sawing, turning and laser cutting. This material is used to make both large containers (aquariums) and elegant small objects.
Production methods for cutting plexiglass
Laser cutting is the most convenient method, but impossible at home. The laser beam ensures maximum cutting precision, smooth cuts and low waste. There is a limitation in this processing method: the laser creates a high stress on the material, so further bonding of the plexiglass is not possible.
This service is offered by many companies, and if you stop at this method, prepare a drawing of the product in advance and choose a competent craftsman. Often in such workshops, you can independently choose the material of the desired thickness before cutting the plexiglass.
In production conditions (sometimes in everyday life), a circular and band saw is used. The first tool is designed for a straight cut with a clear cut. A band saw is more suitable for cutting workpieces, since this tool does not provide a straight and smooth mowing line. To get a smooth surface, you need to use a cutter.
To obtain a high-quality and even cut, high-speed tools are used with a rotating speed of the working part of up to 4000 rpm. Plexiglas lends itself to mechanical processing, but do not forget about the low thermal conductivity of this material, which is why the cut zones quickly heat up. For this reason, processing is carried out at a high rotation speed.
How to cut curly plexiglass?
What to do if, for example, there is a need to cover the countertop of a kitchen (wooden) or computer table with this type of glass? We have already described above how to cut straight plexiglass mowing lines with a cutter, without any particular difficulty, it also does an excellent job with a curly cut and rounded corners. Experienced craftsmen use the well-known caliper at home for this business.
You can also waste a little time and cut the rounds in a pattern using nichrome thread. To do this, simply cut out the shape you need from cardboard, attach / fasten to the glass and cut it off a little.
To cut a circle with a cutter, mark the center of the circle where you want to attach a good suction cup. Then, using a rail and self-tapping screws, fix the cutter (we attach it on one side to the suction cup, and on the other directly to the glass cutter). We cut until a notch remains, after which we beat off the extra pieces.
Hacksaw for metal
A fairly common tool is a hacksaw for metal. It is easy to work with it, the steps for processing plexiglass are the same as in the case of metal or wood. Among the features of the use of a hacksaw for metal, we note the following points:
- Cutting lines are applied to a sheet of paper, which greatly simplify the cutting process.
- When cutting, attention is paid to the evenness of the hacksaw stroke, due to which a high-quality cut is formed.
- Cutting too quickly is not recommended because the material may become hot. Deformation occurs in the plastic state.
The resulting cut is rough in almost all cases. That is why you have to carry out additional grinding.
Some features of the use of industrial equipment
All industrial equipment is characterized by the fact that it allows you to automate the process of cutting composite materials. Today, laser cutting is most often used. Among its features, we note the following points:
- The machining accuracy is about 0.005 millimeters. This is achieved by forming a laser beam of 0.1 millimeters.
- All resulting edges are smooth and transparent, with virtually no waste.
Machine tools with circular and band saws are widely used. This is due to their relatively low cost. However, such equipment does not allow processing along a complex trajectory.
Laser cut plexiglass
During machining, the tool and the material itself can become very hot. Plexiglas is less resistant to high temperatures, when heated, it begins to melt, a large amount of smoke is formed. Air flow or pure water can be used as cooling.
- A ruler is used to obtain an even cut. It can be made using wood. The ruler must be fixed to the work surface.
- The sheet is cut in thickness by 50%, after which you can break the sheet with a slight movement.
- Due to the use of a cutter, the cutting process is significantly accelerated, but the resulting cut will be of poor quality. That is why additional grinding is carried out.
Cutting plexiglass at home
If necessary, you can carry out the processing of plexiglass at home. For this, the following tools can be used:
- A hacksaw for metal with a small tooth pitch. It can be found in almost any garage. It is best to choose a blade made of hardened steel. She dulls at a slower rate.
- Cutter for thin material.
- A circular saw.
Cutting plexiglass at home
All of these tools are inexpensive. However, manual processing does not allow obtaining high-quality products in the shortest possible time.
How to cut plexiglass
Recently, plexiglass is often used in the manufacture of various products. It is one of the first composite materials that combines the properties of glass with high ductility. A fairly common question is how to cut the plexiglass. This is due to the high mechanical strength and some other properties. Plexiglass can be cut using a variety of methods, which we will talk about in more detail later.
Circular saw or cutter for metal
Plexiglas can be cut using a metal cutter or circular saw. When choosing a cutter, preference should be given to options with a thickness of no more than one millimeter. It should be borne in mind that at the time of cutting, the cutting part wears out quickly.
A lot of smoke and heat is generated when the router is cutting. Therefore, water should be used to cool the surface. Due to gradual cooling, you can get a high-quality cut.
Milling cutting of plexiglass
The circular saw should have small teeth that are spaced with a small pitch. Processing when using a saw with a large tooth pitch can lead to the appearance of cracks and many other mechanical defects on the surface.
Production methods of cutting
Plexiglas has become widespread due to its light weight and good flexibility. Today it is used to create greenhouses or gazebos. For the long-term use of the material, several methods of production processing have been developed:
- Laser cutting.
- Band saw cutting.
- Circular saw application.
Often, special milling machines are used, which are characterized by high productivity and versatility. Their high cost determines that the installation is carried out exclusively in mass production.
Figured cutting of plexiglass
Most of the difficulties arise with curly cutting. A variety of hand tools or industrial equipment can be used to obtain a complex surface. The easiest way to get a workpiece is by laser cutting, since an automated machine controls the position of the tool with high accuracy.
Hand shaped cutting of plexiglass is carried out according to a previously prepared template. Hand tools result in a roughened cut and additional grinding is required.
At home, you can assemble a machine, the cutting element of which is represented by a nichrome thread. When heated, it begins to cut the material due to melting. A similar structure can be built by combining a nichrome thread, to which a voltage of 24 V is supplied through a transformer. The thread in question is able to withstand the applied load and heat up to a high temperature.
In some cases, a jigsaw or glass cutter is used. Each master selects the most suitable technology, depending on their skills. By trial and error, a tool is selected, using which it will be possible to obtain the required product.