What is the best way to cut plexiglass at home
Cutting plexiglass (acrylic) by laser
This method of cutting is one of the most progressive. With the help of equipment for laser cutting plexiglass can cut the most complex contours. Processing speed depends on the power of the laser beam. The sheet feed rate is adjusted to the quality (gloss) of the edge. The thicker the sheet, the slower the feed rate and vice versa. A too slow feed will produce a dull cut, while a too high feed will result in notches and stripes. Such a result can also be due to improper focusing of the laser: it should be focused strictly on the middle line of the thickness of the sheet.
Cutting plexiglass at home is not difficult, because it is malleable and easy to work with material. Despite its superficial resemblance to ordinary glass, organic glass has different performance characteristics and is processed by different methods: turning, planing, sawing, etc. Plexiglas can be cut with a large number of implements.
Plexiglas is machined with the following tools:
Fusion cutting is done with a nichrome wire. A voltage of up to 24 V is applied to the wire via a step-down transformer, which heats it strongly. Nichrome thread is used for making curved and shaped cuts with good surface quality and not requiring further grinding.
Do-it-yourselfers use a screwdriver with a straight slot for making fusion cuts. The metal part of the screwdriver is heated with an electric soldering iron, while the end is pressed against the Plexiglas surface. Then, holding the tool by the edge of the handle, the heated screwdriver blade conducts the cutting line. It is more convenient to use a metal ruler or the smooth side of a hacksaw to draw straight lines. Plexiglas easily breaks along the dashed line. Read more at
Use a circular saw or a metal mill
A circular saw or router is also a good option for working with organic glass. Metal cutters for cutting plexiglass must not be thicker than 1 mm. Note that during cutting, the saw or cutter strongly heats up the material to be cut, so it melts and foams in the place of cutting. It must be cooled so as not to spoil the workpiece. Use water poured into a bottle. The vessel is fixed in some way near the cutting tool, and water is supplied to the working area with a thin hose.
The circular saw should be run at high rpm. Some tools have a special mode for processing plexiglass. For work that does not require a high quality of cut, you can use a saw. The cutter, on the other hand, is suitable for making thinner and cleaner cuts. Using a water cooling system produces a smooth, even surface, and the cut is clean and neat.
With the cutter
Plexiglas with small thicknesses can be cut very well with a Plexiglas cutter. You can use a home-made tool made from a hacksaw blade or even a utility knife for this purpose.
Only straight cuts can be made with a cutter. For this purpose a ruler (preferably a metal one) is pressed to a sheet of material along the line of the intended cut, then several times with pressure they pass the cutting tool along the surface of plexiglass along the ruler. When the cut reaches the middle of the Plexiglas layer, it can easily be broken. The breaking area will be uneven and rough, so additional sanding will be required.
With a hacksaw for metal
The easiest way to cut plexiglass with your own hands is with a hacksaw for metal. Bevel cuts must be pre-drawn with a pencil or felt-tip pen. While working, keep the hacksaw straight, taking care not to tilt it sideways. It is desirable to fix the workpiece in a rigid position. The surface of the cut will not be flat. All roughness and burrs should be removed with a file and sandpaper.
The most convenient method of 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 making precise incisions and cutting out even the smallest details of the future construction or product. If necessary, you can turn to a specialized workshop or company engaged in the production of organic glass and glassware. It is recommended to make drawings and mark the marks on the polymethylmethacrylate sheet in advance.
Laser allows to cut accurately and plexiglas even small details, it is used only in industrial production
Manual work, materials and tools
What to cut plexiglass, if you need to take a sheet of acrylic to work already, and there are no power tools at hand? First, you can try to cut it with an ordinary metal hacksaw.
Plexiglas can be compared to beech in hardness, but sawing beech with a hacksaw for metal is a rather long task. To keep it from heating up, you have to saw slowly. On the surface of the acrylic is clearly visible mark from the marker. Draw the line of the cut with any sharp object: a nail, a knife, etc. п.This blade cuts metal, and organic glass even more so The metal hacksaw can only cut straight lines. It is difficult to cut curved surfaces with this tool.
Tips: To keep the blade from sticking, pour a little water on the cutting line to cool it down.
For one-time jobs, make a cutter out of a hacksaw blade.
How to easily cut acrylic sheet
Manual machining of acrylic
Manual cutter in the form of a tooth is realistic to make yourself at home. You have to have at least one blade to do that:
How to make a homemade hand cutter look at this
All of the above methods are time consuming and are only good for one-time small jobs of thin acrylic sheets with the thickness of 2-3 mm.
Home handymen of all trades industry produces ready-made cutters for acrylic. They are easy to buy in an online store.
Plexiglas can easily be cut with this cutter To cut a piece in two you must not cut all the way through. Just make a few kerf cuts and break off the necessary piece.
If a home handyman has to process a lot of sheets, he has to mechanize the cutting process. Meet the three-toothed blade for wood and Plexiglas.
The method of milling is used to process edges after previous mechanical operations: drilling, chopping on guillotine scissors or cutting. Rounding and curvilinear contours are also done by milling. Any milling machines can be used as equipment. Cutters choose end mills, one- or two-blade, small diameters.
To perform artistic engraving works are used engraving, top or reverse cutters. They can be controlled either manually or electronically.
There are a few tips on how to saw plexiglass without chipping. To get a clean cut, leave the acrylic for a while over a gas torch.
Another option: you can use the simplest lighter. True, it will have to spend a lot more time.
You can cut plexiglass with a jigsaw. Use narrow band saw blades.
When you buy them, look for the ones with the MP symbol on them.S. These are the most effective devices to solve the problem of how to cut plexiglass.
Watch speed of tool while working. The number of turns depends on it. In practice, the speed is chosen experimentally. The most important thing is that the plexiglass doesn’t start to melt.
Make sure you wear a face mask. This will protect you from the splinters that can fly with great speed when you cut it.
When the need arises to cut a large number of sheets, more effective tools will be needed. To mechanize this process at home, a three-toothed disc for plexiglass and wood is used. This is an effective tool to figure out how to cut plexiglass evenly.
In fact, it is an improved angle grinder. Among the materials with which it is recommended to work with the three-toothed disc, mentioned not only plexiglass, but also wood. This is a great way to cut plexiglass at home in a straight mowing line.
It is important that the temperature of acrylic does not rise, it does not start to melt and stick to the disk. It can be used to cut sheets up to 10 mm. When you decide how to cut plexiglass, take a three-toothed disc.
Production cutting methods
On an industrial scale, plexiglass is processed using the following techniques:
- Milling. Processing is performed on special milling machines with rotation speed up to 4000 rpm.
- Band saw. Used for curved cuts. Final grinding is required, as. к. Cutting quality is not high.
- Circular saw. a smooth cut with a clean edge is possible.
The most popular way to process plexiglas is laser cutting. Material is cut on special equipment with a laser beam. The method guarantees a high level of accuracy (up to 0,005 mm) and a minimum amount of waste. The laser allows us to produce smooth, clean cut edges. However, after cutting on a laser machine, high internal stress remains in the plexiglass, and it is not recommended to glue parts made this way.
Plexiglas is a synthetic material created from the ester of methacrylic acid. The correct name is polymethyl methacrylate, but because of the difficulty of pronouncing it, it has several names: acrylic, acrylic glass, plexiglass.
High molecular weight injection molded plexiglass is more durable.
It is quite difficult to distinguish it from glass at a great distance. When cutting organic glass with modern power tools there are problems because of sticking of small particles of organic material to the saw blade.Before you cut Plexiglas you should get acquainted with some of its features that affect the work of the power tool. This plastic melts at a temperature of 160 degrees. The sheet material can already be bent at 90-100 °C.
How to cut plexiglass
Plexiglas or Plexiglas is a grateful and pliable material. It is easy enough to handle and is often used in everyday life. It is much easier to work with, but you need to know some specifics, what would cut the plexiglass in the home.
Plexiglas softens well when heated, which allows you to give it any shape. This is an advantageous property for the manufacture of various decorative items.
Plexiglas is quite simply processed by all locksmith tools, which allows you to not just cut, glass for photo frames, but also to build a transparent pergola or greenhouse.
Depending on the application of plexiglas you can choose different tools for cutting.