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Acrylic alternative?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Saw an other thread and I have a similar question. Is there any cheap acrylic alternative out there? I want to build a plastic case but found acrylic to be quite expensive. I want some solid/transparent (haven't decide which yet) black sheets. Preferably along this line
http://i167.photobucket.com/albums/u151/Syrillian/Acrylic/FAQ/TnBsTestbench.jpg

But I can also go solid or just black paint the whole thing, I don't know what route I will go yet.

On the websites from some acrylic guides including the one here, there are many different plastics other than just acrylic. HDPE is like 1/5 of acrylic's price for solid black. Sooooo many different plastic sheets I don't know if it's possible to replace the expensive acrylic with any. Please advice.
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My System
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Z77 rig
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My System
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
e6300 @ 3.2 P5B-Deluxe x1950 pro *2 OCZ capped @1k GHz :( 
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WD+hitachi Dell 2407 Enermax 485W CM 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5 3570K ASRock z77 Extreme4  AMD 7850 2GB Samsung Wonder Ram 
CoolingOSKeyboardPower
H100i Windows 8.1 Rosewill RK-9000 Cherry MX Blue Seasonic m12ii-850 
Case
Fractal Design R4 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
e6300 @ 3.2 P5B-Deluxe x1950 pro *2 OCZ capped @1k GHz :( 
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post #2 of 4
Hello,

I work at a plastic recycling company and i work with allmost all plastic types, I dont understand why most people use Acrylic for casemodding,

Negatives:
Scratches most easiliy of all plastic types, breaks most easily

Positive:
Most clear/transparant plastic available

I would just go for the ''looks'' of the plastic, just find the cheapest sheet you can find in the color/glossy style you want.

I would recommended using Poly Carbonate, alltough its not super 100% clear as acrylic, it is one of the most sturdy types and also used in bulletproof glass
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post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Thanks a lot prescotter.

From what I read, I know that acrylic is very clear and won't yellow over time. But since I wanted the black theme, it gets me thinking why not other cheaper plastics. I'll probably go find a local store and touch test some of the plastic and hopefully I'll find a cheap alternative that's suitable for me.
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Z77 rig
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My System
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
e6300 @ 3.2 P5B-Deluxe x1950 pro *2 OCZ capped @1k GHz :( 
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My System
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Z77 rig
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My System
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
e6300 @ 3.2 P5B-Deluxe x1950 pro *2 OCZ capped @1k GHz :( 
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WD+hitachi Dell 2407 Enermax 485W CM 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5 3570K ASRock z77 Extreme4  AMD 7850 2GB Samsung Wonder Ram 
CoolingOSKeyboardPower
H100i Windows 8.1 Rosewill RK-9000 Cherry MX Blue Seasonic m12ii-850 
Case
Fractal Design R4 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
e6300 @ 3.2 P5B-Deluxe x1950 pro *2 OCZ capped @1k GHz :( 
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post #4 of 4
I personally love working with acrylic, but it does have it's drawbacks. It cuts perfectly on the laser cutter though, and a lot of potential alternatives do not cut well at all. There are all kinds of plastic sheet goods out there to choose from. Styrene, coroplast, foamed pvc panels, ABS, PVC, UHMW, HDPE, etc. Each has it's own strengths and weaknesses, and should be verified for compatibility with what you're doing.

How well does the material cut?
Can the material be glued?
Can it be thermoformed?
What is it's impact resistance?
What is it's surface finish and is it subject to damage while handling?

There are also alternative locations for finding materials for fabricating from. Check out IKEA, especially if there's one near you and you can dig around in the "AS-IS" section. Just about everywhere I go I'm on the lookout for interesting materials I can use in my designs.
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