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My First Attempt at cutting acrylic: Second Attempt Update (First Post)

post #1 of 20
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I started off trying to cut the 2 pieces of acrylic I had ordered from USplastics and it didnt go well

I ordered 2 small pieces 12" x12" of 1/4" and 1/8" .. more for experimentation purposes and for practicing.

Although I dont have anything more than a dremel to work with I still gave it a shot.

Here are the pictures of the process and the pieces of acrylic I cut.

I started off by using a reinforced cut-off wheel that came with the dremel to cut the acrylic.




This process actually melted the acrylic more than cutting it. The 1/8" was obviously more easier to cut.

This is how it looked after I cut them







I then finally ended up using a tungsten carbide cutting bit (

)which gave me slightly better results but not as good as I had hoped for.

So here I stand. I am still looking for better cutting tools for acrylic.

I am currently looking at the and the

The idea is to have the routing table hold the dremel in place while I move the acrylic around for the desired cut. I will be using either of the 2 straight cutting bits in the set for the job.

Will the table and the cutting bit be enough for the job or should I be looking at other tools?

Comments or suggestions welcome



Here is my second attempt at cutting acrylic.

I finally went in for the dremel router table and the dremel chamfer bits for shaping. I also got the dremel 561 dremel multipurpose cutting bit.

Things were the same old with the 1/4" .It was too hard to cut and it would grip the drill bit too tightly so the entire piece would get stuck to the drill bit and destroy the whole cut.. So I have decided not to use it.

But it was much better for the 1/8". I went a lot slower this time so the acrylic didnt burn or melt .

So here is how it went.

The cutting wet pretty smoothly as far as the 1/8" is concerned.
It is not the straightest of cuts. but I just did it as an experiment.



I could have used sandpaper to smoothen it out a little . But I was in a complete hurry because i have exams this week.


Here is a picture of the 45degree angle It came out pretty well.




I also cut a circle in it just to see if I can cut out shapes in the acrylic. This will be for the custom acrylic fan grill inspired by Dae Jaa Voo

Again it does not look too good. I didnt even draw up a circle i just did a freehand on this one.



Finally an important piece of advice. make sure your dremel is unplugged when you are messing around with the drill bit.

I was tightening the drill bit to the dremel and i hit the rpm switch by mistake. lucky for me I was able to pull my hand out in time. but it still took a little skin with it.




So I am finally going to go in for a couple of sheets of 1/8" and a couple of the 3/16" acrylic. I am hoping that the 3/16" will be also easy to cut considering that It is only 1mm thicker than the 1/8".

PS: My roomate is an Mechanical Engineering major. He said he could help me out with a little bit of cutting. His lab has all the craziest of equipments you can find. The only issue is that we will have to do it over the summer when the lab is empty but Summer break is just a fortnight away. So I am really hoping that we can use his lab.

As always Comments and suggestions welcome


EDIT : I was so exited. I also bent the acrylic using a heat gun . Once it was heated up nicely All I had to do was use a little force to bend it to 90 degrees

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post #2 of 20
well a table saw is your best bet,i have 3 and 3 routers and many tools,even a jig saw will melt it,is it tempered acrylic,that will work and not melt as easy.
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post #3 of 20
Why not use the "Score & Snap" method? You know, where you score it with one of these and then just sap it for a clean cut...
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post #4 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by kagaos View Post
Why not use the "Score & Snap" method? You know, where you score it with one of these and then just sap it for a clean cut...
i suggested it to him,but he needs to score it even with a jig saw,i use a table saw of course most dont havethe tools i have,i worked 18 years in a wood shop so i have all the tools.
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post #5 of 20
The dremel 1/8" straight router bit works great on acrylic, as do the mini-saw attachment for cutting and the planar attachment for trimming edges down. The circular attachment with the 1/8" router bit is great for cutting 120mm holes
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post #6 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kagaos View Post
Why not use the "Score & Snap" method? You know, where you score it with one of these and then just sap it for a clean cut...
I am actually be going to use a 1/4" acrylic sheet. Will the acrylic cutter work for that thickness?.

The reason that I am using a thicker sheet is because I am actually using the acrylic to fabricate a cover for a rackable server. I am going to be cutting the acrylic cover dead in the center for a delta 4000rpm fan.

The only thing that worries me is that a thinner acrylic sheet will not be able to bear the load and will vibrate more.

This is what i plan to do
http://www.overclock.net/case-mods-g...ree-angle.html

and the fan hole will be dead at the center of the cover.
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post #7 of 20
how fast did you go? You should be going VERY slow. People told me that and I didn't listen at first. Learned my lesson...

Also, wear long sleeves !!
I had red dots/speckles all over my arm from molten acrylic bits hitting me

More ichy than painful though.
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post #8 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nategr8ns View Post
how fast did you go? You should be going VERY slow. People told me that and I didn't listen at first. Learned my lesson...

Also, wear long sleeves !!
I had red dots/speckles all over my arm from molten acrylic bits hitting me

More ichy than painful though.
Ha ha ..long sleeves i should have worn those .. I learnt my lesson the hard way.. . I had acrylic stuck to my arms. I took a shower right after...

On a serious note.. yes I was going a little fast I did a little bit of reading and realized that I should have gone a lot slower. But the problem with going slower was that the bit would get stuck. It happened a couple of times and then I had to crank up the rpm's .

I guess I will wait for the router table and some proper routing bits before I make another attempt at cutting acrylic.

I am actually waiting for some more input on how the tools that I am planning to buy will behave with 1/4" acrylic before I go and spend 60 bucks on the router table and the bits.
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post #9 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by nategr8ns View Post
how fast did you go? You should be going VERY slow. People told me that and I didn't listen at first. Learned my lesson...

Also, wear long sleeves !!
I had red dots/speckles all over my arm from molten acrylic bits hitting me

More ichy than painful though.

haha the exact same thing happened to me. I love using the dremel to cut acrylic. It never cracks on me or anything, sure its melted around the sides, but that's what sand paper's for! I always get the best results with a dremel!
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post #10 of 20
if your useing a router yull need guides and or fixtures,just because youhave a router means nothing,you need gigs a special bits that follow them,do so reasearch first,so you dont get or hurt someone,imo
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