Sign & Digital Graphics

September '19

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16 • September 2019 • S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S ARCHITECTURAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL Acrylic's Many Advantages Acrylic is a convenient and affordable alternative to glass, another material used in many markets, but unlike with glass, the laser can easily cut through acrylic, Stevens says. "It is also a popular material to laser process due to its adaptability," Stevens says. "We find that customers are often drawn to its wide variety of color choices, textures and finish combinations. Its high levels of clarity, lightweight nature and durability make it a desirable material." Acrylic is also easy to clean, simply The Trotec SP 3000 large-format laser head accompanied by an acrylic thumb-shaped application. Image courtesy of Trotec Laser. The Blue Octagon Point Impress, the Blue Arrow Point Impress and the Blue Star Performance Acrylic are available in silver and gold in multiple sizes. Image courtesy of JDS Industries. needing to be wiped with a dry cloth, Thompson says. "It can look like high-end pieces for a lower cost compared to crystal," Thompson says. "With so many shapes offered, based and non-based, colored, coated and other accent additions to acrylic and overall user friendliness of the product, it's easy to see why it's so popular. The color accents with all the bevel options help add that nice pop of color if that's what you're looking for." Acrylic has a few drawbacks, such as flare-ups occurring when cutting thicker acrylic and a susceptibility to scratches, Stevens says. "This might relate to machine exhaust and wattage, so it is important to adjust settings accordingly. With proper training and material understanding, however, this can easily be handled," Stevens says. If too much heat is applied no mat- ter the thickness, acrylic can bubble and burn on the edges, Anthony says. "When you're cutting acrylic, you have to learn the speed and power set- tings on your laser to ensure it doesn't overheat," Anthony says. Extruded vs. Cast Acrylic Laserable acrylic comes in two forms, extruded or cast, Anthony says. Extruded is pushed through a form that makes it The cast acrylic in the recognition piece crafted by Rowmark LLC in Findlay, Ohio, offers a frosted etched look when lasered, presenting a clean, classic look.

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