In Shop Acrylic Fabrication

Every deal toy project manufactured in our factory at some point goes through some stage of fabrication. Fabrication includes surface planing, saw cutting, edging, sanding, bending and polishing.

Our fabrication team uses surface planing to achieve a uniform thickness after the acrylic embedding process is complete. A surface planer incrementally removes acrylic to both flatten and remove irregularities that happen in the embedding molds.

Though we often LaserCut™ acrylic to custom shapes, simple geometric shapes can be achieved easily with a table or radial arm saw. Acrylic is saw cut in the same way wood is done, however a special blade with a zero hook inclination angle must be used to eliminate chipping and ensure even clean cuts.

Finely polished and perfectly square edges are achieve in our shop with the used of a diamond honing edging machine. Edging is required on all of our embedded deal toys to smooth and create a uniform finish prior to final polishing. Edging is also an important factor in gluing acrylic to acrylic since perfectly flat acrylic reduces the possibility of bubbles where the two components connect.

Sanding acrylic is done to prepare large flat areas larger than 4" for rough and final polishing as well as to remove any imperfections like small scratches that may have happened in the fabrication stages of production. A fine grit 320 paper is used to gently smooth the surface before our polishing team uses an 800 grit polishing wheel to bring out the clear acrylic characteristics.

Bending acrylic is done by applying heat to the Lucite® material. Acrylics become pliable at approximately 320° Fahrenheit and can be bent to sharp angles of slump bent to create graceful symmetric curves.

Gluing acrylic is quite different than traditional gluing methods. Acrylic is glued using a clear liquid adhesive that chemically bonds the two pieces together. The importance of each piece being square and flat cannot be overstated because the liquid cement is physically drawn into the area where both pieces join. Ensuring both are flat reduces the chance of bubbling which can be unsightly when gluing clear Lucite® together.

Saw cutting acrylic blocks on table saw.Diamond honing edger cleaning up acrylic block edges prior to final shop polishing.Acrylic blocks being run through a surface planer to level and remove casting imperfections.

The images above display a few of the in shop fabrication methods we use to shape and polish acrylic deal toys in our factory.