Acrylic (PMMA) CNC Machining

Acrylic (PMMA) is a versatile, transparent thermoplastic ideal for CNC machining.

Its clarity, impact resistance, stiffness, and machinability make it popular for precision parts with high dimensional accuracy and optical quality.

Save 30% cost on average!

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Advanced CNC Machining Sercice for Your Acrylic Parts

Are you looking for a reliable partner to provide CNC machining services?

AT-Machining is a premier provider of CNC machining services based in China. Our comprehensive range of 3-axis, 4-axis, and 5-axis CNC milling, turning centers, and CNC Lathe machines empower us to manufacture precise, top-quality CNC parts that meet your exact specifications. With a capacity of over 50 CNC machines in China, AT Machining can serve as your perfect partner for outsourcing custom and precision CNC machining services, regardless of your industry.

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What is Acrylic (PMMA)

Acrylic, also known as PMMA (polymethyl methacrylate), is a transparent thermoplastic material commonly used in various applications due to its excellent optical clarity, high impact resistance, and easy machinability.

It is a popular alternative to glass because of its lightweight, shatter-resistant nature and is widely used in industries such as automotive, construction, signage, and more.

There are several popular grades of acrylic, each with different properties that make them suitable for specific applications. Here are some of the most commonly used grades of acrylic:

Upon first glance
Application Protective barriers and shields
Medical and laboratory equipment
Automotive instrument panels, headlamp lenses
Advantages Optical clarity
Weather resistance
Impact resistance
Chemical resistance
Disadvantages Scratches easily
Not suitable for high-temperature applications
Price $10 to $50 per square foot for thicknesses between 0.125 to 1 inch,
The price of acrylic can vary depending on several factors, including the type of acrylic, thickness, color, and size of the sheet.
Tolerances Machining tolerances of 0.00039” (0.01 mm) are achievable.
Wall Thickness It is possible to achieve a minimum wall thickness of 0.03” (0.8 mm) for acrylic CNC machining, although the exact thickness may differ based on the wall thickness ratio to planar dimension.
Max Part Size The maximum size of a part that can be produced is dependent on the available machines and the intricacy of the part.
Lead Time In most cases, the production lead time is at least 7 days.

Acrylic Mechanical Properties Chart

Material selection can be the difference between success and failure for any project. Educate yourself on material properties to make sure you use them in a way that brings optimal results.

Density (g /cm3) Rockwell Hardness Tensile Strength, Yield Elongation at Break Tensile Modulus Softening Temperature Friction Coefficient
Acrylic (PMMA) 1.17 to 1.20 95 to 100 MPa 72 to 80 MPa 2% to 10% 2,500 to 3,000 MPa 100°C to 115°C 0.35 to 0.45

Acrylic CNC Machining

Acrylic is a type of plastic that can be melted and reshaped without losing its key properties. It has several advantages over other clear plastics, including resistance to discoloration from sunlight and being lighter and more impact-resistant than glass.

However, it is not ideal for high-temperature applications. Acrylic is optically clear, lightweight, and strong, making it a great substitute for glass in many applications. It’s widely used in industries such as automotive and test and measurement.

Finishes of Acrylic

  1. Polishing: Acrylic can be polished using a polishing wheel, buffer, or sanding pad to achieve a smooth and glossy finish.

  2. Flame Polishing: Flame polishing uses a flame to melt and smooth the acrylic surface, producing a glass-like finish.

  3. UV Curing: UV curing involves exposing the acrylic to UV light, which hardens and cures the surface to produce a durable and scratch-resistant finish.

  4. Painting: Acrylic can be painted using various techniques, including spray painting, roll painting
acrylic flame polishing

CNC Machining Acrylic FAQs

Yes, acrylic can be CNC machined. Acrylic is a thermoplastic material that is easy to machine and has excellent dimensional stability, making it an ideal material for CNC machining.

CNC machining can produce precise and complex shapes and cuts on acrylic sheets, making it a popular choice for various applications, including signs, displays, lighting, automotive, and consumer goods.

  • Precision: CNC machining provides high precision and accuracy, which is especially important for complex or intricate shapes.

  • Versatility: Acrylic can be CNC machined into various shapes and sizes, making it highly customizable for different applications.

  • Consistency: CNC machining ensures consistency and uniformity in the final product, vital for high-volume production.

  • Cost-effective: CNC machining is cost-effective for producing acrylic parts, especially for medium to high-volume production runs.

  • Speed: CNC machining can produce acrylic parts quickly and efficiently, allowing for faster turnaround times and time-to-market.

  • Quality: CNC machining produces high-quality parts with excellent surface finish and edge quality, which is essential for applications that require a polished and professional appearance.

The light transmittance of acrylic varies depending on the thickness and grade of the material. Generally, the light transmittance of clear acrylic ranges from approximately 92% to 95%. This means that for every 100 units of light that enter the acrylic sheet, about 92 to 95 units will pass through the material.

The best type of CNC bit for cutting acrylic is a single or double-flute solid carbide end mill with a spiral upcut. This type of bit is specifically designed for cutting plastic materials such as acrylic, and the spiral upcut helps to clear chips and debris from the cutting surface while also minimizing heat buildup.

Acrylic is generally lighter, more impact-resistant, and easier to fabricate than glass. It also has better optical clarity and transmits more light than glass. Acrylic is also a good insulator, which makes it ideal for applications such as aquariums, skylights, and windows.

On the other hand, glass is generally more scratch-resistant and has a higher heat tolerance than acrylic. It also has better resistance to UV radiation and chemicals. Glass is a popular choice for applications such as laboratory equipment, lenses, and mirrors.

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