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Old 15th Oct 2005, 06:12   #21
Captain Slug
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I don't recommend using lasercutting for plastics. Most of the machine shops I've talked to that offer laser cutting simply won't do that kind of work with anything other than aluminum, steel, or titanium. It's also just not a cost effective method and in most cases takes more time to do correctly than it would with standard tools.

Water-jet cutting on the other hand I have had done with plastics and you just have to keep the thickness tolerances in mind.

I have extremely limited experience with Acetal, Delrin, and Nylon. I left them it out since they are considerably more expensive than the other materials listed. It's not something I felt I should include in a beginner's guide. You are correct in that they're ideal materials for load-bearing or frequent wear applications. Neither of which instances an entry-level machinist would presumably be capable of designing said parts.

Also, Acrylic is equally as dangerous when it comes to fume production at certain temperature ranges. It also begins producing fumes at a lower temperature than polycarbonate. I don't recommend using flame polishing for either unless you have a serious filtration mask and a ventilated work area. As a standard it's best for most people to simply use sanding and polishing since the more "convenient" methods required exprienced hands and controlled environments in order to be safe.

Nothing you mentioned are items I feel would be reasonable to include as recommendation for the entry-level machinist for safety and experience concerns so I have omitted them.
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Old 18th Oct 2005, 16:51   #22
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Thanks for the info, nice to have all in one place
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Old 21st Oct 2005, 16:13   #23
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Thanks for the guide Captain Slug.

I've often found and handheld carpenters plane is very good for finishing straight edges once you set the blade fairly shallow.
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Old 5th Dec 2005, 22:52   #24
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I did a project where I chose to machine plexi with a CNC mill, be sure that if you use one of those you do an initial cut of about .025 inches down and then bring it down in about .125" each additional cut until it is done, takes a hell of a long time, but the result is well worth it.

also bear in mind that the plexiglass needs to be put in place very securely (the tension put on the mill is very high)
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Old 10th Jul 2006, 04:25   #25
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Added template making guide.
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Old 12th Jan 2007, 15:11   #26
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This is an insane guide, Captain Slug! I'll most definately be using it! :O
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Old 3rd Mar 2007, 11:52   #27
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simply fantastic.
thx =]
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Old 3rd Mar 2007, 21:47   #28
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updated materials list and added small sections on milling, lathing, and lasercutting.
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Old 27th Mar 2007, 14:55   #29
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Another Glue to use for welding Acrylic ect..

I like to use Tensol 70 for welding most plastic together
available in the uk at
RS: Componants
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Old 26th Apr 2007, 12:09   #30
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Great Guide Captain Slug. Thanks for sharing
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Old 14th May 2007, 00:58   #31
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I'd like to add something here...
If you have one, a tile wetsaw works great. The older the blade, the cleaner the edge. I have actually sliced my fingers on freshly cut plexiglas. I can vouch for polypropylene and acrylic.
I can also say it WILL NOT work for Lexan... I tried to cut Lexan with a tile saw out of curiosity and ended up kicking a breaker.
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Old 15th Aug 2009, 16:08   #32
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You sure mitre saws aren't usable with acrylic? I just cut a sheet of acryl with it and it worked fine.
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Old 15th Aug 2009, 20:50   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sushi Warrior View Post
You sure mitre saws aren't usable with acrylic? I just cut a sheet of acryl with it and it worked fine.
Nice bump of a 4 year old thread (yeah, yeah 2 years since last reply...).

A good cut is actually more dependant on the blade used, so if your mitre saw has a high TPI blade, well good for you, but most people use [compound] mitre saws for ripping wood.
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Old 19th Aug 2009, 16:54   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by capnPedro View Post
Nice bump of a 4 year old thread (yeah, yeah 2 years since last reply...).

A good cut is actually more dependant on the blade used, so if your mitre saw has a high TPI blade, well good for you, but most people use [compound] mitre saws for ripping wood.
Oh damn, it was a sticky and I forgot to check the dates

And I think the acrylic might of actually hurt the blade, it doesn't seem to cut as well anymore. Woopsies!
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Old 21st Aug 2009, 22:14   #35
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I use a non-ferrous TCG blade for plastic sometimes.
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Old 21st Dec 2009, 04:13   #36
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Just a little request for update: Alibre Express is no longer available. The sire redirect to the trial for the normal Alibre.
If you are a collage student (or know any one with a .edu email) you can grab many of Autodesk's tools, including Inventor, Maya, AutoCAD,etc for 15 months.

Link: http://students5.autodesk.com/?nd=register&und=624
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Also, you can grab SolidWorks' Engineering Stimulus Package (basically 90 day Student version)
here: http://www.solidworks.com/sw/esp/eng...s_package.html

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I realize that many here use SketchUp, but imo, SolidWorks and Inventor are much better (esp. for design work). As for rendering, SolidWorks and Inventor have quite a decent renderers built in.

Note: On SolidWorks you can do quite decent renderings. Here is a personal example done by me in about 5-10 minutes:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/24351647@N07/3395904616/
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Old 17th Apr 2010, 04:52   #37
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good info, request permission to bookmark this thread. thanks
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Old 21st Apr 2010, 18:47   #38
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Just seen this, nice guide but be cautious of gases given off.
For example acetals give off formaldahyde gas so make sure you do it somewhere well ventillated or you'll end up with stingy eyes and a bad chest as the least of your problems.

Also there is an ABS FR which is flame resistant and tolerates higher temps ( abs should be available in most any colour you can think of ).
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Old 1st Aug 2010, 10:16   #39
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Just on the topic of jigsaws, you can get special blades for acrylic/perspex. I found these to be much better than the metal blades I had be using previously, they cut straight with ease and leave a finish which looks semi-polished.

Bosch T101A are the blades I used.
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Old 11th Nov 2010, 21:42   #40
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Great set of info there, will definitely come in handy! Cheers!
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