How to cut acrylic on a milling machine correctly. Cutting plexiglass (acrylic) laser

RDWorks Learning Lab 26 A 10mm Acrylic project

Milling acrylic processing

In almost every production workshop where outdoor advertising products are made, in one form or another there is milling plastic processing. With milling work with acrylic, the quality of processing depends not only on the equipment and tools used, but also on many factors that should be taken into account.

Milling processing is used for cutting materials, cutting along a given contour, selection of grooves and removing part of the material to a given depth from a certain part of the surface of the product. For high.quality treatment of acrylic, the correct selection and adjustment of equipment, the quality of sharpening of the milling, the selection of processing modes and the properties of the processed materials themselves are important. For effective and high.quality milling processing, the entire complex of requirements should be taken into account at the same time.

Advantages of milling acrylic processing.

For the processing of acrylic, in particular for cutting sheets into parts, cutting out letters, figures, milling, this is the best alternative to sawing using simple hand.lobby or electric saws, as well as a strip saw. Milling cutting provides a number of advantages. Firstly, it is possible to obtain any desired smooth circuit from sheet acrylic with the best accuracy, secondly, the risk of cracking the material during cutting, thirdly. The probability of damage to the sheet from the opposite side is reduced due to the hit of the chips under it, fourthly. There are no chips on the processed edge, the minimum surface roughness remains and the edge after milling is a smoother. Due to the better quality of the processed edge, the costs of further finish are reduced. leveling, grinding. In addition, processing using manual vertical milling mills or coordinate milling machines is more convenient and less laborious, since the tool, as a rule, moves relatively stationaryly fixed workpiece of leaf acrylic. In addition, with the help of a cutter, you can drill holes, make mowed edges, polish the edges with special mills and engrave.

Along with universality, milling processing also has certain restrictions. For example, it is impossible to make an perfectly sharp inner angle, since the working part of the cutter has a limitation on the minimum diameter and the angle will always be rounded. The thickness of the sheet or the selected layer of the material is also limited by the length of the working edge of the cutter. However, you must admit that it is rarely necessary to cut plastics with a thickness of more than 25 mm.

How to cut?

Millet.shock is usually protected by a film on both sides. It is recommended to leave acrylic in the protective film throughout the process of processing to protect the coating.

There are several ways to cut plexiglass, but regardless of the method you use, you must always ensure that the cutting tool does not become source of heating. One of the cutting methods is to use a cutting machine preferably with a carbide blade with 10 dentures per inch. Plexe can also be cut using CNR milling machine, laser technology based on carbon dioxide (CO2) or thin supersonic stream of water. Please note that the finish of the edge will differ depending on the cutting method.

Choose a blade for a machine that is specially designed for cutting acrylic. The cloves of the blade should be even, thin and evenly distributed at the same height. Make sure that the contact of the blade with the material occurs at a constant speed, since changes in speed can lead to melting the edge of the material.

Subtle parts from acrylic (1/8 inch ≈ 3mm in thickness or less) can be cut as glass using a knife for engraving, metal damn, awl or a mounting knife and at the end gently break. Please note that if you need to make a long cut, this method is not suitable, since it leaves not flat edges, which are then difficult to glue.

How to drill?

Acryl is well filed by drilling, but it is necessary to avoid heating and inaccurate handling of the material during drilling. The heat generated by the drill can lead to the melting or formation of cracks, and any not accurate movement of the material near the drill can lead to breaks.

Use special polished and polished drills designed to process acrylic, or adjust the shape of a conventional spiral drill on a grinding machine so that it can be used to drill a polymer. The shape of a spiral drill can be changed by grinding the faces of the drill on both sides, so that a brazing effect would be created during the drilling. If the drill is properly sharpened and works at the correct speed, long curly strips are achieved during the processing process.

The speed of the drill is also an important factor. Install a drilling machine at a speed of 500 to 1000 revolutions per minute. Always start and finish the processing with slow speed. If you are going to drill several holes, from time to time let the tool cool down to avoid acrylic heating.

You can put a piece of plywood under the bottom of the acrylic sheet to give the drill more space and do not hurt a plexiglass when slowing down the tool. To prevent cracks, do not process too close to the edge (1.5 diameters of the hole from the center will be considered too close).

Types of milling mills

The following varieties are distinguished by their purpose:

  • End (work in different directions);
  • End (for processing flat surfaces);
  • Disk (for decoration of edges, grooves);
  • Corner (for corners processing);
  • Shaped mills (create complex profiles. grooves, threads, screw channels, etc.P.)

Mills are a universal, simple and important tool. He is able to perform many different operations: from simple cutting of organic glass to highly artistic engraving. Software management machines simplify these operations and make the production of parts high.quality and speed.

Sequence of operations for the cutting of exagges

Any processing of materials on CNC machines begins with the creation of a layout. An alternative is the use of ready.made templates, but standard solutions do not allow you to cope with all problems. After creating the layout, the order is executed in several stages:

  • Adaptation of the created file.
  • Loading a file into a machine system operator.
  • Fixation of the workpiece on the machine table.
  • Cut the details.
  • Checking the quality of processing.

Ready.made layouts created by Alfas’s employees according to customer sketches are preserved and can be used to fulfill subsequent orders. If necessary, they are possible to adjust them, which will save time and means.

Cutting modes used in practice, depending on the processed material and type of cutter

It should be borne in mind that the choice of cutting modes, when processing the same material with the same tool, is affected by many factors, the main of which are: the rigidity of the system of the machine-tool-instrument (AIDS), cooling of the tool, processing strategy, processing strategy, The height of the layer of the removed and the size of the processed elements.


Organic glass refers to vinyl materials. Get it with the synthesis of methyl methacrylate. Outwardly, this is a transparent plastic material, which is considered completely safe for human health and has excellent physical and technical characteristics. It is very easy to process.

acrylic, milling, machine, cutting

Organization milling is one of the main methods of processing the material. It is used when from organic glass:

  • external or interior advertising, packaging, advertising structures are made;
  • interior, racks, windows are issued;
  • Decorations are created.

Also, milling makes it possible to produce even the smallest parts of the sizes, for example, decor elements, souvenir products from plexiglass.

The biggest advantage of such processing is the ability to perfectly and effectively remove chips from the material, thereby reaching a perfectly flat surface of the product. This method is characterized by high cutting speed and clean sections.

The milling solves many seemingly impossible tasks:

  • cutting;
  • creation of volumetric parts from the material;
  • engraving on glass. you can create recesses, form a drawing, an inscription;
  • The addition of lighting effects. cutters are installed under a certain inclination, thus create light fractures
acrylic, milling, machine, cutting


Crossbreeding organic glass should only be performed by professionals on special equipment, milling machines. Frezezerka machine. a special professional device with which it is possible to cut extensor and engraving on it.

There are currently several types of milling machines.

CNC milling machine (numerical management)

This model is most popular and requested. This is primarily due to the peculiarity of the equipment. the ability to create in advance using the program, taking into account key parameters, the model of the product. After that, the machine itself will automatically do all the work.

How To Cut Acrylic Sheet By Hand

CNC machine is characterized by the following parameters:

  • accuracy of positioning;
  • the size of the working surface;
  • spindle power;
  • cutting speed;
  • the speed of free movement.

The parameters of each machine may vary, they depend on the model, manufacturer and year of release.

CNC milling machine can be of several types:

Milling machine for 3D cutting

This model of the machine differs from others with the opportunity to perform 3D cutting of the material. Using software, a cutting element is positioned in three different dimensions, axes. This feature of cutting makes it possible to achieve a 3D effect. On the already finished product it looks very impressive and unusual.

All milling machines are classified for its intended purpose:

  • mini-milling-are used in everyday life or in the learning process;
  • desktop. such machines are most often used in small production in conditions of limited space;
  • Vertical. this is a large industrial equipment that is installed in the workshops, characterized by high cutting speed and long.term continuous operation, high performance.

By the type of movement of the working surface, the machines are certain types.

  • Vertical-pcresis. Characterized by horizontal movement of the desktop. Performs longitudinal and transverse cutting.
  • Console-pcresis. The cutting element remains motionless, but the working surface moves in different directions.
  • Longitudinal-pcreseral. The movement of the desktop is longitudinal, cutting tools. transverse.
  • Wide.resistant. This model of the machine is considered the most popular, since the movement of the working surface and cutting are performed in various directions that are in advance in the software.


Milling is made on machines with different types of control. The difference here is not the process of processing itself, but its accuracy and volume of processed material.

3D milling

The size of the milling machine, or rather, its desktop, determines the size of the workpiece. If the area of ​​the leaf is larger, then the future product will have to be divided into fragments equal to the area of ​​the table. Since the material is easily glued, the problem is not.

  • At the first stage, a model of the future product is created.
  • Then the sheet is cut and cut using a cutter into geometrically correct or curved parts. In ordinary cases, the end of the part will be matte. When processing gas, and choosing the correct angle of inclination of the cutter, you can get a smooth transparent or mirror edge.
  • Actually milling is made according to the developed drawing. A plexiglass sheet, fixed on the desktop, moves automatic or mechanically. The rotating cutter of the desired diameter drills the furrow of the required thickness, depth and configuration.
  • Grooves, as well as edges, can be treated with different angles of inclination, which allows you to get additional light effects.

A sheet with a voluminous image allows further processing. thermal bending, for example, or gluing. Milling does not affect the properties of the material.

CNC milling

CNC-numerical software control installed on any medium. CNC milling-tokure machine is characterized by many advantages:

  • Any operations are performed with very high accuracy, the error in the formation of the pattern is excluded;
  • It is possible to process parts of minimum sizes;
  • High speed. up to 300 m. ml/h without loss of accuracy;
  • total performance increases by 2-3 times.

The complexity of the program depends on the type of product:

  • For drilling or cutting sheets, a positional program is quite enough. The contour allows you to set the trajectory of the milling cutter: in this way, the details of the complex configuration are obtained.
  • For the engraving of plexiglasses, a combined program is required, combining the possibilities of positional and contour.
  • The multi.circuit system is most complex, but also provides literally jewelry processing of the material and the formation of images of high complexity.

Processing machine

Modern equipment provides processing both flat surfaces and spatial. Typically, acrylic plastics are first subjected to milling, and only then. flexion. Therefore, console machines are most widespread. with the desktop.

The material sheet is fixed on the console. Milling cutter. finger, inserted into a milling grandmother manually or automatically. Control can be manual, automatic or CNC.


By the type of table movement and milling grandmother, the machine is made for 4 groups:

  • vertically milling-the desktop moves in the horizontal direction-longitudinal and transverse, the milling grandmother moves only vertically;
  • console-milling-the table moves in all three directions, and the working tool is motionless;
  • in the longitudinal milling table moves in the longitudinal direction. The grandmother moves in the transverse direction, and the mobile crossbar, on which it is fixed in vertical;
  • broad.universal. the desktop moves along the axes X and Y, and the spindle grandmother. along the axis Z. The difference with the first option is the vertical position of the console.

Milling-tokar machines are available for different purposes. Their design, drive power, control method can be very different.

acrylic, milling, machine, cutting
  • Mini-milling machines-designed for home workshops, are also used for educational purposes. Produced with manual and numerical control, which significantly expands the capabilities of the house.
  • Desktop. designed for individual use, but in fact are successfully used in small production.
  • Vertically milling-production equipment with a large number of possible operations.

Widespread. designed to work with voluminous material.

acrylic, milling, machine, cutting


  • The absence of microcracks. machining by the cutter does not form the voltage on the edge, which excludes chips and the risk of cracking of the material when flexible.
  • The ends during cutting are smooth. If necessary, the edge can be made transparent, as with laser cutting.
  • Milling is the only way to get a voluminous image, and not just engraving, because the milling cutter allows you to choose the material.
  • The thickness, depth and configuration of grooves is not limited.
  • The milling machine allows you to cut sheets with a large thickness. up to 40 mm.
  • Mechanical cutting does not affect the chemical composition of the material. Some types of plexiglasses. foamed, PVC, contain chlorine. Under the influence of high temperature, a chemical reaction with the release of chlorine begins, which completely eliminates, for example, laser processing. The speed of rotation of the cutter does not allow such a temperature: to engrave the material is completely safe.

Cutter and feed speed

The best results are achieved using milling cutters, but with a high speed of rotation. The latter depends on the power of the device and the size of the cutter itself.

On mini-stations, the speed of rotation is 400 rpm, on large format universal equipment-up to 24000 rpm.

The speed of feed, that is, the speed of the console, is determined by the type of operation, the thickness and depth of the line. So, for cutting and sample, the feed is made at a speed of 5-6 mm/s, with engraving. 1-2 mm/s. These values ​​vary widely, since the complexity of the picture has no less influence on speed.

An important factor for providing high speed of work is to clean the working surface of milling dust and blowing cold air.

Laser method

The design of the equipment is not much different from the milling machine, but a laser beam up to 0.1 mm thick is a working tool here. Laser processing has its advantages and its disadvantages.

  • The laser beam allows you to cut and engrave the material with a minimum thickness, which is impossible for a mechanical cutter. On the other hand, a sheet of large thickness for machines with a capacity of 60–120 W, and the majority of such, represents the problem.
  • Cutting and execution of the picture are extremely accurate, mechanical errors in this case are excluded.
  • The ends after the laser processing are sharp and transparent. However, there is a special technology that allows a laser to receive smooth edges.
  • The thickness and depth of the lines are limited. The fact is that the laser does not choose the material as a mill, but cuts out thin longitudinal lines, until they form a wider one. the method of shallowing. Thus get wide and deep stripes unprofitable.
  • The laser cannot be processed by a material that, under the influence of temperature, can deform or enter into a chemical reaction.

Milling cutting

The milling method is processed after previous mechanical operations: drilling, cutting on guillotine scissors or cutting. The design of rounding and curved circuits is also performed using milling. Any milling machines are used as equipment. Milling cutters are selected by end, one- or double-crusting, small diameters.

To perform artistic engraving works, engraving, upper or revolutionary cutters are used. They can be controlled either manually or using electronics.


When the parts from a plexiglass on a turning machine for black processing are used, cutters with carbide plates are used, while the maximum depth of execution cutting in size should not be more than 6 mm. Subtle processing is performed by tools made of instrumental steel. For cooling, emulsion emulsions are used for emulsion oil compatible with organic glass.

Turning is the most optimal way to produce discosal parts from leaf blanks. They are clamped by the bag between the rear grandmother of the machine and the clamping cartridge and grind to the desired size. For several passes.

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