How to outsource the laser cutting of acrylic sheet (Perspex)
If you are looking to cut acrylic sheet into perfect letters or shapes one of the best ways to do it is to use a laser cutter, but unless you are in the industry, the cost to own a laser cutter will be prohibitive. However, there are companies that offer laser cutting as a service. The company I use supplies both acrylic sheet and laser cutting but I usually supply my own sheet and they only charge for the cutting – which is based on the time the machine is spent cutting the acrylic. I’m not sure if all laser cutting companies use this pricing metric or will allow you to bring your own acrylic sheet but mine does and if your size and thickness are within the limitations of their machine they will cut it no problem.
How outsourcing laser cutting of acrylic sheet works
The laser cutter can cut acrylic sheet from vector graphics artwork – usually CorelDRAW files. Once you have submitted the size to be cut and thickness of the acrylic sheet, the company doing the cutting will provide you with a quotation on what it will cost. I have found this method to be quite affordable, time-saving with the acrylic sheet being precision cut.
Laser cutters have a maximum width (bed size) they can cut as well as thickness. So you have to be sure your job falls into those dimensions. Example: the company that does my cutting told me that their machine (which normally has a 10mm thickness limit), wasn’t cutting straight anything above 8mm. This sounds a bigger problem that it is as most suppliers locally sell coloured acrylic sheet with a maximum thickness of 5mm.
1. Design artwork in vector graphics software editor
2. Submit artwork to laser cutting company (make sure it is vector graphics, with typefaces/fonts converted to curves.
3. Get quotation
4. Give go-ahead for cutting
5. Acrylic sheet is cut to your specifications
Tips if you are not supplying your own acrylic sheet
Have a look at a coloured swatch to make sure that the colour of acrylic sheet is the colour you want.
Tips if you are supplying your own acrylic sheet
* Leave the protective plastic on the acrylic sheet to avoid scratches, the laser cutter can cut through it with no issues.
* Make sure you are buying the correct size and thickness acrylic sheet
By having your own acrylic sheet cut you can make your own signs cheaper than what signage companies would charge.