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Why is a Diamond Polisher the Best?

Diamonds are one of the hardest known and available materials on Earth, which gives them many use cases in acrylic fabrication for cutting, machining, and polishing. A diamond polisher can achieve unmatched smoothness and clear edges on acrylic and is considered the best way to refine a part after cutting. The process improves the look of the part by removing excess plastic and restoring a high-quality finish and clarity to the cut surface.

Diamond is an arrangement of many millions of carbon atoms, each of which is bonded to four other carbon atoms. They form a tetrahedron structure (triangular pyramids) and can continue this pattern infinitely to form a very strong and sturdy structure. This contributes to the diamond’s great hardness which is highly sought after by any diamond polisher. To use them in acrylic fabrication, tiny diamonds are attached to a disc or polishing cloth and these are run along the surface. Using diamonds will remove any burrs or flashes in your acrylic fabrication and restore pristine visual clarity to the cut edge.

There are a few different methods of polishing plastics. These include manual polishing with a cloth, flame polishers, and using a diamond polisher. Flame polishing is a more budget-friendly option and can be somewhat more effective on curves but its quality is far exceeded by diamond. Some of the most common uses for diamond polishing include quality retail displays and clear plastic trophies.

When looking for acrylic fabrication specialists, it is essential that they are also diamond polisher experts. FX Plastics can precision cut and fully polish acrylic for the perfect finish every time.

How Do CNC Laser Cutting Machines Work?

CNC Laser Cutting has become commonplace in the manufacturing industry, hailed for its incredible precision and flexibility. Because of its many benefits, plastic fabricators Sydney make extensive use of the technology. Many people would know how useful CNC laser cutting is, but how exactly does light cut so well? The word Laser is actually an acronym for light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation. The light in laser cutting is a heavily amplified beam, giving it the power needed to melt through solids like acrylic sheets used by plastic fabricators Sydney.

CNC laser cutting begins with computer designs of the desired part. Designs are normally produced in a CAD program and then translated using a CAM program by plastic fabricators Sydney. These translations guide the CNC machine. The machine uses a resonator to produce an intense beam of light in the head of the cutter which is focused out of the head as an incredibly thin beam using a lens. The light being so heavily focused produces a large amount of energy at the focal point which can melt or even vaporize the material. Most CNC laser cutting machines use a stream of an inert gas such as nitrogen to blow molten material out of the cut.

Laser machines are very versatile and can be used for a range of materials. Changing the focal length and depth of focus (by altering the lens or original beam) allows CNC laser cutting to be done for many material types and thicknesses. To learn more about laser cutting and other acrylic fabrication methods contact FX Plastics, master plastic fabricators Sydney.

Steps in the Acrylic Design and Fabrication Process

Since its first production in the late 1920s, acrylic has become deeply entrenched in the manufacturing industry. It is loved for its general strength and high transparency making it great as a glass replacement or whenever a clear plastic display is needed. Design and fabrication of acrylic are incredibly versatile, being able to create a plethora of different parts for different purposes. Some of the main uses of acrylic include windows in aquariums, plastic display cabinets, and more recently hygiene screens for COVID-19. The design process for acrylic is an important part of ensuring quality products, FX plastics are experts in the design and fabrication of plastic products.

To take an idea or need for an acrylic product and make it a reality, these steps are taken:

  1. An initial draft design is produced; this may be a hand-drawn or computer model. This will ensure the requirements of the product are met such as space requirements in a plastic display.
  2. The initial model is made into a final CAD drawing, which includes all correct dimensions.
  3. The CAD drawing is used to guide a state-of-the-art CNC laser cutting machine to precisely cut the required shape.
  4. The freshly cut part is diamond polished for smooth edges in the plastic display.
  5. The quality new part is installed and put to use. One great thing about acrylic is its thermoplastic’ nature, meaning it can be heated and reformed to be bent to exact fits on site. This makes the design and fabrication process even more flexible if requirements were not quite right.

To learn more about the acrylic design and fabrication process, contact FX Plastics, the experts in all things acrylic.

Why Use Acrylic for Covid-19 Protective Shields?

Over the past few months, COVID-19 has remained a constant issue in Australia. Although there was recently some reprieve, with a long streak of zero cases, a few minor outbreaks have re-emerged. These cases reinforce the need for proactive action from business such as installing Covid-19 protective shields to protect their staff and customers. It doesn’t look like COVID will be fully gone for some time, so preventative measures like acrylic sheets allow businesses to operate and survive in the interim.

Acrylic sheets have some properties which make them very desirable for this purpose. They are used generally as a replacement for glass. Acrylic weighs substantially less than glass (usually less than half) and it has up to 20 times more impact resistance. These make it much more durable, especially out in the open as Covid-19 protective shields where impacts or bumps are likely in regular use. Along with added strength, if the sheets manage to break, unlike glass they will not form shards but thick, blunt edged pieces. This is a great added safety as Covid-19 protective shields are generally in close proximity to faces where shards could cause serious injury to staff or customers.

It isn’t just its in-service properties that make acrylic sheets a desirable alternative to glass. They are also much easier to manufacture and product rapidly on mass. Glass must be molded and extruded for forming but acrylic can be produced as sheets, laser cut to size and easily bent or formed on site to fit the exact required shape. This is much easier for the scale required for Covid-19 protective shields. In the event that screens become contaminated, they are easily cleaned but are not chemical safe and damage can be easily polished out.

For more information on using acrylic screens, please contact FX Plastics, experts in Covid-19 protective shields fabrication.

Why Diamond Polishing is Essential for Acrylic

When purchasing fabricated plastic products, there is nothing better than a clean and smooth finish with a pristine shine. It adds another layer of quality to the piece and looks very appealing. One of the best ways to achieve high quality on acrylic sheets is through the process of diamond polishing. Many processes used to form acrylics such as sawing and laser cutting will leave the surface rough and matte. This is typically not wanted as the aim of acrylic sheets is usually to be clear.

When using diamond polishing, the acrylic surfaces are passed over sharp diamonds rotating quickly, these will clean the surface of excess plastic and leave a smooth, clear finish. There are many benefits of using this polishing technique for acrylic sheets. Firstly, the quality of the resulting finish is the best you can get for acrylic sheets, with the resulting edges being as clear as the uncut surface. Diamond polishing will also remove any potential weaknesses in the material, making the product tougher and more durable. As the technique is quite inexpensive, it can drastically improve your value for money.

Despite its many advantages, there are some limitations to diamond polishing; it can only be done to straight or flat surfaces. Acrylic sheets with rounded corners or edges will require another polishing method such as flame or manual polishing to obtain a clear surface.

FX Plastics are expert manufacturers of acrylic products in Sydney. They can design, cut, and diamond polish acrylic to provide the highest quality product at the best value for your money. Contact us today for more information or a quote.

CNC Laser Cutting and Routing for Acrylic Fabrication

CNC machining processes have revolutionized the acrylic fabrication industry, allowing rapid, accurate, and economical production of various parts previously requiring many hours of manual work. Put simply, computer numerical control (CNC) machines uses computer models to control the manufacturing of parts. These models are typically drawn in CAD programs then CAM programs translate those drawings into instructions for the machine.

With the range of CNC fabrication methods on offer, it may be difficult to choose which one is best for your acrylic fabrication project. Each unique process has distinct advantages and disadvantages and there is no ‘one size fits all’ option when it comes to CNC. CNC laser cutting and CNC routing and machining are two of the major processes available.

CNC laser cutting uses a high powered laser beam focused using a series of mirrors to melt through materials before pressurized nitrogen blows it away, leaving a clean cut in the workpiece. As the laser is so thin, CNC laser cutting can produce detailed pieces with incredibly high precision and the flexibility of a computer-controlled laser beam allows for a wide range of customizable shapes and sizes.

CNC routing and machining processes use computer control to guide cutting tools across a workpiece to produce a modeled shape. This allows for high quality and accurately fabricated products but lacks the design flexibility of laser cutting. The primary benefit of CNC routing and machining is the material saving and ability to produce parts in large quantities while retaining quality.

FX Plastics specializes in CNC processes for acrylic fabrication producing high-quality parts quickly and for highly competitive prices, contact us now to find out more!

Acrylic as a Glass Alternative

Acrylic, sometimes known by a brand name ‘Perspex’ is a very versatile material used extensively as an alternative to glass. The primary advantage of acrylic is its strength, being up to 17 times stronger than glass pieces and is highly shock and scratch-resistant. It is also much lighter than glass, weighing only half as much; hence acrylic is more easily transported.

Acrylic Fabrication is typically performed through CNC (computer numerical control) laser cutting processes. This utilises numerical inputs or computer-aided drawings (CAD) to control cutting machines. This allows for highly precise parts to be formed with minimal influence from human error and at much better prices than other forming techniques. Acrylic fabrication is also highly versatile and allows for large varieties of shapes to be formed.

Acrylic fabrication is used extensively as a glass replacement in applications ranging from aquarium windows to fiber optics. CNC laser cutting processes make many of these diverse applications possible.

FX Plastics are experts in CNC laser cutting processes for acrylic fabrication, providing precise and competitively priced fabrications for a plethora of acrylic applications. In recent times, FX Plastics has used such acrylic fabrication processes to provide acrylic panels to the customer service industry to serve as barriers protecting against the transmission of COVID 19.

Enquire today at FX Plastics for more information.

Using acrylic sheets to make Covid-19 Protective Shields

Acrylic sheets make for one of the best materials for COVID-19 protective shields. They are effective in protecting users behind both sides from virus infection and the spread of bacteria in general that comes with retail transactions. Acrylic sheets are able to be cut in various sizes and shapes as per the requirements of any customer laser cutting specialist FX Plastics are able to make the most precise cuts out of acrylic sheets to make ideal COVID-19 protective shields.

A small window at the bottom of the screen is usually cut to allow for the transfer of tender and items. What makes using acrylic sheets so favorable is its highly competitive price that doesn’t impair quality, reliability, and effectiveness in the product.  The process of design and fabrication by FX plastics is also cost-effective due to manufacturing protocols allowing for highly modified bulk orders at great prices. The screens provided are essential in providing COVID-19 health assurances in supermarkets, medical centers, pharmacies, and any environment where staff to customer and staff interaction is present.

Different ways to polish acrylic

Polishing acrylic sheets is necessary if you want smooth and translucent to clear finishes to your plastic products. There are three main methods of polishing acrylics, each method producing a different result. Different types of products will require a different method of polishing. The three methods used by most fabricators are Diamond polishing, Flame polishing, and manual polishing.

Diamond Polishing

This method results in perfect smoothed out edges on straight or sloping surfaces. Suitable for acrylic materials up to 2100mm in length this method will ensure your product does not have any structural weak spots improving on the longevity of the product. Overall diamond polishing results in attractive and longer-lasting products typically used for high-end retail, thick materials, and items that will be viewed up close.

Flame Polishing

This method of polishing acrylic sheets involves heating the surface so much that it causes slight melting to create smoothness around the edges. This is necessary on items with edges that are difficult to reach/access or for holes. It’s far cheaper than the other two methods and is faster to do whilst still providing high-quality finishes.

Manual Polishing

The last method used by plastic fabricators for acrylic sheets is manual polishing. Through utilizing a rotating polishing disk or polishing cloth with paste this method requires extensive manual labor and takes longer than diamond or flame polishing. Manual polishing is commonly used in larger items, low volume items and to repair or remove scratches.

What is computer Aided Drawing used for?

What is Computer-Aided Drawing (CAD)?

CAD drawing is an in-depth 2D or 3D sketch which displays components and parts of an engineering, design and fabrication project. There are a number of software applications that can be used on computers which make this process possible.

Which professions use Computer Aided Drawing (CAD)

This type of software is used across many industries and provides groundbreaking improvements in efficiency, accuracy and consistency of design and fabrication.

Computer-Aided Drawing (CAD) used for fabrication

CAD allows for the most precise modeling you can do. Accuracies are made by the fraction of a millimeter. Designs can be saved as preset models to use for fabrication and makes the whole process a lot easier and saves a lot of money. The accuracy of CAD in fabrication allows for cost optimization and close cuts by the fraction of a millimeter mean a reduction of wasted material reducing costs dramatically.

CAD Software

Popular choices among professionals include AUTOCAD (the most popular and versatile) which comes at $2805 a year, CIVIL 3D at $3225 a year, Advance Steel at $2945 and TinkerCAD which is the most simple software allowing for design and printing free of charge.