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Anyone work with acrylic or plexiglass?

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Willi B
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Joined: 07/28/2008

I'm looking to do some small scale work with just scissors for some transparent concepts... Wouldn't mind buying a sheet, but I want to make sure I get something I can use.

Plus, it wouldn't hurt to know if I can color the material in a permanent marker sort of way (they don't tend to give that info out on the websites).

Anyone have some experience here?

davidceee
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Joined: 06/06/2009
scissors won't work with

scissors won't work with acrylic, permanent markers do.

http://www.ocip.com/
http://www.plastics-fabrication.com/

InvisibleJon
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Joined: 07/27/2008
A Dremel tool was not the right tool.

I had to cut a lot of rather thick (1/4") plaxiglass into smaller sheets. I tried a Dremel tool with a diamond-coated cutting wheel. It did not go so well. The high heat caused by the spinning heel's friction caused the plexiglass to melt and made a nasty rough edge.

If you have access to a bandsaw, that should work well. I remember using one to cut plexiglass in intermediate school (8th grade?).

coco
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Joined: 07/27/2008
acrylic

I think you're talking about what we call here 'metacrilato' (acrylic).

I'm going to use it in some of the games I'm about to self-publish. The best way to cut it is a laser-cutter. The accuracy is amazing. Use a vector graphic for this and contact a laser cutting provider. Laser cutting is not cheap, but not too expensive either. Good for prototypes or short runs.

You can add images by using adhesive vinyl.

Hope this helps.

Willi B
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Joined: 07/28/2008
@davidceee

I've seen lists for extruded acrylic in sheets that of .08" thickness... are even these unable to be used with some kind of shears?

Just thought that maybe using an empty lamination may work for my purposes... I had something laminated that had lots of extra room space... anybody try this? I think there was some bubbling - maybe not quite transparent?

davidceee
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Joined: 06/06/2009
Acrylic or plexiglass(same

Acrylic or plexiglass(same thing) will chip and crack with a shear.

Willi B
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Joined: 07/28/2008
Thanks!

Good to know.

Anyone know about laminates? Will cold laminators or hot laminators create a piece of clear material when empty? Will it work with shears and permanent markers?

SiddGames
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What for?

It sounds like you don't necessarily need something as thick/hard as acrylic for your playtesting/proof of concept work? You can buy transparency sheets that are ink-jet printable. I've used some before for printing hex overlays for some game testing. It works great if you don't need thick/stiff material.

bluepantherllc
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Joined: 07/29/2008
Using acrylic

You can cut acrylic with a scroll saw fairly easily - the finer the blade, the better the edges it leaves. You can also do fairly fine work with a scroll saw, if required.

You can laser cut acrylic - if the process settings are right, the edges are as clear as the rest of the piece. There are also some solvents you can buy in small quantities to smooth out the edges, if necessary.

You can get what they call "engraver's plastic - which is basically a .030 material overlay on a piece of acrylic. You can then rotary or laser engrave just the top layer to get a pretty good effect. It's available in multiple colors (including clear and fluorescent backing).
This is what we used to use for color piecepacks before the price became unreasonable. We now do color piecepacks on painted/dyed
birch plywood.

If you engrave on plain old clear acrylic, you could then use a "color fill" to make it more permanent - this is what they do on "transluscent dice".

SJ

drewdane
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I think I understand...

I'm trying to follow your new line of thought. Are you thinking about writing on laminate, then sealing it? That should work fine.
I would recommend using hot laminating pouches, as they will be crystal clear after you run them through the machine. I'm not sure what kind of results you'd get out of the cold laminating sheets, but I'm pretty sure it wouldn't be as nice.
Open it up, and write on the inside. Then close it, and cook it. Easy transparent counters, or tiles, or whatever. That could be pretty neat!

MatthewF
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Joined: 07/22/2008
Straight lines in plexiglas

Straight lines in plexiglas can be snapped quite well. Using a metal straight-edge and an x-acto knife or other razor blade-type knife, score a deep incision across the plexiglass. Set the plexiglas with the score at the edge of a table and snap down. Poof, clean cut. A small amount of sanding smooths it out and you're set.

MatthewF
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drewdane wrote:I'm trying to

drewdane wrote:
I'm trying to follow your new line of thought. Are you thinking about writing on laminate, then sealing it? That should work fine.
I would recommend using hot laminating pouches, as they will be crystal clear after you run them through the machine. I'm not sure what kind of results you'd get out of the cold laminating sheets, but I'm pretty sure it wouldn't be as nice.
Open it up, and write on the inside. Then close it, and cook it. Easy transparent counters, or tiles, or whatever. That could be pretty neat!

With cold laminate you'd just have a flimsy piece of plastic, and you can't really write on the inside of it first. You could, though, write on a transparency (like for inkjet printers or laser printers), or even print on it, then cold laminate it to thicken and protect. That would work pretty well, and could easily be cut with shears/scissors.

Willi B
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Joined: 07/28/2008
Matthew -

I know you know cold lamination a bit - can you get a transparency with that 9" machine? Can you permanently mark on the transparency?

MatthewF
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Joined: 07/22/2008
Marking on the surface of the

Marking on the surface of the Xyron cold laminate is EXTREMELEY difficult. Grease pencils (aka china markers) work well, but basically everything else just beads up, including permanent markers like Sharpies and Magic Markers.

That's why, for the project idea above, I suggested marking up a standard acetate transparency first and then laminating it. Once laminated, you're pretty much SOL for marking it (a blessing and a curse, depending on your needs).

Willi B
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Joined: 07/28/2008
Thanks!

Everything I wanted to know!

I have a couple of games that are begging for these and I think I will try to work with Staples or Kinkos on a trial run for hot laminate to see results and price. I might try the acetate idea on a hot lamination if that fails... then go out and but a laminator as a last ditch effort. If things are going good, I might just break down and do it anyways, but for now, I don't see the need.

Anyone know what Gloom and Squint Jr. used?

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