Quick, where would be the closest and/or cheapest places to source mdf and flourescent acrylic glass


#1

Unfamiliar with what’s nearby the space and I don’t know what store would sell florescent acrylic glass in particular and not in bulk, so where do people normally get they’re stock? got my vector files ready to print some terrain just need materials


#2

central hardwoods has them for pretty cheap. or just get them from home depot or lowes


#3

thanks. anything on plastic/acrylic suppliers?


#4

no clue. must be 10 characters


#5

There are some notes on the suppliers Plastics page. I’m not sure if it’s pertinent, but the companies listed might be worth contacting…
https://dallasmakerspace.org/wiki/Plastics_Suppliers
I’m sure some others with actual experience can chime in, too, but usually their recommendation is on this list.


#6

Regal plastics has it-but I don’t know whether you can get less than a 4’ x 8’ sheet


#7

Possibly Hobby Town, but I’d call and ask first. If they do have it pretty sure it would be in fairly small sheets (under 11"*14").


#8

Allied Plastics carries the acrylic (I bought some there). They may possibly call it “neon”. It does not glow in the dark, but looks just like your photo (the edges sort of glow in the light because the acrylic acts like a light pipe). You can get it cut to any size, but minimum order at Allied is $30.

Be advised that if you go to Allied, you need the Shady Trail location off of Walnut Hill. The tantalizingly close location in Carrollton is only an office, with no stock at that location.

If you don’t need a large piece, you can order it from a variety of online places - Walmart being one of them; eBay being another. Even with the outrageous shipping charge it will cost you far less than $30.

(EDIT: The stock at Walmart is 12" x 12" - your photo looks like that sheet might be large enough).


#9

Speaking of, Walmart sells clipboards made of a brightly colored clear plastic material. It will need to be verified that it is acrylic instead of polycarbonate before lasering.


#10

Cough as a minor follow up. would it be just as feasible to not bother checking the plastic and just cut it on the shapeoko instead of the laser?


#11

Sure.

Both tools can do things the other cannot do.


#12

Will allied sell any sizes of acrylic so long as it’s $30 worth? Like, could I get a bunch of different types of just 10x10 or something? I confess I have no idea how many of a small size sheet $30 would get me.


#13

Yes, Allied will let you mix and match anything you want (including adhesive, etc.) It’s a $30 minimum order, not a $30 minimum cut. In fact, you don’t have to take $30 worth of product - you just have to pay $30! May as well “take your change” in extra acrylic …

I bought 9 square feet of 1/8" thick acrylic for $30 comprising five smaller and one larger piece - 40% was clear, 60% was fluorescent acrylic. I assume that the fluorescent acrylic is slightly more expensive. I chose paper backing on all, and that’s a tiny bit more expensive also. I’m guessing, without any facts whatsoever, that if I had wanted 1/4" acrylic I would have probably gotten half as much. Purely a guess however …


#14

I just finished an acrylic routing project on the Shapeoko. It worked fine. My only complaint is that if I change cutters, the gantry slips enough to lose its original registration (even with a clamp securing the gantry). This makes it impossible to do highly precise jobs with multiple bits - in other words, I have to profile with the same bit that I pocket and engrave. This could just be operator error, so if someone has a good solution I’d love to hear it.


#15

That’s a prefect amount of info thanks. Gives me at least a little idea of expectations. Thanks!

(also, paper backing is so much more pleasant to work with)


#16

i saw a youtube video where someone swears by just flat out using adhesive and 3m velcro? might be worth a trial run


#17

E Street Plastics has a few florescent colors:

https://www.estreetplastics.com/flourescent-plexiglass-acrylic-sheet-s/108.htm

And the sell small 6" x 12" sheets so you can get a good sample.


#18

my knee jerk reaction is to suggest just tracing an outline while doing the details and just using a jigsaw to finish?


#19

A jigsaw will give you a poor edge finish (so would a scroll saw) - unless you’re prepared to use a piloted router bit to finish the edge. Flame-polishing would help, but it depends on how ragged the edge is.

The fluorescent acrylic relies on light being transmitted through the sheet and out the edges (as a light pipe of sorts) so if the edge finish is rough you may not get what you’re looking for.

If you’re not doing any pocketing, I would still use the smaller bit for the profiling and just accept that it’s going to take a while longer.

However, in looking at your example pieces above, the engraving has very fine lines with very little depth. Unless you need added depth or you plan to glue the acrylic, IMO the laser is going to give you the best combination of engraving and edge.