Milling acrylic glass: What is possible

In addition to sawing, gluing or hot forming, milling is also a typical processing technique for acrylic glass. Both manual and stationary milling can be used. From engraving to copy milling everything is possible with acrylic glass.

Various milling and engraving work on acrylic glass

Acrylic glass is ideal for all mechanical processing techniques, which are combined under machining:

  • Engraving acrylic glass
  • Chamfering, profiling and bevelling edges
  • Milling curved lines
  • Milling preliminary work prior to trimming moldings and grooves
  • Copy milling (router)

Milling for processing acrylic glass

Naturally, the various milling machines are also used, from manual to stationary milling machines. As with acrylic saws with the saw blade, you must pay special attention to the milling head during milling. Again and again, a debate arises over whether to better use single-edged or double-edged milling heads.

Every milling job has its own characteristics

In individual cases, however, both versions can achieve better milling results. As always, it depends on the individual circumstances. The single-edged milling head can have a steeper angle, which is an advantage for milling plastic in general (removal of chips).

Milling head with one or two cutting edges

In addition, there is more space in the chip flute to remove the chips, ie one of the fundamental special requirements for milling plastic. However, with multi-bladed milling heads there is also the general risk that the teeth become clogged. Now everything would point to single-edged milling heads.

Advantages and disadvantages

However, there is also a difficulty here. Single-edged cutters must be balanced extremely accurately (using the adjustment screws on the chuck). Otherwise it can very quickly lead to chatter marks on the workpiece to be machined from acrylic glass. Depending on how well a milling head can actually be balanced, this is a first preliminary decision in favor of a single or multi-bladed milling head.

Speeds and feed

An important aspect also results with the speed. Depending on the diameter of the milling head, the speed should be between 10,000 and 15,000 rpm. The feed rate should be 0.5 to 0.6 mm / rev. For conventional milling (chamfering, profiling, etc.) have special milling cutters with ball bearings distinguished. But milling with guide or spacer rollers are also ideal.

Diamond cutter for demanding optical results

This allows both straight and curly edges to work equally well. Another important aspect, especially with translucent acrylic glass, is often the question of how the milled edge should look later. With a diamond cutter, they achieve a high-gloss surface.

Engraving acrylic glass

When engraving, of course, you can also distinguish again. Artisanal and industrial engraving work on acrylic glass is usually carried out with one of the following milling machines:

  • router
  • Gravierfräse
  • copy router

Artistic freehand engraving

Opposite stands the "artistic" engraving. After working here without templates, mainly handy rotary shafts, engraving or milling needles or diamond engravers or writers are used. Probably the best-known device in this direction is the Dremel.

Tips & Tricks

While industry and the craft have numerous solutions ready, the handyman usually has to do with a hand router or a table router. Depending on the milling and engraving work to be carried out, it may therefore be considered to seek out an appropriate craft business. In any case, this is cheaper than buying a new cutter if it is never or rarely needed.

Video Board: Milling and Polishing acrylic glass - Marble Machine X Marble Carrier