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Large-scale laser cutting of acrylic

Life-size figures from Perspex ® for the Lüneburg Museum

This project illustrates just how well art, culture and our high-tech laser systems go together. The Lüneburg Museum came up with a very special idea for decorating the exhibition rooms. Their request: individually designed life-size figures made of acrylic glass. A welcome opportunity for eurolaser to combine it own core competence with a good cause. Supporting regional institutions has always been a concern close to the heart of eurolaser.

1. Step: Laser cutting
1. Step: Laser cutting
2. Step: Applying foil
2. Step: Applying foil
3. Step: Placement
3. Step: Placement

What are the benefits of using eurolaser systems to cut acrylic with laser?

  • Smooth, crystal-clear cut edges in one operation
  • No clamping or fixing of the acrylic sheets necessary
  • Less breakage and waste because laser cutting is a contactless process
  • No acrylic chippings – less soiling and less cleaning required
  • Practically radius free laser cutting of inner contours for virtually all acrylic glass thicknesses
  • Processing with protective foil possible – without any material damage
  • Combined acrylic processing with a milling cutter and  CO2 laser possible on one machine
  • Unique choice of different table sizes – suitable for all standard acrylic sheet sizes
  • Large-scale engravings (even relief) over the entire processing area
Large processing areas
Large processing areas


Cutting the large acrylic figures with laser

We used cast 15-mm thick acrylic glass for producing the figures. As some of the figures were to be over 2 m high, we used the XL-1600 or rather XL-3200 laser systems to cut them. The large processing areas of these cutters meant the figures could be cut in one piece from the acrylic sheets. One important detail of the finished figures is their smooth edges – after all they are intended to present the exhibits to the visitors. So the high-quality gloss effect of the crystal clear cut edges of the acrylic is, of course, important for the museum.

crystal clear cut edges
crystal clear cut edges

 

Acrylic glass, if processed in the customary way, requires several machining steps if a clear, transparent surface finish is to be achieved on the cut edge and there are considerable limitations where the cutting of filigree inner contours is concerned. In contrast, laser cutting uses an extremely focussed laser light which creates localised heat formation that immediately causes the acrylic to evaporate. Once cut the crystal-clear and smooth contours required appear naturally and require no further re-working. So in fact the whole procedure is achieved in just one single processing step.

Finishing and installation of the figures

A little colour was all that was missing to complete the figures. A local advertising agency was commissioned with applying foils to the acrylic glass. These printed foils give the figures a discrete coloured effect.

Specially-designed steel supports ensure stable placement of the large and heavy acrylic characters. The result is quite impressive.


Do you have any questions? We are pleased to advise you.

or please call for your individual consulting!

+49 (0)4131 / 9697 - 500

 
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