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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi guys - witless inventor here looking to get a product manufactured. Being pushed towards the moulding route for unit cost purposes but still believe I can achieve small scale production till then using a manufacturer with traditional routers, milling etc and some finishing techniques.
1) Without moulds the product is to be faced with 3mm acrylic sheets. In order to alter the width of the product (comes in different sizes) I need a material that can act as a spacer/sandwich filler which will present an edge, when cut, that can be polished/smoothed and will blend nicely with the edges of the outer acrylic- would PVC be a good material for this purpose? Any recommendations for a different sheet material with varying thicknesses between 5mm - 20mm (approx) with an aesthetically appealing finish, appreciated (Did consider bamboo but the edge grain is too choppy).
2) If making a sandwich out of acrylic and/or PVC is there a technique or chemical finish/paste/filler that can be used on the edges to blend the joins? Heat treatment? Hot air gun and a palette knife (j/k) or is the application of glue/solvent, when done correctly, enough to give a consistent filled edge that can be polished/blended? Any tricks of the trade welcome.

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you for the replies, in the process of getting a prototype made, should be by the end of next week. If all else fails regarding the edges, I suppose there's a number of strip materials that might hide/mask the layering along the edges and give a satisfactory finish.
 

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Welcome to the forum , Lochnivar.
 
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I like the video that David posted but would like to add my 2 cents. I made hundreds of acrylic boxes for window neons. When I started there, they used to sand the edges and either wipe with methylene or flame the edges. Some of the older signs started showing crazing, sometimes years later. It appeared even more frequently on smoked (tinted) acrylic (think sunglasses). We changed to routing, sanding and then buffing the edges (like in the video) and that problem disappeared. The edges now lasted many years without any signs ;-) of crazing. We had a router table set up only for skimming the the saw marks off of the edges. We used buffing compound on the wheels. I would recommend that method especially over flaming. I think you are adding stresses into the edge with flaming.
 

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David - Machinist in wood
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I didn't mention it earlier due to the cost but there are bits available specifically intended to polish acrylic edges. I just grabbed this one off the Internet so I'm not endorsing this particular bit, just using it as a representative idea.
Product Font Rectangle Material property Screenshot
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you all for your insight, I genuinely appreciate it. My product is so basic, yet to find a cost effective way to manufacture it, using the correct materials whilst giving it a professional finish is where the real expertise comes in. The company who I approached to do the work (local, family run longstanding business) are used to fabricating products with specific materials that they seldom deviate from and as a result I'm trying to learn what can be done in theory without any of the practice.
I think a bit of elbow grease and some buffering might be my best choice in this situation in the early days.... Now I've just got to work out if there's an accurate way to chamfer 45 degree angles at home on all four sides of small ruler sized pieces of acrylic, I understand there are bits out there for the job but am advised by my manufacturer that they can only guarantee one edge and I need all four to attempt the illusion of seemless assembly - back to the drawing board!
 

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again - I'm asking for a prototype photo, drawing, sketch or similar product found in Pinterest (just for explanation).
so far, to me, it sounds like a generic clear acrylic display box for a baseball to sit on the shelf.
some of us here have quite a bit of experience in different fields with working with plastics. Even making a prototype out of cardboard, MDF, or plywood would help get your idea across to us.
 

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I've laminated a "few" pieces of wood and acrylic using epoxy and "Super Glue." Heat and wood shifts beat on the large area joint and, interestingly, the Super Glue (commercial versions) work better.

When I turn disks, I mount them on a bolt, install it on my lathe and flail away. The sanding and polishing go quickly. THEN I tried my carbide scraper and the lathe. Sanding and polishing were no longer required.

When I still do polishing, the compounds I use are all over the board. I use a lot of my own mixes, made by melting bees wax in turpentine and adding diatomaceous earth, chromium oxide, baking soda, good old toothpaste, or whatever strikes my experimenting fancy.
Wood Building Ceiling Metal Beam

Wood Liquid Material property Musical instrument Font
 

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Loch - have you given up on your project ?
there are several of us here that are following your journey and would like to see some sketches, drawings or sample photos. Or, even some cardboard prototypes or mockups.
 
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