Acrylic is a thermoplastic material recognized worldwide for its durability, versatility, and aesthetic appeal since PLEXIGLAS started over one hundred years ago it is widely used in industries such as architecture, design, and advertising, particularly for creating displays in retail stores, museums, and exhibitions. We outline for you a step-by-step overview of creating with acrylic. From designing the structure to the installation and maintenance of the sign or display, we can help our customers at Moriah Plastics every step of the way.
The preliminary task in creating an acrylic display is to plan and design the structure of the display. They usually do this using computer-aided design programmes. In response to a written brief and a pencil sketch, the designer may also create a 3D model of the display, but usually the engineering drawings are sufficient. Careful planning and precision are key to ensuring a successful project.
Once the design structure of the display is designed by us and approved, the next step is to select the proper acrylic sheets. Acrylic sheets come to Moriah Plastics in a variety of thicknesses, colours, and finishes and are both imported or locally sourced. It is vital to choose the right type of acrylic for the specific application. For example, if we will expose the display to direct sunlight, UV-resistant acrylic should prevent yellowing and degradation. Besides choosing the type of acrylic, the budget and projected life span of the project will inform the quality selected. Our acrylic materials come with warranties for the specific lifespan required, with 80 percent of our material stock being premium PLEXIGLAS®.
After selecting the acrylic sheets, we cut them to the required size and shape using a laser cutter or a CNC router. I then polished the edges of the acrylic sheets to create a smooth, clear finish. The cutting process depends on precision and accuracy to ensure that the acrylic sheets fit together perfectly and form a sturdy structure. In all these processes there are specialised tools used to ensure optimal production. You could cut Perspex panels at home, but on an industrial scale you would need specialised acrylic blades to cut with.
Once the sheets are cut to size, they need to be joined to create the structure of the display. There are various methods for joining acrylic sheets, including solvent bonding, mechanical fastening, and thermal welding. Solvent bonding involves using a solvent to dissolve the acrylic and create a strong bond between the sheets. Mechanical fastening involves using screws, bolts, or other hardware to hold the sheets together. Thermal welding involves using heat to melt the acrylic and fuse the sheets together. Choosing the method for joining the acrylic sheets depends on the specific application and requirements of the project. At Moriah Plastics we use a variety of special glues and solvents and in twenty-five years of business we have seen customers destroy display stands by using the incorrect solvents, glues, paints, dyes, ink, and cleaning fluids.
Acrylic is bent into shapes by using heat in a thermoforming process. The specialist process involves heating the acrylic sheet with various tools until it becomes soft and pliable, and then bending it into the desired shape. At Moriah Plastics, we have the requisite tools and expertise necessary to create complex and unique shapes with acrylic.
e. Adding Finishing Touches
When the acrylic sheets or parts are together, or with other materials such as metal frames, we can customize the display with various final additions. For example, they can directly print graphics or text onto the acrylic using a UV flatbed printer. Many times, we add LED lighting to the display to create an attractive effect. These final additions can add an extra layer of aesthetic appeal to the display and make it stand out to potential viewers.
f. Installation and Maintenance
Finally, the display is ready to be installed in its intended location. Acrylic displays are lightweight, so a team of professionals can easily transport and install them. Once the display is in place, it is important to keep it properly to ensure its longevity. This may include cleaning the display regularly, protecting it from direct sunlight, and avoiding harsh chemicals that can damage the acrylic. Proper maintenance ensures that the display stays in good condition and continues to attract viewers for years to come.
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