Acrylic has become a favored material among laser engraving cutting machine experts, from signage to point-of-sale displays, illuminated advertisements, furniture components, trophies, picture frames, helmet visors and more. It’s strong and versatile, which explains the variety of uses people have come up for it.

Acrylic Laser Engraving and Etching with Thunder Laser USA

laser cutting acrylic machine close up process

The best way to manufacture products made from acrylic is to use a CO2 laser engraving machine. Laser technology can work wonders on acrylic because it can be calibrated to penetrate various depths of a material. Hence, you can do the following on acrylic:

  • Cut: Powerful CO2 laser engraver machines can make clean, precise cuts on acrylic sheets and produce acrylic pieces in specific shapes (e.g., letters for signage, customized shapes for branded merchandise) fast and in bulk.
  • Mark: After cutting acrylic in certain shapes, you can further enhance the appearance of the product by etching designs or text on the acrylic. You can even produce different colors or adjust the intensity of the markings to suit your final design.
  • Etch: Offer variety to your customers by adding custom design etchings on acrylic products.

The output from Thunder Laser USA acrylic laser cutters ramp up the ante by producing high-quality cuts and etchings that appear flame-polished — clean, smooth and not requiring additional post-processing.

How Does an Acrylic Laser Cutting Machine Work?

Laser machines are built with several sophisticated components, like the ThunderCam system (an optional camera that gives you a close-up look of the laser head as it flies over the object), pass-through workbed doors, hybrid servo motors and, of course, the lens head.

Inside the head are tiny mirrors that bend the laser beam so it passes through the focal lens. Together with the laser tube’s tapered nozzle, this lens narrows the beam into a focused point with a diameter so tiny and powerful that the intricate designs it marks on acrylic appear clean, crisp and clear.

Speaking of design, the path of the CO2 laser cutting machine’s laser head is controlled via computer and follows the design preprogrammed into the software. Depending on the software and add-ons purchased, they can offer immense customization and laser-engrave or etch designs specifically for certain types of acrylic items.

CO2 Laser Cutter Acrylic Applications

Acrylic is widely used, from marketing to automotive accessories to general merchandise. Businesses that manufacture acrylic products can cater to the needs of any of these sectors. Laser-engraved acrylic can either be the end product or a component for the assembly of another product. Below are some of its applications by industry:

  • Marketing: Indoor and outdoor signage, LED wall-mount logos
  • Construction: Plexiglass for windows or trendy, clear staircases and balconies
  • Automotive: Plexiglass for windshields, headlight covers, dashboard indicator covers, helmets
  • Household merchandise: Fish tanks, drawer dividers, cutlery, baking and cooking implements, food containers, storage bins and organizers
  • Plaques and awards: Acrylic trophies
  • Architecture: Architectural models

Thanks to its versatility, acrylic can be transformed into a broad variety of products that consumers will buy. This is good news for businesses exploring products with evergreen demand and appeal. If they want to differentiate their products through customization or branding, Thunder Laser USA’s precise, high-quality acrylic laser engraving machines can be of help.

Which Acrylic Materials Are Suitable for Use With a Laser Cutter?

Some of the different brands you can use for your laser cutter machine acrylic projects include:

  • Plaskolite
  • Plexiglass
  • Altuglas
  • Quinn
  • Oroglas
  • TroGlass
  • Acrylite
  • Perspex

Do You Have to Be an Artist to Design and Make Acrylic Projects?

You don’t need any previous experience or training in using a high-speed laser cutter to make DIY acrylic products. A little research and a lot of practice are all most people need to get started on this lucrative venture.  

There’s no need for artistic skill or a particularly steady hand — just a good understanding of the materials you can use with the laser and plenty of ideas to keep customers coming back.   

Laser Cutting Working Area

There’s no need to invest in a specialist workshop or large warehouse when setting up your laser marking and cutting business. Our laser machines are small enough to fit into a converted garage or home office but sophisticated enough to produce the same high-quality results you’d expect from an industrial operation. The main difference is that you have the USP of being a small, artisan manufacturer — which many modern consumers demonstrate a preference for.  

25 Product Ideas for Acrylic Laser Engravers

Now that you’re ready to start your laser cutting business, here are 30 product ideas to give you some inspiration. Remember to focus on a niche and perfect a small product line before diversifying or offering more than your experience allows you to produce. Once you’ve mastered the first few items and built a database of customers, you can start offering a broader range.

1. Candlesticks

Acrylic candlesticks can look just as chic and fancy as glass or wood, with the option for plenty of colors and styles. Designing and making home furnishings like candlesticks and chandeliers lets you establish a unique style — plus you can sell matching sets.

2. Placemats

Placemats are traditionally quite formal,  but you can make them as kooky and modern as you please. Not only are these great for special occasions but restaurants also use them, which is a large marketplace to crack into. There are lots of other items you can make using a laser cutting machine that are perfect for use in the hospitality industry, so it’s a good niche for someone just starting out.  

3. Clocks

Most people like to have a clock in each room, whether it’s at home while relaxing or at work in the office. There’s a huge demand for this product and almost unlimited design options, so it’s a particularly fun option for creatively minded laser-cutting professionals. 

4. Coasters

Another great idea for hospitality venues — particularly trendy bars and exclusive nightclubs looking for unique branded merchandise.

5. Typography

Typography is gaining popularity as the demand for personalized consumer goods skyrockets. You can create ornaments, wall art, cards and stationery and include a message, name or celebration in machine-perfected typography.

6. Shadow Box Art 

Shadow boxes are beautiful ornaments and a great way to teach kids about other cultures. Use lighting and felt to create dark, mysterious shadow scenes.

7. Chandeliers

Acrylic chandeliers can look incredibly impressive, with laser technology providing the opportunity to create elaborate fractal designs that project pretty shadows on the walls.  

8. Mirror Art

A mirror is an essential item, so there’s always plenty of demand for trendy designs. Frame glass with shapes that are as complex or simple as your target market prefers. 

9. Wall Art

Wall art covers a broad range of options for people who want to exercise their creative muscle — and it means you can offer customization. From personalized messages to road sign replicas and animal pictures, there’s a lot you can make that people would love to hang on their walls.

10. Screens

With more people working from home than ever before, defining the work/life balance has never been more important. Screens are a great way of splitting rooms in two so you can get multifunctional use of your home. 

11. Sculptures

Everyone likes to have at least one or two sculptures or statues in their home or office. Use templates of famous models or create your own designs.

12. Bracelets

There’s a huge market for acrylic jewelry, which is affordable, hypoallergenic and suitable for all ages. Bracelets are a classic choice; both men and women can wear them, and you can personalize them with a name or message.

13. Earrings

Earrings look great, and people are getting their ears pierced more than ever before, with many people sporting multiple ear piercings. You can create a trendy range of earrings for a low cost and sell them as handmade artisan products.

14. Rings

Another great piece of acrylic jewelry is the ring, which you can make as elaborate or simple as you prefer. 

15. Necklaces

The necklace is a favorite item to make among laser cutters because there are so many different styles and preferences. From sultry chokers to fancy haute couture pieces, there’s a lot you can do in this category. 

16. Lamps

You can make small desk lamps and casings for personal book or eBook lights using acrylic. Opt to create minimalist decorative lamps that feature a single panel, or upload plans someone else has already designed to make more complex structures.

17. Toys

You can make personalized small handheld toys like mazes and puzzles and sell them as gifts and trinkets.  

18. Customized Game Controllers and Consoles

These days, it’s easy to create casings for electronic arcade games — all you need to do is make the enclosure. 

19. Robots

There are plenty of files out there that let you create robot casings. Pair up with an AI whiz and you can bring your creation to life for the burgeoning robotics market.

20. Personalized Electronics Cases

Phone cases, tablet cases, camera holders and in-car attachments are just some of the cases you can make, and by giving your customers the option to add their name, message or design, you’ll stand out above the competition.

21. Selfie Sticks

Selfie sticks are always going to be popular, and you can add cute designs or names as your USP.

22. Flashy Business Cards

Everyone knows a thick business card makes a good impression, and laser cutters let you make creative acrylic designs. Clear ones are particularly popular with business owners who like to make a memorable first impression.

23. Table Numbers

Table numbers are a great item to make because they’re popular with restaurant owners and wedding planners.

24. Name Cards

Another way of tapping into hospitality and weddings simultaneously is by designing name cards. They’re almost always used for wedding guests, but they could also be a great item for private dining.   

25. Contemporary Bookmarks

You can make bookmarks out of acrylic, leather, wood or paper using a laser engraving cutting machine.

Invest in Laser Power Today

Making exceptional laser cut pieces from acrylic is simple using a high-power Thunder Laser USA laser cutting machine. Plus, you can make so much more — etching, cutting and engraving materials from MDF to paper and even mark on stainless steel. The possibilities are endless. 

Start your successful laser cutting business today with one of our affordable and durable machines.