Explore the widest array of machining tools available.
Most people who have worked on a retail design project are familiar with the phrase, “measure twice and cut once.” In other words, it’s best to plan carefully to avoid mistakes in execution.
In a literal sense, though, this proverb also applies to how custom retail displays, lighted fixtures, brand environments, architectural elements, OEM products and other items get made. Planning ahead and using the right cutting equipment help to ensure that:
Mistakes are avoided
Cost is reduced
Waste is minimized
Aesthetics and functionality are preserved or enhanced
Speed is optimized
Quality is ensured
One-stop production is enabled
One way that Acrylic Design Associates achieves all these goals at once is by maintaining the widest array of cutting and machining equipment available anywhere in the industry. While other fabricators of acrylic, plastics, wood or metal may have a few cutting tools, Acrylic Design offers multiple machining technologies to meet any need.
“At the end of the day, it’s about having the right tool for any job,” said Acrylic Design Associates CEO Bill McNeely Jr. “By having the largest collection of machining solutions under one roof, we are able to offer clients an ideal mix of scale, speed, quality and aesthetics for any type of project.”
Some of the machining solutions Acrylic Design offers include:
3-axis CNC (Computerized Numerical Control) Machines. As a workhorse cutting tool, 3-axis CNCs provide computer-controlled precision routing of all types of plastics and metals such as Aluminum Composite Material (ACM). With 8-12 different cutting heads, 3-axis CNCs cut in straight lines or circles on an X-Y axis and are used for large runs and thicker materials. Acrylic Design operates multiple types of these machines, ranging from two to six cutting heads.
5-axis CNC. These specialized tools are used to cut and form dimensional items, usually made from metal, acrylic or other plastics.
5-axis Vertical Milling Center (VMC). Technically, VMCs are a type of CNC, in that both provide computerized control. But VMCs refer to machines that provide high-precision cutting of plastics and metals, usually with liquid-cooling that provides the best surfaces. VMCs are often used for medical devices and other products that require the tightest tolerances.
3-axis Extrusion CNC Mill / Cutter. The 4-axis CNC cuts, notches and drills aluminum profile extrusions up to 14’ long. These extrusions are often used for framing large displays.
Zund I-Cutter. The Zund essentially provides a knife blade for cutting or scoring thin substrates such as paper-based stock, films, tapes or plastics. Because the Zund requires minimal set-up time, it can often be used for prototypes, short runs and other quick-turn projects.
Shears and Beam Saws. Think of a paper cutter . . . on steroids. These guillotine-like devices are used for cutting stacks of thin substrates, such as paper-based stock, styrene, PETG, acrylic and other plastics. They offer a fast, efficient way of cutting stocks to size, sometimes prior to other machining or printing prior to assembly.
Lasers and Laser Dot Conveyors. Lasers provide precise, rapid cutting and etching of acrylic and other plastics. Edges are polished as they are cut – and kerf loss is reduced, meaning less raw material is wasted. Laser dot conveyors are also used to create dotted light-guide plates, which allow light to be distributed evenly across a large surface.
With such an array of equipment, how do you know what tool is needed for a particular project? That’s where Acrylic Design’s experienced team comes in.
“Clients ask us how to bring their design ideas to life,” said McNeely. “We start with an initial discussion to understand the objective. From there, we can quickly pull together a recommendation around the materials to be used, and the engineering, machining steps, and so on … often within minutes, not days.”
Another consideration is ensuring that projects are built in a sustainable way. McNeely says that the company thoroughly tested its new Recrylic® line of certified recycled acrylic before introducing it to the market. The good news is that Recrylic performs similarly to non-recycled acrylic and can be cut on any of its machines.
McNeely says that investing in the right technology and latest sustainable solutions will continue and is part of Acrylic Design’s client-centric strategy.
“Ultimately, our goal is to provide a single point-of-contact for our clients, whatever their need is,” said McNeely. “Investing in the new equipment and sustainable solutions is just one of the ways we get there.”
To learn more or schedule a tour of the Acrylic Design operations center, just complete the form below or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.