Acrylic fresh off the CNC will have a matted and rough edge – very different to what can be achieved with some post-processing and polishing. There are a couple ways to achieve a polished acrylic edge, and they are as follows:
1. Flame Polishing
Flame polishing is the process of passing a torch by hand along the edge of the material. The torch must be moved at a steady pace and at a consistent distance from the material. If the flame gets too close or is concentrated for too long in one area, bubbles can form on the surface of the material. This makes it a time consuming and labour intensive process – however it will achieve great results.
2. Diamond Edge Polishing Machine
A Diamond Edge Polisher is a machine that uses a belt to feed material through and polish its edge. The diamond blade removes a small amount of material from the surface and leaves a smooth polished finish. It produces consistent results and is less labour intensive than flame polishing. The appearance is slightly more matted than flame polishing, however, by buffing the edges you can achieve the same results as flame polishing.
3. Laser cutting
For jobs that do not require the high precision of a CNC machine, consider using a laser cutter. The heat from the laser leaves the edges looking polished, and no post-processing is needed. However, only acrylic of a maximum thickness of 1/4″ can be cut on the laser cutter. For a full comparison of our services check out our Service Comparison table.