Acrylic Machining & Acrylic Clear Prototypes

Many applications benefit from using clear machined parts to help view the process or improve aesthetics. Including automotive lighting and lamps, lightpipes and displays all require good optical components characteristics.

CNC acrylic machining and Vacuum casting techniques can produce clear prototype. Factors that determine the optimal solution include the degree of clarity required, part complexity, quantity and timescales. For precision CNC plastic machining requirements, WayKen have developed Acrylic machined polishing acrylic technology capable of delivering superior surface finishes and optical clarity.

Contact us for CNC Machining offering the possibility of using CNC acrylic or polycarbonate. During machining, we take care of your plastic part and have the knowledge of clear prototype required to machine without blemishes. The final product is clear and free of any marks or scratches.

Automotive Lighting Prototype

WayKen focusing on Automotive Lighting Prototype as a complete service has allowed us to expand our knowledge and experience in this area. Creating ways to develop the best automotive light prototyping in the industry ensures we provide all our clients with the highest level of automotive prototyping services.Automotive Lighting Protoype - machined acrylic

Craftsmanship of lamp lens prototype manufacturing is a key area and can significantly affect balances vision with usability in all components design. Our experience in the automotive lighting prototype sector has ensured that we fully appreciate this area and work with our customers to ensure their fit and finish requirements, from lamp lens prototype to internal component prototype, are fully met.

Our proactive and flexible way of working allows us to fully support automotive lighting prototype development projects. From mechanical component design reviews and photometric development engineering test to Show Car lamps projects, we are comfortable and able to support at all levels.

Customers demand that automotive light prototyping are innovative and top quality with a level of detail that matches that of a production lamp, all delivered within a short time frame. Working with the customer we cover all aspects of prototype design from Auto Headlights prototypes and Tail lamps prototypes to Fog lamps prototypes to ensure the lamps fit and work first time, everytime.

About Acrylic

Lighter than glass, it’s a heavyweight in performance. An inherently lightweight yet rigid material, acrylic prototype provides a cost-effective and versatile alternative to glass and other heavier plastics. It easily withstands the heat from sunlight, cold weather, and dramatic temperature changes, making it a reliable performer in applications requiring outdoor exposure. With a clear, colorless and transparent surface, acrylic machining provides nearly distortion-free clarity when used in windows, displays, signage and lighting fixtures. prototype optical components

Description Lightweight, rigid thermoplastic Colorless, transparent acrylic resin Combustible

Properties Excellent light transmission Virtually distortion-free Impact and shatter resistant Weather resistant with good UV stability Good rigidity and hardness Consistent tensile strength at temperatures up to 160°F (71°C) continuous service Dimensionally stable Good insulation properties Good thermal stability

Acrylic Polish

When polishing is necessary, there are a number of ways to polishing acrylic and other engineering grade plastic materials to achieve the end customer’s required internal and external surface finishes. These acrylic prototype techniques will vary depending upon the actual component part and the final application. WayKen have developed a number of acrylic polish and plastic polishing techniques to achieve the required clear prototype and optical components surface finishes for each customer application. These techniques may include:

Manual polishing Acrylic prototype and other engineering plastics can be polished to improve the surface finish and appearance. CNC Acrylic polishing requires the removal of material and it is essential to achieve a good machined finish before polishing to ensure critical dimensions can be maintained. Manual  polishing requires different grades of polishing process used in conjunction with polishing paste which will remove surface material and leave high quality polished finish on CNC acrylic and other plastics. WayKen employs skilled craftsman with many years of experience in this highly specialized process.

Vapor polishing Vapor polishing can be used to enhance component features on materials such as CNC acrylic or polycarbonate. Vapor polishing is ideally suited to the polishing of small features and offers improvements to internal and external surface finishes. The process is performed with a chemical vapor, which attacks the surface of the plastic and smoothes it. When done properly, vapor polishing can provide optical quality finishes.

Flame polishing Flame polishing  utilizes a hot flame to flow a surface. Much like spray painting, finish quality depends on the operator’s skill level,Operator skill is critical with this method. Flat external surfaces are the most applicable configuration for this method. Flame polishing will result in uneven heat distribution and material stress. It is a lower cost polishing acrylic technique and  is not ideally suited to engineering grade components.

prototype optical components - clear prototype

Acrylic dyeing

Acrylic Dyeing example - clear prototypes Acrylic dyes can be used to give objects penetrating colours capable of surviving minor scratches. In a appropriately size container, place ample warm water (70 ℃) to cover the part. Mix in acrylic dye powder to the desired color and bonding agent in quantities as prescribed; Place the part in the mixture and let it sit until it reaches the desired pigmentation; Remove the part and let it air dry thoroughly, to give the part a bright, clear and high-gloss finish.

Annealing & Stress Relieving

Annealing or stress relieving of plastics can be an important step in machining. Residual stress in machined or molded plastic parts is often a concern for engineers determining life span of a device. Acrylic polish requires special skill since acrylic is a stress sensitive material and is fairly brittle. It can surface stress crack or craze due to poor machining or stresses setup from polishing. For the most stable, stress-free component, always specify an annealing cycle after machining, otherwise stress cracking will occur in service.

Tags: prototype optical components, clear prototypes, clear prototype, machined acrylic