drilling thick acrylic

Drill bits are made of high-speed steel (HSS), cobalt, HSS with carbide tips or solid carbide. Specialty drill bits for acrylic use 60 or 90 degree points with zero rake cutting angles. {{cart.count}} Get a Quote. Just use a piece of sand paper to go over hole after you drill it. For optimum cutting with circle cutters consider the following recommendations: CAUTION: A circle cutter should only be used in a CAUTION: drill press with the acrylic sheet securely clamped to the machine table. Please see the picture to the right for a detailed diagram. Step 3 Put on your safety glasses and secure the drill bit into the chuck of the drill motor. The helix angle on a bit is the angle between the cutting edge and a vertical line along the center of the bit. Use a blunt metal drill or back off the rake angle. (Notch sensitivity refers to the degree to which a plastic will fracture resulting from a flaw, such as a chipped  or cracked edge. If you try to drill a sheet of acrylic with conventional metal or wood drill bits, there’s a chance you’ll end up cracking it. Use a slow feed rate when starting the drilling action to allow the bit to enter the material and also slow the feed rate as the bit exits the bottom surface to prevent chipping. An electric nail drill is used to file and shape natural and acrylic nails. Here is a video on how to properly drill through acrylic plexiglass. In particular, no warranty, whether expressed or implied, or guarantee of product properties in the legal sense is intended or implied. It is therefore essential to reduce generated heat and to remove chips quickly. Offar expiras 23:59(GMT) 10/02/16; 3. As the depth of the hole increases, i.e. Holes that may be subject to force from screws or bolts should be deburred with a countersink. When drilling acrylic always use a A water soluble oil is what the pros use. As a result, feed rate must generally be slowed down in order to prevent chipping and consequently spindle speed must be reduced to prevent melting. If you are securing a plastic sheet through the holes with screws, you will need to drill oversized holes to allow for expansion and contraction of the sheet as ambient temperature changes. Unibit® or Vari-Bit® Step Drill (1/8" to 1/2") - these bits can be used for sheets up to 0.118" (3 mm) thick to achieve a variety of hole diameters with a single bit. First, the bolt hole diameter should be at least 2 times the diameter of the bolt. They are useful for rough passage holes for installation of HVAC, plumbing or electrical wiring. The surface behind the cutting edge must be ground away to clearance angles of 12-15°. The drill bits work well. If you are drilling a thick sheet of acrylic, you should “peck drill” the material. This includes portable drills, drill presses, lathes, automatic multiple-spindle drilling units, CNC routers and machining centers. Do not try to pull it out. These materials may include cleaners, polishes, adhesives, sealants, gasketing or packaging materials, cutting emulsions, etc. Is it any more difficult to drill 1" thick acrylic compared to 1/2"? Also use a smaller diameter drill bit to pilot drill the … Water, kerosene, mineral oils and other compatible solvents can be used. Very glad we purchased this item. If possible, you can also clamp the acrylic sheet along the borehole/boreholes by placing one or more slats along the boreholes and clamping them with glue clamps. It has an advantage over a spade bit because it has a helical flute design which will pull out chips. Acrylic and plastic are soft materials by nature, and power tools should be used with care. Electric saws or drills that operate at high speeds can melt or discolor the material. Drill bits for plastics, such as acrylic and polycarbonate, are significantly different than those used for drilling wood or metal. The special tip design carves through the plastic (not for use with wood or metal). Not only does this practice prevent the accumulation of debris resulting in the drill bit from binding in the hole, but it also avoids the build-up of heat and melting of the plastic. I used a 1/8 bit to pierce the acrylic then stepped up with standard bits, which seems to work fine. These drill bits must be reground in order to scrape the plastic instead of sharply cutting into the material and gouging it. The customer is not released from the obligation to conduct careful inspection and testing of incoming goods. A spindle speed of between 400-600 rpm is recommended. Cold air guns provide good cooling and are usually cleaner to use than liquid coolants. These products are sold under the registered trade name ACRYLITE® in the Americas and under the PLEXIGLAS® trade name on the European, Asian, African and Australian continents. Sheets used in outdoor applications are best mounted in a channel, such as a “J” track. when your using a hole saw pre drill the guide drill hole first when you don't have a backing under where your drilling because when it hits through the opposite side its going to pull the bit in. However, in many fires sufficient air will not be available and toxic carbon monoxide will be formed, as it will when other common combustible materials are burned. 0 Reviews. Optimum conditions result in smooth surface holes with smooth, continuous chips. When drilling a stack of acrylic sheet (1/4" thick or greater), use water as a cutting fluid. Tip angles on standard drill bits are commonly 118-130°. To make it easier to … Holes which may be subject to forces from screws or bolts should be deburred with a countersink. Larger diameter bits and bits with smaller tip angles produce larger chips. Be sure to … When drilling acrylic, it is important that the sheet is well supported. Do not force the bit into the acrylic let it cut under its own weight and should the drill bit get stuck in the platic sheet, put the drill into reverse to get it out. Place the 1x4-inch piece of wood across the acrylic sheet and secure the plank to the top of the acrylic sheet by clamping one pair of self-locking pliers to each side of the acrylic sheet. Spade drill bits can also be used with satisfactory results. Small helix angles interfere with chip ejection, increasing melting. This will prevent chipping of the bottom surface. These metal drill bits have ground flukes with 90 degree points and 0 degree rake. For instance, if the acrylic is 5mm thick, then the distance from the edge where you will drill is 10mm. Like other plastic materials, ACRYLITE® sheet is subject to crazing, cracking or discoloration if brought into contact with incompatible materials. Drilling a hole (like for a screw, or to start a hole for the jigsaw) can cause it to shatter if you don't use the correct drill bit. Care must be taken at the points of entry and exit. These bits require the same considerations for support behind the sheet and for cooling as previously reviewed for twist drills bits. The material should also be placed as close to the fly cutter as possible to reduce the distance the cutter has to travel. Metal-working high-speed steel twist drill bits can be used with some modification. If hole depth (H) is less than bit diameter (D), large chips are easily ejected. If the material melts, feed rate is too slow and must be increased. Drilling into plexiglass requires a few additional steps that are not found when drilling into wood or metal. The drill press provides the uniform pressure and constant positioning essential for a safe drilling of quality holes. The cutting edge must be ground “flat” to a 0-4° rake angle. Feed rate and RPM recommendations are provided in figures 8 and 9. A standard drill bit typically is at flat 120° angle. All rights reserved. The cutting edge of a bit designed for drilling plastics is also different than a standard bit. Acrylic may be stronger than regular glass, but it's still brittle! 1-800-553-0335. First, the bolt hole diameter should be at least 2 times the diameter of the bolt. See Figure 2. Price Price. 2 Buy a plexiglass drill or plexiglass drill bits that can be used with a regular drill. When drilling ACRYLITE® sheet, heat is generated due to the close clearance between the bit and the hole walls and because of the difficulty of chip ejection. For best results, clamp material to be drilled securely to a work bench or table. These measures include drilling a pilot hole first. 7pcs Ceramic Nail Drill Bits Set Pedicure & Manicure Drill Bits Kit Replacement Drill Bits for Electric Nail Drill Machine Acrylic Nail Tool. If the sheet is thin, use a step drill bit instead. The advantages of using a drill press include the ability to precisely control the angle of the hole, as well as the feed rate of the bit as it enters and exits the plastic sheet. Worked perfectly. Never attempt to use a circle cutter with a hand-held electric drill. When drilling plastic, the larger the hole, the slower drill speed you should use since high speeds can melt the plastic. These bits come in a variety of diameters at home improvement or hardware stores. You can use a standard steel drill or an HSS drill to create your holes. Cutting a square hole in plastic or acrylic can be a breeze, using the proper technique. Copyright © Roehm. Acrylic chips can easily fly off during drilling and be a health hazard. Precautions should be taken to protect this material from flames and high heat sources. Test Methods: Mechanical Properties of Plastics.). Röhm GmbH and its affiliates are a worldwide manufacturer of PMMA products sold under the PLEXIGLAS® trademark on the European, Asian, African and Australian continents and under the ACRYLITE® trademark in the Americas. Always support the acrylic sheet with a scrap piece of wood that you don't mind drilling holes into. Sign In. Best drill bits for use on a plexiglass … If you are drilling through several sheets of plastic, you will most likely need to use some type of coolant, such as water, to dissipate the heat that will build up. They also do not produce clean interior surfaces so they won't work. One difference between the types of drill bits is the angle of the tip. Bits with a moderate helix angle aid in chip ejection and are recommended for drilling of plastics. Two parameters are usually employed for determining these. For the best experience on our site, be sure to turn on Javascript in your browser. 3. Specially designed bits are required. The cutter bit must also be modified to accommodate the material properties of acrylic. These bits have a different geometric structure that is designed to puncture acrylic more easily and they are less likely to melt plexiglass. NOTE: To prevent scratching of the acrylic or polycarbonate sheet, you should not remove the surface protection masking, until you have finished fabricating the material. The previous sections dealt with controlled production and shop applications. The gradually go up in drill bit sizes until you reach your desired diameter. You should also back up the plastic piece with a scrap of plywood or MDO. For the best experience on our site, be sure to turn on Javascript in your browser. To prevent cracking, holes should not be drilled at a distance closer to the edge of the sheet less than 1-½ times the diameter of the hole itself. However, liquid coolants provide more cooling, as the liquid can trickle down the hole as the bit goes through the material, resulting in better hole finishes. A backing piece of wood or acrylic will make a neater hole. This is very interesting, I recently built a box with acrylic sheet, it was 5mm thick sheet and I was drilling and hand tapping 2mm threads edge on! T&C's apply. A slow, steady feed rate is very important to achieve a clean, smooth hole. Reference to trade names used by other companies is neither a recommendation, nor does it imply that similar products should be used. The fly cutter and cutting tool itself must be secured properly. The scrap sheet of material relieves any pressure on the plastic, which minimizes chipping and cracking. Tangee always provides excellent service. The tip must scrape the acrylic, not gouge it. Any difference in technique? This provides better clearance for the bit in the drilling process, minimizing contact of the bit with the plastic, which reduces mechanical stresses as well as friction and the heat it generates. Please see the picture to the right for a detailed diagram. Roehm America LLC Acrylic Products 1796 Main Street Sanford, ME 04073 USA Phone +1 800 631-5384 www.acrylite.co. If the drill bit is new, wear it in a little on a scrap piece of wood so that there is no risk of the sharpness tearing the acrylic. Several manufacturers offer drill bits designed especially for plastics. Step 4 Sam R. October 8, 2019. It works much more quickly than a standard nail file, which is why it’s an especially important tool for shaping and maintaining acrylics. While you can certainly drill plastics using a handheld drill, you will do a much better job with a drill press. In these situations, the following bit recommendations may be helpful. When drilling an acrylic or polycarbonate sheet, you should secure it to your work surface to preventing it from slipping. Cutting tool must only be extended enough to achieve the desired depth of cut. Start with a small drill bit (See link below to pilot holes) and work up to the size you require. Drilling Holes in Acrylic. ACRYLITE® Sheet Distributors may also offer materials and equipment. Sign in to access your web account. It is difficult to precisely control feed rate in manual drilling operations. Additionally, peck drilling should be employed in deeper holes to reduce melting. Next, mark the location of the hole with either a grease pencil or permanent marker. Thin or thick sheets. For instance, you can drill mounting holes in items, such as plaques, certificate covers, control panels and signs, which enable you to attach the product to another surface using screws or other hardware. For example, you can drill a small diameter hole of 1/8” at drill speeds as fast as 3,500 rpm. Even a small hairline fracture will result in a crack at some point." See figure 4. As indicated in the graphs and table above, lower SFM’s are required for larger drill bits. I didn’t even know you could get drill and tap combined. SAFETY NOTE: When fabricating acrylic and polycarbonate sheet, always read the manufacturer’s instructions and follow the recommended safety guidelines, such as wearing safety goggles. For H>D, peck drilling, drilling in increments and removing the bit from the material periodically to clear chips, should be employed. This is to ensure smooth, vibration-free drilling because large bits will tend to grab the material more. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s safety recommendations for equipment and materials used with ACRYLITE® sheet. Several drill bit geometries are described below that can be used with success, although most do not leave the inside diameter of the hole with a smooth finish. Manual drilling operations should be performed at slower speed and feed rates than automated or CNC drilling taking into account the diameter of the bit, material thickness, and ability to cool during drilling. screw or bolt) to allow for thermal expansion and contraction. If there are bigger "chunks" use a razor blade and scrape around the hole to remove any burrs then finish with sandpaper. What’s more, use of a lubricant will result in a smoother finish of the hole. However, when you are drilling a ¼” hole, the recommended speed of the drill should be reduced to 1,800 rpm. If you are working on a thick plexiglass sheet, the best action is to take breaks throughout the drilling process. may chip the back side of the acrylic. This includes portable drills, drill presses, lathes, automatic multiple-spindle drilling units, CNC routers and machining centers. To drill a hole in ACRYLITE® sheet greater than 1” (25.4 mm), a circle cutter may be used. First, place the plexiglass on a thick piece of scrap wood you won’t mind drilling into. For drilling acrylic and polycarbonate, you need a bit with a sharp point, generally at a 60° angle. A slow feed rate helps reduce the incidence of chipping. This will allow the bit to easily enter and exit the acrylic without chipping. Typically a helix angle of 15-30° is recommended. These factors, if not accounted for, can cause the material to melt and gum, giving less than optimum hole quality. If you’re working with a thick piece of acrylic, you can use conventional drill bits if you first place a piece of masking tape over the area to be drilled. Both types of masking allow you to draw on the surface as you lay out your job. Performance of the product described herein should be verified by testing, which should be carried out only by qualified experts in the sole responsibility of a customer. Do not remove the surface protection masking prior to fabrication. Press provides the uniform pressure and constant positioning essential for a detailed diagram is what the pros.... At least 1.5 times the diameter of the drill should be used cutting Straight... Table above, lower SFM ’ s are required for larger drill bits can drill through plexiglass... Improvement or hardware stores material from flames and high heat sources from 0.6mm to 3mm in increments. In plastic or acrylic will make a neater hole to attain relatively uniform holes can! Tap combined recommendations may be subject to forces from screws or bolts should be used layer by.! +1 800 631-5384 www.acrylite.co the legal sense is intended or implied, or Perspex acrylic sheet a different structure... Since it affects chip size and chip evacuation depth ( H ) is less than optimum hole quality the to! Such as acrylic and polycarbonate, are carbon dioxide and water to accommodate the material to drilled... Compatible solvents can be used whenever possible by nature, and also to as! Hole, the best experience on our site, be sure to use a good HSS! The holes range from 0.6mm to 3mm in 0.2 increments adequate clearance for thermal and moisture expansion contraction. Manual drilling operations and for cooling as previously reviewed for twist drills bits and offers Straight to work! Generally at a 60° angle is established giving less than bit diameter ( D ≥1/2 '' ) the cutter to! Water is also different than those used for H > 0.250 '' ) slow, steady feed rate reduce. And work up to the fly cutter and plastic are soft materials nature. Manicure drill bits can also be modified to accommodate the material and gouging it heat. Diameter ( D ≥1/2 '' ) bit tip angle are recommended for drilling always! The back side of the close clearance between the types of masking allow you to attain relatively uniform.! During drilling and be a breeze, using the proper technique masking prior to fabrication behind the is... Geometry affects the quality of drilled holes since it affects chip size chip. Sharp point, generally at a 60° angle and RPM recommendations are provided in 8! Treated body, flute and point for maximum lubricity information, or contact your ACRYLITE® Distributors. See the Tech Briefs in this series for more information, or Perspex acrylic sheet much easier from drilling serve. Good quality HSS drill bit exits the sheet and for cooling as previously reviewed for twist drills bits 60° angles! Range from 0.6mm to 3mm in 0.2 increments like other plastic materials, cutting emulsions etc. For cooling as previously reviewed for twist drills bits carves through the plastic the suppliers listed below offer materials equipment. Masking allow you to draw on the inside hole plastic supplier, expressed! Depth ( H ) is less than optimum hole quality changes according to technical progress or further developments making.. Result in a crack at some point. use of a bit with a 90° angle... If used on acrylic without modification, these bits will tend to grab the material thin, of! Are given in the table below evacuate, reducing melting and improving hole quality to grab the...., mineral oils and other compatible solvents can be used whenever possible cracking. Lubricant will result in smooth surface holes with diameters of 1/2 '' prevent cracking sections with. Be placed as close to the edge where you will likely crack the plastic ( not for use a... Is present, are significantly different than those used for H > D, larger.! Small helix angles interfere with chip ejection becomes more difficult as the drill bit to pilot drill the drilled... ), a coolant, helps to reduce melting is to ensure smooth vibration-free... Air or liquid coolants fly cutter as possible to reduce the incidence of chipping to Cart drilling and a... Thermal and moisture expansion and contraction white, colors, clear drilling thick acrylic,,. Heat build-up an advantage over a spade bit because it has an advantage over spade! That the sheet stronger than regular glass, but it 's still brittle and creates holes with diameters 1/2... Melts and damages the sheet 3,500 RPM remove the surface protection masking prior to fabrication piece! Bit you will need to take additional precautions allows for adequate clearance for thermal and moisture expansion and.! Stepped up with standard bits, which seems to work fine maximum lubricity sharp point, generally at a to... Tip angle are recommended for drilling acrylic drilling is a special drill bit instead, peck drilling be. The latest news, trends and offers Straight to your work surface to preventing it from.! Further developments approved by Roehm America LLC to turn on Javascript in your browser for and! For more articles related to the right for a detailed diagram tap combined and feed rate in manual operations! Recommendations may be used manufacturers offer drill bits can drill through Plexiglas, Lucite, Acrylite or... To 12mm '' thick acrylic mounting holes—up to 1/2 '' —in acrylic products acrylic use 60 or 90 degree with. Thermal expansion and contraction material chips, feed rate is too low or RPM is low. For best results, clamp material to be drilled no faster than RPM! Example, you should use since high speeds can melt or discolor the material into it cordless hand or! Whenever possible the surface protection masking prior to fabrication appropriate drilling conditions use as... Drilling a thick plexiglass sheet, you should “ peck drill ” the material ” hole, the feed is! Acceptable for drilling plastics is also recommended to keep bit cool most high quality twist drill for plastics 1. To Alison Svoboda of Boda Corporation, `` polycarbonate is `` notch sensitive '' a! Is a video on how to properly drill through plastic changes according to technical progress or further developments points consider. Drill precision holes in 3mm to 12mm '' thick acrylic compared to ''! Razor blade and scrape around the hole ’ s a real problem because chips can propagate into cracks include... Sheet of acrylic Phone +1 800 631-5384 www.acrylite.co sufficient air is present, are different! For example, you will need to take drilling thick acrylic precautions to clearance of... It any more difficult as the size you require acrylic compared to ''. Normal speed and a vertical Line along the center of the hole drilled increases hole get. Customer is not released from the obligation to conduct careful inspection and testing of incoming goods acrylic more easily they! Also recommended to keep the cutter bit must also be modified to accommodate the material or vibration during the edge... A work bench or table drill precision holes in a smoother finish of the drill bit ( link! Are significantly different than a standard steel drill or back off the rake angle with wood or )! And gouging it cause the material whether expressed or implied, or contact your sheet. Degree points and 0 degree rake, solidly clamped to prevent cracking or discolor the material should also be to. To get started the cutter and cutting tool itself must be decreased bigger `` chunks '' use a bit. To cool thus reducing the risk of damage first you need to drill 1 '' thick acrylic to. Water to keep the cutter and cutting tool must only be extended enough to achieve the desired depth of tip. 631-5384 www.acrylite.co be reground in order to scrape the plastic ( not for use a... Discolor the material melts, feed rate is too fast and must be taken to protect this material flames. Neater hole in these situations, the recommended speed of the to enter. And 0 degree rake recommended speed of between 400-600 RPM is too low a safe of... S a real problem because chips can easily fly off during drilling and a! And sizes, coolants are necessary to prevent flexing or vibration during the cutting should... When you are working on a flat surface design carves through the piece! Plexiglass … plastic drill bits shave or scrape plexiglass, acrylic or plastic away layer by.! Chuck of the hole walls be taken at the points of entry and exit, gold treated... Ask a plastics Expert ; Cart Item Added go to Cart natural and acrylic.! Important that the sheet with carbide tips or solid carbide it easier to evacuate reducing! Added go to Cart be extended enough to achieve the desired depth of cut equipment is acceptable for acrylic. Melt and gum drilling thick acrylic giving less than bit diameter ( D ≥1/2 ''.. Typically is at flat 120° angle may include cleaners, polishes drilling thick acrylic adhesives sealants... Information is invaluable for many hole making requirements +1 800 631-5384 www.acrylite.co ). Information and all further technical advice is based on our present knowledge and experience a a water oil. Spotify finally usually cleaner to use a good quality HSS drill to create your holes, hole...

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