How to drill a hole in plexiglass (acrylic sheet)?

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The term plexiglass can be misleading because it is not really glass. It does look like glass, though, being transparent and clear, but it is actually hard plastic. More technically, plexiglass is a thermoplastic called polymethyl methacrylate. It is also commonly known as acrylic glass or perspex, and is frequently preferred to ordinary glass because it is lighter and more resistant to shattering. As a matter of fact, plexiglass is commonly used as a substitute for ordinary glass. You can see plexiglass used in aquariums, car lights, motorcycle helmet visors, race car windshields, spectator shields in ice hockey rinks, and many others. Plexiglass also has many other uses in medicine and in creative art.

Just like ordinary glass, plexiglass can easily crack or break when you drill a hole through it. Yet, drilling a hole through plexiglass is very possible without breaking or cracking the plexiglass. In this article, you will learn some techniques on how to drill holes in...

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Lay a thick piece of scrap lumber on your work surface, and put the Plexiglass on top of it. Secure the Plexiglass with clamps. Mark the target area with a grease pencil, and cover the mark with a small piece of masking tape.

Select a plastic-cutting drill bit approximately half the diameter of the finished hole, and attach it to the drill. Drill a pilot hole through the masking tape. Keep drilling until you feel the drill bit enter the scrap wood underneath the Plexiglass.

Extract the drill from the Plexiglass, remove the bit, and attach a bit that matches the desired diameter of the finished hole. Fill a spray bottle with water.

Drill into the pilot hole, stopping often to spray the bit with water. This lubricates the bit and cools the Plexiglass, preventing melting. Failure to cool the Plexiglass causes it to overheat and melt, enlarging the hole. When you feel the bit break through the Plexiglass and enter the underlying wood, turn off and extract the...

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Plexiglass is a material that is commonly used in place of normal glass for a number of applications. It’s durable, yet lightweight, making it perfect for both residential and commercial buildings. Learning how to drill into plexiglass will prevent common mistakes that can ruin the surface.

Step 1 - Preparation

Drilling into plexiglass requires a few additional steps that are not found when drilling into wood or metal. First, place the plexiglass on a thick piece of scrap wood you won’t mind drilling into. Next mark the location of the hole with either a grease pencil or permanent marker. Then place a piece of masking tape over the mark. This will prevent chipping when you begin to drill into the plexiglass.

Step 2 - Pilot Hole

Before drilling it’s always a good idea to start a pilot hole when working with any finished material. A pilot hole should be at least 1/2 the diameter of the finished hole. A 1/2 inch hole would require a 1/4 inch pilot...

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I have built several electric motors (e.g e-Orbo, of concept designs) using Plexiglas rotor discs. Here is how I make them -

without having access to a lathe

which would probably be ideal:

1. Equipment needed:

- Vertical drill press - the larger the better. You want one that has enough area on its drilling table (the vertical column gets in the way) so that you can drill a hole in the centre of your cut plexiglass sheet.

- Disc sander that has a table (e.g. http://www.ryobitools.com/catalog/power_tools/corded/BD4600). This is for finishing off the circumference of the rotor disc plus its a great tool to have

- Jigsaw (e.g Bosch or Makita) with a blade suitable for cutting plexiglass.

- Saw horses for placing the plexiglass on.

- Clamps for securing the plexiglass on the saw horses.

- Square sheet/off cuts of Plexiglas (e.g 8-15mm thick) with the protective adhesive layer on both sides - this is important for measuring and...

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Working with Acrylic

Acrylic Sheeting/Plexiglas:©
Acrylic sheeting is widely known as Plexiglas©. Plexiglass©, however, is the name given to acrylic sheeting manufactured by Atofina. The same acrylic type sheeting is also known by the names Acrylite©, Lucite© and Perspex©. From this point on, I'll refer to it simply as acrylic.

Before we begin...

Do not remove the film or paper protector from the acrylic until you absolutely have to. The material can be scratched relatively easily. If the application requires that the surface is scratch free (for a show vehicle, etc...) leave it on until it's about to be installed in the vehicle.

When cleaning the acrylic material, only use cleaners that are approved by the manufacturer. Unlike glass, glass cleaners (like those with ammonia) can damage some acrylic.

When cutting acrylic for applications where the edge will be visible and will need to be either polished or at least very smooth,...
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These are the bits you need for drilling Plexiglass, Lexan polycarbonate, PETG, and other clear plastics. The special tip design carves through the plastic (not for use with wood or metal).

It takes a special drill bit to properly drill through Plexiglas, Lucite, Acrylite, or Perspex acrylic sheet. Ideal for Lexan, Tuffak or Makrolon polycarbonate sheet. Special 60 degree angle. Not recommended for wood or metal.

These are specially ground flukes with a 90° point for drilling holes in acrylic plastics including, Plexiglas®, Lucite® and Acrylite® materials.
Metal drill bits will not work as they are made to bite into the metal as they are pushed into it. If they are used on acrylics they will chip and cause other damage to the plastic.

When drilling holes for screws, you must make the hole larger than the screw itself to allow for expansion and contraction of the material. If not you will cause stress cracks at the hole and they will spread! Always have a...

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Plexiglass Sheet, Rod & Tube

Color:

Multiple colors available
Color matching available

Description:

Acrylic thermoplastics (commonly called plexiglass) are available in cast or extruded sheet, rod and tube. Extruded plexiglass is the more economical alternative to cast acrylic. Cast plexiglass has superior optical and surface qualities, and is available in a wide variety of colors, textures and formulations. Cast acrylics are strong, stable, weather resistant and thermoformable. Transparency, gloss and the dimensional shape of acrylic are unaffected by years of exposure to the elements and corrosive atmospheres.

Plexiglass withstands exposure to light from fluorescent lamps without darkening or deteriorating. Special UV resistant formulations may be available. UV absorbing grades are commonly used for document preservation in museums and various photographic applications.

Coated plexiglass offers increased abrasion resistance....

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Thanks to my friends at Evonik Industries,

aka DeGussa, Cyro, makers of Plexiglas® brand acrylic everywhere but the USA where Plexiglass is known as ACRYLITE® acrylic sheet....

You ask: Why should I use ACRYLITE® acrylic sheet in place of standard glass?

Unsurpassed beauty, warmth and elegance! Creative design flexibility!
Caring Performance! There are so many compelling reasons to use ACRYLITE® acrylic sheet in place of glass.

Glass is tried and true - it has been around for hundreds of years. Using glass has made it possible to bring the warmth of daylight into our homes and buildings while keeping the bitterness of weather outside. We owe much thanks to this hard working material.

While properties like transparency, stiffness, and strength have helped to make glass successful, it has been limited by other properties. Its brittleness and heavy weight as well as the difficulty of cutting, shaping, coloring, and decorating glass have imposed...

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