Making something useful out of acrylic scraps

Scrap Acrylic

From a recent project we ended up with a few hundred scraps of acrylic, mostly in little squares like these. But what to do with all those scraps?

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We collected them into eight groups and mixed and matched the different pieces until each stack was the same height. (The thickness of cast acrylic tends to vary a bit.) We mostly used the clear pieces but threw in a few bright ones for effect.

We ran a bead of acrylic cement down the side of each stack to bond them together, making rigid crystalline blocks.

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Of course, you needn’t make simple stacks.

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Four of the stacks were made as clear but wavy.

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And the way that light shines through them all is phenomenal.

Soldering bench

And here’s where those acrylic columns go: They form the support columns of a sturdy shelf, 1 x 5 foot in size. The top surface is rigid, made of five laminated layers of (much larger) scrap plastic. The shelf gets to hold up the cabinets of little drawers on our soldering bench; a minor place of honor.

10 thoughts on “Making something useful out of acrylic scraps

  1. Acylic Gaudi!
    I bet a few UV LEDs would make those colorful green squares glow like crazy at night!

  2. Very nice, but they should really be used somewhere other than the utilitarian soldering bench. They are so pretty they deserve to display something swankier than bins.

    1. Who says a workbench can’t be useful AND pretty? My favourite place in the house is at my workbench, tinkering on my next project. Shouldn’t it look nice, too?

  3. When I was a teenager long ago in a previous century, the kind of car that a teenager could afford typically had a manual transmission. A popular high school shop project – schools still had shop back then – was to use this same strategy to build a layered multicolor acrylic cube. Then you rounded the corners, carefully polished it, and tapped your creation to make a trendy gearshift knob.

  4. Love it. Now I’m going to have to go and buy lots of scrap bits of acrylic. :-)

  5. Make a bunch of 16×2, 20×4 and 128×64 LCD frames/stands and sell them. Something like these


  6. WOW. How did you cut the original acrylic pieces though? Did you cut through with a hot wire or something? I only ask since the edges usually end up rough/unfinished if cutting with a saw… and the edges are so sharp it doesnt seem that you wheel-polished each one, either! Anyways… FARKING COOL!!! :D

  7. Any advise to cut the edges so clean, I was also planning to use this with leds but when I cut them the edges aren’t clear anymore. Thanks.

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