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WORKING WITH MICRO LENS LENTICULAR LENS SHEET

 

 

Sometimes your image size (width x height) will be the same as the standard stock lenticular lens sheets.  If they are not, we can custom cut a sheet to your required size.  However, sometimes, you may want to cut, or trim, the sheet yourself.  Here are some hints when working with our lenticular lens sheets.

 

  When working with lenticular sheet, please wear the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for the task you are performing.  Safety glasses should be worn when working with most power tools due to the likelihood of flying objects.  Depending on the tool used, other PPE (such as gloves, hearing protection, etc.) may be required.  Please follow your company guidelines regarding the proper use of PPE.

 

PETG Lenticular Lens Sheets

Lenticular lens sheets made of PETG are very user friendly.  They can be cut using a variety of tools, including:  utility knife, circular saw, jig saw, shear, die cutter, and router.  PETG sheets can also be drilled, punch-cut and bent using common machine-shop tools. 

 

Acrylic Lenticular Lens Sheets

Lenticular lens sheets made of acrylic must be cut with more care because they will tend to shatter with abrupt impact cuts.  The best tools to cut acrylic sheets are circular saws and routers, however, a utility knife can be used to score and snap the sheet (see below) if a circular saw or router is not available.  These high speed cutting devices will provide a relatively smooth cut, but will generate a large amount of dust when cutting.  Blades and bits designed specifically for cutting plastic are highly recommended. 

 

Using a Utility Knife

If you do not have access to special cutting tools, a score and snap method can be used to cut most PETG and acrylic sheet.  A utility knife and a straight edge are used to score the plastic sheet.  After scoring, the sheet should be placed across an object to elevate the sheet slightly.  The object should be aligned directly below the score across the sheet.  Pressure applied away from the score line in a quick, snapping action should be used to sever the two pieces at the score line.  (Fig. 1)  This method is not completely reliable, but will usually produce a clean straight cut provided the original score line is straight.

 

FIGURE 1:  Score and Snap Method

 

 

Using a Circular Saw (or Panel Saw)

A circular saw (or panel saw) will cut either PETG or acrylic sheet.  The use of a blade for specifically cutting plastic will achieve the best cut quality.  The blades are usually carbide tipped with a triple chip design.  The triple chip design means that each tooth of the blade will cut different parts of the plastic minimizing plastic chipping.  The blades should have a minimum of 60 teeth to achieve a good quality cut.  If you are cutting sheet with a plastic release liner, you may want to apply masking tape over the liner along the cut line before cutting.  This will minimize the chance of the saw accidentally removing the liner during cutting.

 

Using a Shear

As stated above, a shear works great for PETG material, but do not attempt to use with acrylic sheet.  Acrylic sheet will shatter if cut with a shear.  Depending on the thickness of the material and the type of shear used, multiple PETG sheets may be cut with a shear at one time. 

 

Using a Router

A router will cut either PETG or acrylic sheets with ease.  A no-load spindle speed of at least 10,000 rpm is necessary, 15,000 to 20,000 rpm is recommended.  A material feed rate of approximately 150 in/min for x and y movement and approximately 25 in/min for z movement should provide good quality cuts.  Bits made for cutting plastic should be used to achieve the best cut quality.  A common bit design for cutting plastic is a single edge carbide bit with an upcut spiral.  If you are using a chip evacuation system, the upcut spiral will remove the excess chips from the material quickly and efficiently to the evacuation system.  The top release liner may have to be removed to prevent it entangling in the router bit during cutting.  If the release liner is removed, be careful not to scratch the surface of the sheet.  The use of a pressure foot attachment may be needed when cutting thinner sheet.  The router bit will raise thinner sheet from the cutting bed.  The pressure foot maintains contact with the thin sheet keeping it close to the cutting bed.  A brush foot attachment may also be used to minimize any scratching to an uncovered sheet surface.

 

  The information above is provided as a guide to the user.  Please refer to the instruction manual or the manufacturer of the tool being used for complete instructions on the safe and proper use of the tool.

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