Fun with Lasers : Acrylic Microscope Award Trophy

Laser cut acrylic microscope trophy by Bevolee

I was approached by the Royal College of Pathologists to design and laser cut award trophies to be presented at the first LabSkills Africa conference. They came across a blog post featuring my laser cut microscope I made back in my uni days and requested the same design but in a durable material. The material that got the green light was Perspex Cast Acrylic 5mm in Silver (MT 9870).

A sample was to be produced before the approval to manufacture a larger quantity. Since I had no immediate access to a laser cutter, I outsourced the cutting and engraving to Cut-Tec, a wonderful spot crammed with all things laser, in Barnsley. The sample was produced and approved for the rest of the units to be made.

Having worked with paper and cardboard the majority of my laser cutting life, affixing layers of those materials is simple. Acrylic sheets require a more potent adhesive. The adhesive I used was Liquid Solvent Cement from Hindleys. The consistency is similar to water and best applied with a syringe. This binds the layers of acrylic very well and took less than a couple of minutes to dry (by air). It also dried clear, which was a huge benefit, but gave off a lot of fumes - so make sure you work in a well ventilated area when using it!

Here are further photos of the finished trophy:

Laser cut acrylic award trophy by Bevolee

Handy tip: Using WD-40 and Hob Brite on a microfibre cloth is effective in removing minor scratches and residues of adhesives on acrylic (thanks, Tony!).

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