More consistently thick material to replace PG white acrylic?

I’m working to create a line of high quality lighting fixtures out of semi complex geometric assemblies and have found a frustrating ammount of wiggle room when cutting with acrylic. An example of a design is such:

With so many connections before looping around, slight variations in the angle each pieces ends up resting at can create irregularities by the time assembly is done. I’ve done my best to qualify the effects of kerfing and get the slots to match nicely in the axis I’m cutting on, but the slots are squares and getting a perfect cube notch out of the material is tricky when the samples vary so much sheet to sheet. I’ve seen a spread of sized around a 1/32" wide which is a lot when each notch is only 1/8". Anyone have any materials suggestions?


Cast acrylic is by nature somewhat variable in thickness, Extruded acrylic is more even in thickness but more problematic to cut as it tends to melt. Looking for translucent there is not a lot of other possibilities. However where translucent is not an issue perhaps Walnut would give you the results you are looking for and don’t be afraid of using a bit of sandpaper to remove the kerf.

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You might start here:

And see what would be within the tolerances you need, and then see if it’s laser compatible. And then see if the cost makes sense.

Acrylic has a significant amount of allowed tolerance.


Thickness is definitely an issue on materials that can be cut by a CO2 laser.

Have you considered making custom molds and casting a resin product? You’ll control thickness and color that way.

I concur with the others. Unfortunately acrylic has a wide tolerance due to the manufacturing processes and it’s just the nature of the beast. Extruded is more consistent, but you’d have to see it if you can get your setting right for a good edge. The only other solution I could think of would be using wood and planing it to a consistent thickness, but with warping etc, I don’t know if that would give you the consistency you need. Could you 3D print any of the most critical parts maybe?

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