Scoring, in the real meaning of the word

so I’m not sure this is even possible but has anyone ever tried to cut acrylic but only 90% (or so) of the way through? I’m trying to make a strip of squares, scored in between, so that I can bend it around a sphere and bond them together.

I’m trying to make something like this …

The concept is called kerf bending or kerf cutting. It’s been explored with wood, but I haven’t seen anyone try it with acrylic. I suspect you’d have to heat it to bend it, acrylic is pretty brittle.

Here’s one I posted using an engraving technique. @rbtdanforth talks a bunch on there and elsewhere about using partial cuts.


thank you. This is great information. It doesn’t really matter if it’s brittle. Once it’s printed I’m going to glue it straight to the base.

Yes it does. It will break along the score lines, not bend. To bend acrylic you need to heat it. A heat gun will make that an easy enough job and then you don’t really need the deep score.


I agree with @jamesdhatch, the way I would attempt this is to engrave the pattern on the strip (letter, horizontal line, letter, horizontal line, then cut the vertical rectangle strip. Then stick the whole thing in an oven to get it to bending temp, and bend it around a rod of the diameter you want.

52Lasers blog has a great write-up to get started on bending acrylic: 72: Bending Acrylic – 52LASERS



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