Suggestions on clear material that isn't acrylic?

I really like working with cast acrylic, especially clear storage boxes (boxes.py designs for example).
The issue is acrylic is very unforgiving, especially with things like finger joints.

Wood, you can leave the default kerf compensation and just press-fit together, sometimes with a rubber mallet assisting. It always comes together beautifully.

Acrylic is a pain. Sometimes cutting two identical boxes, one press-fits with a lot of effort. The other won’t fit at all or is loose. If you try too hard to press-fit, it cracks at the weak point and you’re starting over.

I don’t like loose-fit and glue / weld, it always leaves marks. The only one that doesn’t is something like a water-liquid weld through a syringe. This is too much effort for as many as I’d like to make.

Any materials that are more forgiving but clear I could laser? Unless I come up with a different but just as stable and easy jointing system.

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I don’t have any other material suggestions, but I have been “gluing/welding” my acrylic differently lately.

I have been using UV resin with a toothpick to apply it. It is very easy to clean up if it runs, and it is strong and clear when set with sunlight or UV flashlight.

“Welding” the acrylic with acetone or the like always seemed to cloud the surrounding area or introduce tiny cracks in the clear acrylic. I don’t get anything like that when I use the UV resin. And I don’t have to worry about working quickly with it; it only sets after I apply the UV light to it for a while.

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Interesting!

Could you let me know what specifically you’re using? The hazing is a huge issue for me and using anything other than a liquid weld.

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This is what I use:

I think someone else recommended it to me, here on this forum. I have loved it and that bottle is going to last me a very long time.

I have even used it to repair some of my kids toys. I love this stuff.

This is one of the flashlights I bought:

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Got any pics of a finished joint with that uv resin?

Many resins yellow over time, got any that have been set for a while now?

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I do not.

How long does it take to yellow? I have only been doing this a few months and haven’t noticed any change in the resin.

I don’t know, and I am thinking of two-part traditional acrylics. I’m not sure if UV resin does the same thing.

Nice – thanks for sharing!

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It might have been me. I’ve been doing that for awhile. But I have noticed that some of my uv-welded joints have come apart (like if it gets bumped or jarred) and had to be reglued. I’m thinking the joint may not be as strong as an acetone-based weld. So for long runs sometimes I will tack it together in spots with the uv resin, then after curing I’ll run a very tiny bit of acetone along the joint for added stability. YMMV.

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I like using resin a lot, too. Certainly much easier to use than WeldOn.

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I read recently that resin is not a substitute for glue, so that’s probably why it doesn’t really act like glue, except temporarily. I haven’t used it extensively enough to see things coming apart at some point, but it doesn’t really surprise me to hear you say that.

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