What is Perspex Fabrication?

Perspex is a copyrighted trademark of Lucite International, which manufactures and distributes the world’s most celebrated and successful acrylic sheeting.  Manufactured from methyl methacrylate monomer (MMA), Perspex is a polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) acrylic sheet with an extensive range of applications.

Acrylic and Perspex are therefore technically the same thing – Perspex being a specific type of Acrylic that’s exclusive to its manufacturer. Manufactured in the UK since 1934, Perspex is widely considered to be the highest quality acrylic available, surpassing all usual industry standards. Perspex sheeting is available in various colours, thicknesses and finishes.

It can also be manipulated and modified in a limitless number of ways, making it suitable for household, commercial and industrial applications alike.

Perspex Fabrication

The term ‘Perspex fabrication’ refers to any production process or technique used to modify the appearance or physical properties of Perspex sheets. The unique physical properties of Perspex make it possible to modify the sheets quickly, easily and without causing damage or compromising its durability.

Perspex can be shaped and fabricated using conventional saws, high-tech lasers and other industrial cutting tools. CNC routing is a popular option for Perspex fabrication, which stands for Computer Numerically Controlled routing. CNC routing uses computer hardware and software to carefully and precisely control the cutting process, used in conjunction with CAD/CAM to create the highest-quality results with flawless consistency.

It’s also perfectly possible to fabricate and modify Perspex using manual tools but most major manufacturers use powered and/or automated technology.

The Benefits of Perspex

Perspex has become the ‘gold standard’ material for thousands of manufacturers and product designers worldwide. The highest-quality Perspex acrylic has several major advantages over glass, including its elevated optical clarity. This means that Perspex is significantly clearer than normal glass, in addition to its high UV resistance and general durability.

The primary advantages of Perspex over regular glass include the following:

  • Significant overall weight reduction
  • Outstanding optical clarity
  • Up to 17 times more impact resistant
  • Better UV resistance and weather-proof
  • High shock, abrasion and flex resistance
  • Very low thermal conductivity
  • Available in thousands of colours
  • Easy to work with and manipulate

Perspex is also considered an environmentally friendly option as the materials in its composition are 100% recyclable. At the end of its usable life, any Perspex product or component can simply be transformed into new Perspex sheeting and put back into circulation.

What is Perspex Used For?

There are limitless potential applications for Perspex and products made with Perspex. However, some of the most popular applications for this unique material include the following:

  • Retail displays
  • Furniture design
  • Signage and lighting
  • Interior design
  • Greenhouse glazing
  • Kitchen splashbacks
  • Bathroom features
  • Picture frames
  • LED diffusers
  • Acrylic mirrors
  • Windows and doors

Advanced Perspex fabrication techniques can be used to transform Perspex sheeting into almost anything imaginable. Hundreds of manufacturers worldwide produce their own unique acrylic sheets but none are considered quite as versatile, practical or durable as Perspex.

Bespoke trophy for a television production company

Denny Plastics were recently commissioned to fabricate a bespoke trophy for a television production company. The trophy was to be presented on television during a classical music-based series. We were asked to work closely with a design house in London to come up with ideas for a unique conception.

We fabricate many signs and displays for exhibition stands

Here at Denny Plastics we fabricate many signs and displays for exhibition stands throughout the year. For a recent food show we were asked by one of our clients to come up with something a little bit different to display desserts for a London-based catering company.

Here at Denny Plastics we fabricate many signs and displays for exhibition stands throughout the year. For a recent food show we were asked by one of our clients to come up with something a little bit different to display desserts for a London-based catering company.

In total, twenty five 400 x 400 x 400mm boxes were fabricated from 6mm Perspex silver mirror. Internal display parts were then fabricated which included clear Perspex grids, Perspex opal plinths and trays with holes laser cut to take skewers.

The food wall was displayed in an area which was close to the opening for the outdoor half of the show. This meant that the unit needed to be as visually striking during daylight as it was when dusk fell. To illuminate the unit, LED lights were incorporated into the middles of each of the boxes and, using Perspex opal, plinths, frames and grids were laser cut to hold the various shaped desserts. Blanking mirror panels were also used and laser engraving was used to etch words such as ‘yummy’, ‘superb’ and ‘lush’ out of the reverse of the mirror for illumination.

The wall was a huge success and the boxes which were originally planned to be used for this show now have pride of place in the firm’s showroom.

fabrication of signs and displays for exhibition stands

Fabricating a brand new acrylic unit to replace old wooden turntable base

Denny Plastics were recently approached by a member of the public to fabricate a brand new acrylic unit to replace their old wooden turntable base. The double-chassis design was provided by the client as a template which was then scanned and drawn up by our in-house design team in one of our computer packages.

The drawings were converted to the correct format for CNC routing and the individual parts were cut from two slabs of 30mm clear cast Perspex. At this time, all holes and recesses were cut for fixing the unit and routing the cables. Further recessed holes were cut to fit 40mm diameter clear Perspex rod which would connect the two layers.

Post-CNC routing, all of the pieces were hand polished using sandpaper and special polishing compounds to give both the inside and outside edges a mirror-like finish.

Once all of the parts had been polished, the rods were glued into place using our ‘museum-grade’, crystal clear acrylic glue and the base was ready to be shipped to the customer.

The customer contacted us to express his delight at the workmanship and finishing of the unit. The image below which shows the complete unit with everything in place.

acrylic unit replacement

Retail Display Unit

Denny plastics were recently asked to work with a design company to come up with a ideas for creating a new make-up retail display unit for the well-known fashion brand ‘Paul & Joe’.

The unit was to stand on two separate levels on an existing island within one of the famous London department stores. It required a clean, crisp gloss white appearance in keeping with the brand colours and would need to display a range of items including lipsticks and bottles of nail polish. A full selection of colours needed to be on display at one time and so the units needed to have some kind of tilt or steps to allow the customer full view of all products.

White 069 Perspex was used and the parts were produced by both laser cutting and CNC routing.

Paul and Joe makeup retail display

Queen’s Club trophy display case

As part of the recent rennovations at London’s famous Queen’s Tennis Club, Denny Plastics were asked to fabricate a clear Perspex trophy cabinet for The President’s Room.

Queens Tennis Club

The spec involved fabricating an Acrylic showcase which could hold three fairly weighty trophies with minimum fixings and crystal clear joints. The cabinet had to fit on to an existing base and allow easy access to the inside for cleaning.

presidents room

The finished case was fabricated from 10mm clear Perspex and included smaller 8mm clear Perspex plinths. An MDF board was fixed to the wall which allowed the Acrylic showcase to slip around and under. Small security screws were then used to fix the showcase in place.

clear perspex trophy cabinet

Ferrari Window Installation

Denny Plastics were recently commissioned to mould fluorescent Perspex car profiles for the flagship Ferrari store as part of the RIBA London Regent Street Windows Project.

Ferrari store London window display

The project involved a string of architectural shop window installations on London’s Regent Street and ran from 16 April to 6 May. It saw some of London’s best up-and-coming architects alongside more established practices creating unique displays based on the theme of play.

Each architect was challenged to create a spatial installation that reflected their retail partner’s brand, as well as their own practice, while also responding to the overarching theme.

Regent Street window display for Ferrari

The Ferrari window design sent ribbons of neon light travelling across the shopfront in a turbulent pattern, echoing the smoke trails created in Ferrari’s wind tunnel. Playing with perception, the ribbons were blown from one shape to another, creating the outline of the iconic Formula 1 car on one side, and the classic Ferrari Gran Tourismo shape on the other.

Ferrari store London display

To create the profiles, Denny Plastics had to first fabricate formers and moulds by CNC routing MDF to shape. 3000mm x 100mm wide strips of 5mm fluorescent Perspex sheet were then cut and polished before being heated in a large oven. The flaccid lengths were then laid into the MDF formers and left to cool before being fixed together onsite.