Acrylic plastic is poly(methyl methacrylate) commonly known as plexiglass and commercially as Lucite and Plexiglas among others. When polished it can be used as a replacement for glass due to its potential optical clarity. It is lighter than glass and is shatterproof making it an excellent alternative in applications where glass is often required.
When acrylic is cut, usually saw cut, it is opaque with saw marks and sharp edges. The plastic needs to have the edges rounded and the surfaces polished. Sometimes the surface is rough enough that an aggressive step with a Ceramic Media or Plastic Media is needed. This step will also round edges and corners.
With the part pictured above, the saw cut part has a smooth enough finish so that an aggressive step was not needed. Only a polishing step was required. This single step also created the light edge rounding seen in the part on the bottom of the picture.
This cube shaped acrylic part was tumbled in a barrel tumbler for about 16 hours. This was a dry tumbling process using a Hardwood Media and the Hi-Glos Final Finishing Cream. Barrel tumbling is recommended with the Hardwood Media and Finishing Creams as the barrel will trap the heat generated during the tumbling process and help to ‘activate’ the Creams releasing the polishing agent to do its work.