Where To Buy Acrylic for Laser Cutting
For the last eight years, I have run a small maker business, which means not only have I acquired a wealth of knowledge about materials and suppliers, but people frequently ask me questions about where I source materials. To save everyone from my hour-long spiel detailing specifics of each store’s selection, pricing, and shipping, I’ve decided to write up my recommendations, and share some of my secrets about where I buy materials. In my studio, I use a Glowforge laser cutter for my work, and these are the suppliers that I use and recommend for purchasing materials for laser cutting and laser engraving.
If you need materials ASAP
Johnson Plastics Plus
Johnson Plastics Plus is tied for my favorite supplier on this list. They sell cast acrylic! They sell rubber you can laser cut for rubber stamps! They even sell some of the other stuff you might need (or not need) for your maker business. I personally love the two-tone Rowmark materials that they sell. They offer flat-rate shipping that is fast and they also offer samples of some materials if you need to see it in person before you buy.
Fast shipping, large quantities, large selection of materials
If you need a small amount of acrylic, and you need it fast, it may be best to just order from Amazon depending on your budget and deadline. The Small Parts brand on Amazon has a limited selection of cast acrylic sheets for laser cutting, but it is inexpensive and will get to you quickly. I’ve used their materials for photo backdrops and laser cutting and engraving, and have always been happy with the products I’ve purchased.
Fast shipping, low prices
If you want to shop online:
Glowforge Proofgrade Shop
If you are new to laser cutting, and you are looking for materials that you know will work well with your Glowforge, their Proofgrade materials shop sells materials that work will fit perfectly and automagically apply settings for your project. Right now they only have a limited range of materials and only sell to registered Glowforge users.
Ease of use with Glowforge laser cutters
Inventables sells a large selection of materials for laser cutting and other types of small scale manufacturing. Their acrylic materials selection includes hard to find pastel colors, patterns, glitters, and two-tone laminated sheets.
Delvies is the only supplier on this list that I have not personally used, only because I currently have a large enough stockpile of materials, but they are on this list from the enthusiastic recommendations from most of the US West Coast-based makers that I know. They have a large selection of materials, and they also have a showroom in Salt Lake City where locals can pick up materials.
Large selection of materials, in-person pickup
If you want to buy directly from a manufacturer…
If you want to buy directly from the manufacturer, Acrylite is the place to shop. They are the manufacturer of the acrylic sheet materials sold at most of the stores on this list, and their materials are top quality. Their site can be a little difficult to navigate, but this is where you will be able to find the widest selection of colors, finishes, and effects.
Large selection, Large sheets of material, wholesale pricing
Gravotech is a French company that has locations and distribution centers in several cities throughout the US. You know those ubiquitous two-tone, engraved plastic signs you see everywhere from train stations to businesses, to municipal buildings? They’re the company that makes most of those products. If you’re looking for dual or multi-colored materials to cut and engrave. This is the company to order from. They have a very wide range of materials, so make sure to check the material you want to purchase can safely work with the manufacturing method you are using. The only downside to ordering directly from this company is that their website does not carry the full range of their materials so you may need to contact a salesperson to order.
Hard to find materials, wholesale pricing, large sheets of material
Suppliers in Atlanta
Located in Atlanta (and several other locations around the US), Calsak plastics sells full-size sheets of materials. If you need large quantities of acrylic, this is the place to try out!
In-person pickup, wholesale pricing, large sheets of material
Suppliers in New York
Canal Plastic is the other company tied for my affection as my favorite supplier. For me, no trip to New York is complete without a visit here. If you’re in New York and want to check out your materials in person, I’m going to be completely honest with you, this store is magical. They have your standard color sheets of acrylic, they have mirror sheets, they even have nebula glitter sheets of acrylic! If you don’t know what you want, they sell small sample and scrap pieces starting at $1. They also sell online!
In-person pickup, selection of interesting and unique materials
T&T Plastic Land
T&T Plastic is another plastics supplier in New York located near to Canal Plastic. Their store may not be as full of wonder or offer the same selection as their competitor, but they’re still a great supplier! Located near Canal Street in SoHo, they carry similar products and their prices are sometimes a little bit lower. They also carry some other supplies you might need for your maker business.
In-person pickup, selection of interesting materials