Acrylic—aka polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA)—is one of the most versatile types of plastic. It’s lightweight, scratch-resistant, comes in a wide variety of colors, and can be as transparent as optical glass. Yet at the same time, it is incredibly durable and strong compared to real glass.


Acrylic’s characteristics make it an ideal material for many types of plastic fabrication projects, from retail displays and fixtures to security display cases, acrylic signs, and more. If you’re thinking about using acrylic for your project, there are two main types to choose from: cast or extruded. Below we’ll go over the differences and benefits of each type of acrylic, so you can make an informed decision!


Cast Acrylic

Cast acrylic is created by pouring liquid ingredients into molds made from two pieces of glass.

When the mold is heated, a chemical process ensues, and a sheet of smooth, rigid acrylic forms.



●        Homogeneous material

●        Harder and sturdier than extruded acrylic

●        Available in more colors than extruded acrylic

●        Clearer, lighter, and more shatter-resistant than glass

●        More pliable than extruded acrylic

●        Resistant to ultraviolet light degradation

●        Less likely to chip, bend, or melt while milling than extruded acrylic

●        Can be shaped, cut, drilled, routed, filed, sanded, or polished to meet the needs of your custom plastic fabrication project

●        Provides excellent insulation and chemical resistance


Extruded Acrylic

Extruded acrylic is typically formed using an extruder machine, which continuously pushes acrylic pellets through a form. The plastic is melted and shaped into a flat sheet.



●        Heterogeneous material

●        More economical than cast acrylic or glass

●        Available in a wide variety of colors

●        Clearer, lighter, and more shatter-resistant than glass

●        Resistant to ultraviolet light degradation

●        Easy to bend, laser cut, glue, file, polish, and thermoform

●        Thickness is more uniform across sheets than cast acrylic


Whether cast or extruded, acrylic is an excellent material for plastic fabricators to work with. Which is best suited for your custom project? If you’re not sure, our experienced engineers are happy to help you choose!


Custom Plastic Fabricators

Cottage Corporation is a custom plastic and acrylic fabrication and manufacturing company specializing in tailor-made products for companies large and small throughout the U.S. We can make nearly anything out of plastic—displays and fixtures, touch and feel displays, signage and branding, parts and components, bins and containers, awards, and more! For more information about our services or to get a quote, please fill out the contact form here.