Inexpensive Acrylic


We’ve discussed the cheap sources for scrap acrylic before but not since San Diego Plastics moved. They’re now off the west side of Interstate 5 in Chula Vista (1121 Bay Blvd, to be exact). After the move they changed their pricing (though acrylic is still only $2/lbs), instituted a minimum ($30), and put in place a credit card fee ($1). At the same time they improved their stocking area, it used to be a giant dumpster you’d have to dive into.

While there I flipped through their scraps inventory. It’s worth stopping by occasionally as you never know what you’ll find-for-cheap. Today they had some nice mirrored acrylic, some beautiful deep red and navy blue acrylic and lots of clear. I might have bought some had it not been for the new minimum and that I already have an inventory. :innocent:

All in all, San Diego Plastics still a great source for project acrylic.


Travis, I have not used these materials in any of my projects. Can you give me some examples of what they are used for?

Two quick examples are for using acrylic for underlit etchings and structural builds but honestly I mostly use acrylic for precise hacks: spacers, height gauges, etc. Examples of each of these three can be seen below.

Today I visited San Diego Plastics so I thought I’d post an update.

The inventory of scrap has increased and is now better organized. While the bins aren’t labeled, the materials all start out sorted by type. While the inventory has increased, it’s still “scrap” or pieces left over from large jobs. You never know what you’ll find so I personally check when I’m near the store and have the time.

Prices are pretty much unchanged from pre-pandemic when they were good and are now very good. Below are some pictures I took today.

I heartily endorse them as a good source of acrylic for laser projects … but don’t expect to always fine exactly what you want. Visit often.