Premier Manufacturer of Customized
Recognition & Award Products

Made in North America

7 Steps to Creating a Custom Lucite Recognition Award

By | November 9, 2016 | 2 comments

lucite embedment sculpture awards inspire awardWhat is Lucite?

Why would you use it to design and create custom recognition awards, corporate gifts, architectural pieces and so much more?

A fun fact about Lucite, it was invented by DuPont Corporation in 1931 and quickly became a manufacturer’s dream. It was used in engineering WWII aircraft windows because of its crystal clear qualities, ability to withstand water and the effects of UV rays, bullet resistance and its lighter weight compared to other products. It is these qualities, well perhaps not its bullet proof nature, that make it a perfect medium for designing and creating custom recognition awards, employee awards, architectural pieces and so much more. Being able to embed objects during the Lucite process makes recognition awards and corporate gifts much more exciting.

There are countless options available for awards, employee recognitions and corporate gifts. So why use Lucite? The answer is simple; Lucite awards are not cookie-cutter off the shelf awards. Lucite awards are crafted by hand from the very beginning to the final end product. By working closely with the client we are able to design an employee recognition award that is representative of their industry, product and brand. With a little bit of chemistry and artisan know how, custom, hand-crafted recognition pieces are created. This versatility of Lucite/Acrylic allows for custom designed recognition awards to be manufactured into a variety of shapes and sizes, incorporating many different types of embedded components. It offers great flexibility in terms of design and the opportunity to produce one-of-a-kind pieces.

It seems like a lot of technical knowledge is required to understand the process of Lucite embedments, but it is as simple as mixing a powder and a liquid together, pouring it into channels or moulds, with the finished product being custom branded awards for your organization! Explaining the process sometimes feels like the famous question, “How do you get the caramel into the……”

Here are the 7 steps to creating a North American branded recognition award:

1. Casting

lucite embedment

Two basic ingredients – acrylic resin powder and monomer, a crystal clear liquid are mixed together. The result is a thick, opaque liquid. This is hand poured into moulds and allowed to partially harden. Client’s actual objects, replicas, logos to be embedded are hand placed onto the acrylic layer. Another layer is poured over the embedded object and the acrylic again is allowed to harden.

Multi levels of embedments are challenging. As each layer hardens into an opaque milky white layer as they are placed by hand it becomes difficult to center objects on multiple levels. Each acrylic embedment is never 100% alike. This adds to the handcrafted quality of each piece. Our craftspeople work very hard to keep each piece as consistent as possible.

2. Curing

lucite embedment

When all of the custom pieces have been cast and hardened they are ready for the autoclave, a large oven where the moulds are placed under heat and pressure. The heat cures, and the pressure squeezes out the air bubbles to bring it to its crystal clear appearance. This curing process can take up to ten or more hours. All acrylic parts are cast oversized to allow for shrinkage, which varies from part to part.

3. Cutting

This is where the award starts to take shape. It will be hand cut,lucite embedment sanding bevelled and shaped to the client’s specifications, particularly if they have been cast in a channel. It comes out as a plain block and needs to be transformed. If the awards or corporate gifts have been cast in moulds then they are taken out and sent directly to sanding.

4. Sanding

Awards are sanded  with coarse to fine grit belts to get rid of the rough parts in the curing process, slight variations in sizing may occur since this process is done by hand.

5. Buffing

Polishing is the next step; this also is done by hand. A roughlucite embedment buffing buffing is done to remove all sanding lines and any left-over impurities. A final polishing brings out the clear, crystal look and lustre of the acrylic.

6. Finishing

After the buffing process the awards are ready for the final touches. They may go through laser engraving, digital print, colour filling or countless other finishing touches, done by a combination of technology and hand.

7. Assembly

Once all the special touches are done to the awards or recognition pieces they are cleaned and visually inspected. As in any handmade item, there will be minor variations and flaws. Our quality control keeps them to a minimum but the process does not allow for perfection. Everything possible is done to minimize the slight imperfections. These one-of-a-kind awards are not widgets but labour intensive, hand-crafted gifts and awards. After they have been finished and passed inspection they are bagged, boxed and shipped around the world. To assist brands and corporations in recognizing and honouring their employees and clients with the perfect award that captures the moment forever.

See our case studies, which show how Lucite/Acrylic has been used to engage with clients and their brands. Lucite or acrylic offers inordinate versatility in terms of designing custom shapes along with matching colours and tints. It is fun and different every time you use it and never boring! Its distinctive, sparkling clarity is eye catching and the perceived high value will make any recipient delighted to display their award for all to see. It is easily personalized with laser engraving and digital printing techniques.

Receiving such a well thought out recognition piece that the recipient will show with pride for years to come makes a much longer lasting impression than a gift that is shorter lived. How can we help you create a hand-crafted award that will capture the moment forever?

Check out our Case Studies to see some of the Lucite Embedments we have created for our clients.

Get in touch and let us help you create a hand crafted award, employee recognition or corporate gift that will capture the moment forever or check out some of our custom Lucite Embedment creations.

2 | comments about this topic

  1. what is the volume of acrylic resin powder and monomer if i create one acrylic trophy? thank you

    rommel de guzman on February 19, 2017 at 8:45 pm
  2. Hello Rommel,

    The volume is all dependent on the size of the piece you are looking to create. We would be more than happy to assist you further in the process of creating a custom award. Feel free to contact us should you have any other questions.

    Thanks so much!

    Meaghan Tellier on February 24, 2017 at 8:49 am

Leave your Question or Comment

By submitting a comment you grant Clearmount a perpetual license to reproduce your words and name/web site in attribution. Inappropriate and irrelevant comments will be removed at an admin’s discretion. Your email is used for verification purposes only, it will never be shared.

Clearmount, 5240 FINCH AVE EAST, UNIT 2, SCARBOROUGH, ON, M1S 5A2 866 481-6230 | About Us
©2015 Copyright. All rights reserved.