Instructables
Picture of Cutting plastic the hard way
Here at TechShop in San Jose, we have cool ways to cut and manipulate plastic. You can use our lasers, our routers, our mills and our saws to cut plastic shapes. However, sometimes you just need a quick cut. Luckily, with the tools in our tool coral, this is possible. Using only a box cutter and a ruler (and a clamp if you need one) you too can cut plastic.

*for this tutorial, i used scrap plastic. You should never take the protective film off of your plastic until the last possible minute to avoid scratches.
 
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Step 1: Mark your edge

Picture of Mark your edge
using a straight edge (ruler) score a line into your plastic

Step 2: SCORE!!!!!I mean, GOALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Picture of SCORE!!!!!I mean, GOALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
continue to score your plastic along this line until it is deep and noticeable.

Step 3: Crack

Picture of Crack
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Using tension, crack the plastic along your score line

Ta-duh! your plastic is now separated
pfred22 years ago
I always thought the plastic cutters were hooks. I made my own out of some scrap stainless steel sheet. Maybe I should put up an article about it?
code_neon (author)  pfred22 years ago
Well, since some people don't have the more specialized tools, this instructable has been tailored for them. Something as simple as a box cutter which many people have can now be even more useful!

That being said, I am sure we would all love to see your method.
They sell the plastic cutters in stores but they're easy enough to make. Thing is as you draw them down the plastic they are like a single saw tooth and they raise up a curl of plastic. I made mine out of some stainless steel sheetmetal scrap. It doesn't look like much but it does the job. The hook only comes to a point on the side, face on it is like a little chisel. The sheet metal is measuring 0.068 thick, that makes what I used about 15 gauge. I probably could have used something a little thinner but it is what I had laying around.

Oh, I mostly used a whizzer cut off tool to make the hook. Now to use this thing you put it on a straight edge like a knife, hook facing you, and draw it down the straight edge a couple of times. it beats knives, because I've used those too.

You could probably make a good one out of an old broken hacksaw blade I bet now that I'm sitting here thinking about it. Anyhow here is mine:
PlasticCutter.jpg