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Invent a new way to cut acrylic sheet
Challenge Type: engineering
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top 50%
72 months ago

As the world’s leading manufacturer of specialty acrylic-based sheet products, Evonik Acrylic Products combines excellence in acrylics with human curiosity. In fact, our vision is this: Evolution in acrylics is our passion. This means that we always seek to advance the world by applying our hearts and minds to our work with acrylics.

To serve our customers, Evonik continues to innovate new products to meet the ever-growing needs of humanity. The continuous production of acrylic sheets are the raw material, or “canvas” for our customers.  Our products help our customers preserve memories (via a UV blocking picture frame glazing), create renewable energy (via photo concentration lenses), collaborate (via stain-free markerboard), or see the world (via aircraft windows) to name a few applications where acrylic-based products are particularly useful to the world.  

One challenge our customers face is that the “canvas” is almost always processed into smaller shapes than the original size. Common methods of sizing and resizing the canvas include sawblade cutting, routing, hot-knife cutting, ultrasonic cutting, water-jet cutting, and laser cutting. Each of these methods has drawbacks including saw chip generation, heat-induced stresses, uneven edges, and dust and noise. 

90 degree, clean, smooth edges with a polished appearance are almost universally preferred, even on the starting canvas.


Your challenge is to identify a new way to cut acrylic sheet that provides a dust free, clean, polished appearance to the 90 degree cut edges with no saw chips or dust generated in the process that can get left behind on the sheet (the “canvas”).  Ideally, the process should be quiet and consume low amounts energy for sustainability reasons.

1. Propose new way to cut acrylic sheet on a continuous basis (such as is produced on a sheet extrusion line) OR on an off-line basis (like laser cutting a shape out of a piece of sheet). Include a written description of your idea and a proposed schematic of the two cases. The proposals should address prevention of the deficits that come along with existing methods.

2. Submit a concept diagram and schematic as supporting materials. Acceptable file formats are .doc, .docx, and .pdf.

To inspire your creativity, a wide range of ACRYLITE® products can be viewed online.

Winning solutions should be innovative and easily implemented in both large-scale continuous and secondary manufacturing processes. Your method should be capable of cutting in straight lines or even in curves on flat sheets in a production line.

AVOID: Unless you make a serious improvement on the existing cutting methods (sawblade cutting, routing, hot-knife cutting, and laser cutting), you should focus on something entirely different.

    Submissions will be graded on the following criteria:
  • Easily Implemented
  • Creativity
  • Cutting Capability
Reward Tiers
Top 10%
will share $1,000
Next 15%
will share $400
Next 25%
will share $200
Actual individual rewards will be based on the total number of eligible solutions.
$200.00 Yevgeniy Parfilko Rochester Institute of Technology
$200.00 Sangi Rama The Ohio State University
$200.00 Dat Tran The Catholic University of America
$200.00 HIMANSHU KUMAR National Institute of Technology Durgapur
$200.00 Dallas Platt University of Queensland
$57.10 Emily Armstrong Queen's University
$57.10 Jesus Castro Penn Foster
$57.10 Oscar Wong University of Illinois
$57.10 Matthew Gaiser Queen's University
$57.10 Zhuohong (Kenny) Xie University of Maryland
$57.10 Katarzyna Clarke Georgetown University
$57.10 Ryan Snaadt Simpson College
$18.20 Dominik Gregurek Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Computer Science and Information Technology Osijek
$18.20 Pedro M University of Providence
$18.20 Samantha Thompson Brock University
$18.20 Christopher Adjei-Frimpong University of Mines and Technology, Tarkwa
$18.20 Jorge Rodriguez Roger Williams University
$18.20 Ajay Sharma JAMK University of Applied Science,Finland
$18.20 Mahesh Shewale Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
$18.20 Mohanraj P M P Anna university ,Chennai
$18.20 Aria Hasting
$18.20 Shazmaan Malek University at Buffalo
$18.20 Andrew Campbell Trent University
Submission questions