Miyuki Acryl – Delivering the Beauty of Acrylic Worldwide
Miyuki Inc., better known as Miyuki Acryl, is a well-established local fabricator with a studio-gallery in Kita-Ayase in Adachi, Tokyo that machines and fabricates various items such as accessories from acrylic. Passionate about expressing the beauty of acrylic, Miyuki Acryl sells its own brand of acrylic materials and uses Roland DG's LEF series UV printers to decorate them. They also run workshops giving participants the opportunity to work with acrylic first-hand. Acrylic is a popular material for printing on using UV printers, and we visited Miyuki Acryl with our overseas sales partners to find out more.
Photo: Workshop for fabricating one-of-a-kind items with Miyuki Acryl's stunning acrylic.
About Miyuki Acryl
The Miyuki Acryl studio is located in a residential area of Kita-Ayase.
Since being established in 1970, Miyuki Acryl has been manufacturing acrylic sheets in various colors and patterns as material for making its own range of accessories, with more than 6,000 different types of acrylic manufactured. In 2014 it launched its own acrylic brand called TOKYO ACRYL, which is on sale in the showroom adjacent to the studio. In addition to regular transparent and solid colors, designs featuring marble and lamé patterns as well as sheets infused with real fabrics are also available, with each pattern carefully crafted by Miyuki Acryl artisans to create a unique acrylic lineup treasured by designers.
The showroom features acrylic sheets lined up like a record store.
Customers can browse through and purchase some 700 types of acrylic sheets in various colors and sizes.
Roland DG's LEF-12 UV printer is set up in the studio.
Miyuki Acryl staff welcomed our overseas sales partners in charge of Roland DG product sales in the Middle East, Africa and Taiwan regions.
Workshops provide hands-on experience working with acrylic
The acrylic fabrication workshop organized on the day we visited by Miyuki Acryl provided hands-on experience working with acrylic using two different methods: bending and dyeing.
The first workshop began with staff demonstrating how acrylic can be bent into shape. Acrylic becomes soft at relatively low temperatures, which means it is easy to work with by heating on a hot plate and bending into shape using an acrylic bender.
Bending acrylic using an acrylic bender.
By utilizing the characteristics of acrylic that make it easy to bend into shape with heat, the workshop gave participants the opportunity to bend acrylic sheet into a smartphone stand. Participants chose colored or patterned acrylic sheets from a selection that had been cut into shape with a laser cutter and printed on using a UV printer in advance, to create their very own smartphone stand.
Smartphone stand made after selecting acrylic sheet with the desired color or pattern.
Heating up acrylic by holding it close to a heater, and then bending it into shape to form a stand.
Participants focused intently during their first time working with acrylic.
Taking a hands-on, practical approach to learning about acrylic fabrication.
The next workshop involved dyeing transparent key chains engraved with a laser cutter. Acrylic is a water-repellent material but actually contains around 6% water by weight, which means it can easily be colored with dyes in a similar way to paper or fabric.
Transparent key chains can be dyed with stunning results.
Resin dye is dissolved in water and heated in a pot before dipping acrylic pieces into the mixture similar to fondue or shabu-shabu.
Once items reach the desired color intensity, they are removed and rinsed to complete the dyeing process.
Participants expressed their amazement when dyeing their acrylic pieces in pots.
Miyuki Acryl's initiatives aimed at expressing the beauty of acrylic
After the workshop, participants were given a tour of the studio, museum and other areas of the studio. The museum featured spectacular vintage acrylic pieces manufactured decades ago, which were exhibited like works of art. Valuable sheets of acrylic that can no longer be made with current technology or regulations are also stored and available for sale.
Chairperson Yoritaka Ozawa explaining about vintage acrylic.
We asked Vice President Masaya Ono about some of the initiatives being taken by Miyuki Acryl.
Vice President Masaya Ono.
"These days there are many facilities like shared factories where anyone can get involved in fabrication, and acrylic is increasing in popularity because it is a familiar material that is easy to work with using digital tools like UV printers and laser cutters. We are also seeing more people interested in the acrylic materials that we have developed over the years for customers to make their own products."
"We wanted the general public to discover the true beauty of acrylic, so we began selling acrylic sheets that we designed ourselves, and started taking part in more events throughout Japan and overseas like Taiwan. Now we even have international customers dropping by after finding information on the internet about the acrylic we manufacture here."
"At our studio we run workshops that demonstrate what items can actually be made using acrylic, and also organize events at companies and shared factories like Makers' Base (see previous articles about Makers' Base here). Acrylic is a material that can be easily made into various shapes using digital tools. By applying advanced fabrication techniques like 3D bending and dyeing, people can make items with unmatched originality. As professionals in the acrylic industry, we want even more people to discover how acrylic can be used and new ways to enjoy the beauty the material offers."
We had a great day experiencing first-hand the beauty of acrylic thanks to everyone at Miyuki Acryl!