You are looking to buy a display case to store trophies, collectibles, and other things by which to remember your past accomplishments. You are very proud of them and would like visitors to be able to see them and comment on them. However, display cases are made from a number of different materials, and you have to select the right one that will work the best for your applications. The main options are acrylic display cases, wood display cases, and glass display cases. However, you are not sure which type of display case is best for you. In this article, I will discuss the advantages and the disadvantages of using acrylic display cases versus display cases that are made from other materials, some of the key uses of acrylic display cases, and where you can buy acrylic display cases that are tailored to your individual needs.
Advantages Of Acrylic Display Cases Over Glass Display Cases
One reason why acrylic is one of the most widely used plastics for display cases is its optical clarity. Brand new custom acrylic display cases have an optical clarity that is every bit as good as glass. Acrylic display cases have much more impact strength than glass display cases. Glass display cases can shatter if they are hit hard enough. I believe that this is one of the reasons why acrylic, and not glass, is being used more and more now in the construction of aquariums. Clear acrylic display cases are also much easier to move around than glass display cases because they don’t weigh as much. Glass can be anywhere from four to ten times heavier than acrylic. Another primary advantage that acrylic display cases have over glass display cases is that acrylic can be molded in many different shapes and sizes while maintaining its optical properties, while glass bends light when it is curved, making objects appear to be bigger or smaller than they really are.
Benefits Of Acrylic Display Cases Versus Wood Display Cases
Acrylic display cases for collectibles have a couple of advantages over wood display cases as well. Most wood display cases are built with a wood frame and either a glass or acrylic display. Due to the wood frame, the items inside the display case cannot be seen from all angles, where acrylic display cases allow for the display of items from all angles. When it comes to cosmetics, acrylic display cases have an advantage over wood because most scratches on acrylic can be easily repaired with one of the many acrylic polishing kits that are on the market.
Disadvantages Of Acrylic Display Cases Versus Wood And Glass Cases
Plastic acrylic display cases are not without their disadvantages when compared to display cases that are made from other materials. Acrylic display boxes and cases might not be as good as wood or glass display cases for storing heavier items, as heavier items may cause the acrylic shelves to buckle, which is not good for the cosmetic appearance of the display case or for the structural integrity of the case. At the local school, which is just a few miles from where I live, there is an overloaded acrylic display case that shows the awards received by some of its students. However, the buckling of the case really takes away from what the awards represent. Acrylic display cases often get a bum rap because they are plastic. Hence, they are associated more with storing cheap, inexpensive, everyday items, while wood and glass display cases are the more popular choices for showcasing more expensive items.
While acrylic display cases may have more impact strength than their glass counterparts, they are not as durable as most wood display cases. Wood display cases tend to last longer. Of course, this does depend to some extent on the environment in which the display case is kept. Acrylic display cases have a lower resistance to ultraviolet radiation than glass or wood, causing them to turn yellow over time, often requiring them to be replaced. For this reason, you may be better off going with a glass or a wooden case if the case is going to be exposed to sunlight for prolonged periods. Acrylic tends to scratch much easier than glass, often making acrylic much more expensive to ship due to the special care that must be taken in order to ship it. Sometimes, even the packing materials can scratch the acrylic. For the same reason, acrylic display cases usually require a bit more maintenance than glass display cases. Finally, glass display cases are more environmentally-friendly than wood display cases or acrylic display cases, as they don’t involve cutting down trees, or giving off potentially harmful chemicals during the manufacturing process.
Now that you have received a breakdown of the benefits and the drawbacks of using acrylic display cases for your collectibles versus display cases made from other materials, you should be able to make a better informed purchasing decision.
Some Key Uses For Acrylic Display Cases
Acrylic display cases are used in many different walks of life. Here, I will list just a few of these applications to help give you an idea of just when and where they can be used effectively.
– As I mentioned earlier, schools use acrylic display stands and cases quite a bit in order to showcase the accomplishments of their students. Acrylic cases work well in these environments as they are kept indoors and out of the sun, where ultraviolet radiation could damage them.
– Acrylic display cases for museums are quite common. I was recently at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., and they use them quite a bit to showcase historical items that include documents and old weapons. The neat thing about these cases is that they were made with locking doors that help to keep people from breaking into them and stealing what’s inside.
– Acrylic display cases are used frequently to store and display model cars. Display cases that are used for this purpose are usually vertical cases that have six shelves on which the cars sit. The case either mounts on the wall or on a countertop. My friend is a big NASCAR fan, and he has one of these wall-mounted acrylic display cases to showcase all of his Dale Earnhardt memorabilia.
– These display cases can be used to store books and magazines. These display cases will often feature a hinged lid on top for entry. The case is usually inclined at an angle to ensure that the cover of every magazine can be seen by those who pass by. These cases typically range up to 2 feet high, 16 inches wide, and 2 inches deep. Any bookstore or library that is interested in showcasing the newest releases or bestsellers can use this case effectively.
– A local bakery that I like to frequent has an acrylic display case that mounts on their countertop. They use the case to showcase their freshest doughnuts, pastries, pies, and other items. It is often the first thing that customers take notice of when they walk into the bakery. These display cases often feature doors with pull knobs and magnets that help to hold the doors shut, protecting the contents of the case from germs, dust, and other things that you would not want to consume.
Places Where You Can Buy Acrylic Display Cases For Sale
There are numerous places where you can buy acrylic display cases. Here, I will describe some of these places to help you get started in your research for a good supplier. Keep in mind that when dealing with most suppliers, you will probably have a 3-6 week waiting period if you order a custom-built display case. Pricing usually depends on the material being used, the thickness of the material, and the size of the case. Some manufacturers have calculators on their websites that you can use to work up an estimate by inputting the dimensions of the case. When selecting a supplier, it’s always important to keep in mind that most reputable suppliers offer a customer satisfaction guarantee.
Display Case Art, Inc. – These guys manufacture and sell acrylic display cases and risers of all different sizes for storing jewelry, sports memorabilia, shadowboxes, NASCAR die-cast model cars, and much more. If you have a custom case design in mind, then they can definitely help you out. Visit them on their website at www.displaycaseart.com.
Specialty Plastics – Specialty Plastics manufactures a wide variety of display cases, including acrylic display boxes, Lucite cases, and Plexiglas cases. You can specify what size and configuration of display case that you want, and they can fix you right up. You can order directly from their website at www.casesforcollectibles.com.
Collector’s Display Case Company offers up to 10,000 display case models. Their cases can display everything from dolls to comic books to marbles to model trains. They have a case for every imaginable application. Find them online at www.usadisplay.net.
Displays2Go.com has almost 2 million display products in its inventory. They sell numerous acrylic display cases for storing jewelry, autographed baseballs, die-cast cars, and a host of other items. They offer same-day shipping and are accredited by the Better Business Bureau. If you need an acrylic display case fast, you may want to check these guys out. Order directly from their website.
Crystal Caseworks offers custom display cases in acrylic, glass, and wood. Their cases are made to display everything from dolls and figurines to sports memorabilia to flags and many other items. If you buy a case from these guys, then they will give you a free engraved nameplate for each item that is kept in the case, and they don’t even limit you on the number of characters. You don’t even have to receive the plates on the day that you buy the case. Just order the plates as you need them. You can visit them online and check out their inventory at www.crystalcaseworks.com.
After reviewing the advantages and disadvantages of acrylic display cases relative to cases that are made from other materials, and some of the most important uses for acrylic display cases, you should now be able to make a better-informed decision regarding whether one of these cases is right for you. With the short list of suppliers outlined in this article, you should now have enough information to help you get started in your quest for the perfect display case for your needs.