I am looking for brands/types of plastic that are more "clear" than others. I am not sure if there are any differences between types i.e., acrylic, plexiglass, etc, but I would assume that some are more suited for certain situations, and are made in certain ways, with certain materials.

I am essentially looking to replace a couple of computer "side panels" so I would like materials that are very clear, and wont get beat up i.e., scratches and smudges such as one review I had read on Amazon that claimed their "Lexan" was full of non-removable smudges which sounds like a defect to me.

Thank you.

  • Is there a situation in which you would like to use the plastic? Expanding on what you are looking for might result in better responses. For example, do you need to be able to cut it to put into frames? Will you paint on it to make a stain glass effect? ect.
    – EmRoBeau
    Commented Oct 11, 2016 at 18:18
  • 1
    Looking for a computer side panel replacement. The only thing is maybe bending, maybe cutting or drilling to fit into my current side panel. Thank you.
    – XaolingBao
    Commented Oct 11, 2016 at 20:44
  • 2
    So you're looking for something that looks as crisp as glass, to see the internals of your computer?
    – user24
    Commented Oct 12, 2016 at 1:02
  • yes sir/maam @CreationEdge I want something that will be crystal clear and hopefully wont smudge. I had read a review on I think a piece of "Lexan" on Amazon where the user had got a piece that was smudged and couldn't remove it... I'm assuming that smudges could be removed, unless it's a physical defect in the plastic i.e., air bubbles or other defects.
    – XaolingBao
    Commented Oct 12, 2016 at 20:19

2 Answers 2


You're probably looking for acrylic.

Computer case manufacturers often use acrylic. For a recent example, the Thermaltake core P5 atx case uses acrylic. Also, according to this datasheet acrylic has higher optical clarity than polycarbonate and can be restored to full clarity by polishing.

Also, acrylic sheets can be sourced easily, can be cut with a scorer, and are light and strong.

  • Thanks. That was my first choice, but I wanted to know if there were others. The term "tempered glass" has also been used, so I wasn't sure. Is Acrylic the best for this?
    – XaolingBao
    Commented Oct 25, 2016 at 17:32
  • Tempered Glass refers to glass that's been processed in heat so that it breaks on inpact rather than shatters. It is also very hard. It's not especially easy to work with. I'm not sure if you're asking if they're interchangeable - but they really aren't. Unless you have glass working or glass fitting tools, plastic (acrylic) is a lot easier to work with. YMMV, of course.
    – B. Wilson
    Commented Oct 25, 2016 at 17:48
  • Oh, yeah I've heard of that before... I guess I got confused with car windows and computer windows hahah. I thought that I might have heard it used on computer side panels, but5 I could, again, be confused with something else. So Acrylic is really what I want? I heard that Acrylic is also interchangeable with the term "Plexiglass" or is that something else? I think I read Plexiglass is a brand of Acrylic?
    – XaolingBao
    Commented Oct 25, 2016 at 17:53
  • I think you're right - and wikipedia (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poly(methyl_methacrylate)) says you're right. Cool! I learned something new, too.
    – B. Wilson
    Commented Oct 25, 2016 at 21:09
  • I think I read there are many names.
    – XaolingBao
    Commented Oct 26, 2016 at 2:38

As far as clear plastics are concerned the only plastics that you can go for are acrylic plastics. They come in wide variety of colors as well as thickness and can be opaque or transparent.

You can easily purchase them from the market. They are available in rod, sheets, and tube. They are quite strong and even stable in sunlight. So, as per your requirements, they are the best ones to go for.

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