Here are some of our frequently asked questions. If you can’t see an answer to your queries, do get in touch!
Can you laser cut Smile Plastics?
No you cannot laser cut our materials as a general rule. The only material you might have some success laser cutting is Bottle.
Can you CNC route and water cut Smile Plastics?
Yes you can. For routing we generally recommend you use sharp tools, slow feeds and fast speeds.
How do I work with the Smile Plastics materials?
Check out our instructions for use here for some guidelines: http://www.smile-plastics.com/instructions-for-use/
Who can install your panels?
Any good carpenter or builder should be able to work with and install our panels using sharp woodworking equipment. Check out our handling instructions: http://www.smile-plastics.com/instructions-for-use/
Can you thermoform and vacuum form the panels?
Yes you can thermoform our panels- the 5mm will be the easiest to thermoform. Of the materials we offer, Charcoal and Yoghurt are the easiest to thermoform
What sizes of panels do you offer?
Our panels are 2m x 1m and come in 12mm and 20mm as a standard. We also offer our Charcoal, Yoghurt and Bottle panels in 5mm thicknesses.
We do not offer any panels under 5mm thick or over 20mm thick. If you have a requirement for a bespoke thickness outside of our standard thicknesses for an order +60 sheets then please contact us for further discussion.
How much does shipping cost?
Shipping a 12mm panel within the UK usually costs £35+VAT and £45+VAT for 20mm. There are economies of scale when shipping in multiples. Shipping a set of panels on a double pallet to most parts of the UK costs £120+VAT.
Do you offer discounts for trade buyers?
The pricing we advertise on our website is for trade customers. We can offer volume discounts on +50 panel orders
Do you ship internationally?
We ship to all of the EU and Switzerland and will sometimes ship to the US. Note that the costs of shipping our panels outside of the EU can be quite high.
Do you have any distributors?
We do not have any distributors currently but are happy to sell our panels to most countries including all of the EU.
For potential distributors:We will start seeking distributors from mid 2017. Please contact us if you are interested in becoming a distributor.
I want far less than one panel. Do you do smaller sizes?
I’m afraid we cannot cut up a full size panel to offer you something smaller. Very occasionally we have offcuts from other projects which we can offer to you.
Do you sponsor students?
Due to resources we are currently unable to sponsor student projects although this is something that we would like to be able to support in the future.
How do I make an order?
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to make an order, supplying your invoicing/delivery details as well as the product you want and any deadline you have. We will then respond with what’s available and issue you with an invoice.
Are any of your past products available?
I’m afraid we do not have any of our past products available and we will not be able to make the exact same product again, although we may be able to make something similar as a bespoke piece of work.
How do you take payment?
We accept bank transfers prior to dispatching your order. Unfortunately we do not accept phone payments.
How long will I have to wait to receive an order?
Our stock levels are fairly low at present. If we have your order in stock then we should be able to dispatch it within 1-2 weeks. Lead times on orders out of stock are approximately 1-3 months.
Are your plastics suitable for external use?
We have had a number of customers successfully use for panels for exterior use and dapple has been used to clad the exterior of buildings in the UK. Our panels are 100% waterproof and rot resistant but in general it’s best to avoid direct sunlight and large temperature variation. UV rays can begin to degrade the surface of the plastics particularly the charcoal which will turn slightly silvery and yoghurt which will yellow on the surface (but you can sand down). Large temperature changes may also cause the panels to warp slightly, particularly if the there is a temperature differential across the two sides of the panel, but the panels should return flat when returned to room temperature. If you have a larger project which requires good resilience to the elements then we may be able to create a bespoke material to meet your needs.
Is Smile Plastics suitable for kitchen worksurfaces?
Plenty of customers do use our materials as kitchen worksurfaces. There are a couple of things to bear in mind though:
– Scratch resistance – our materials generally have medium scratch resistance but some of our materials are more scratch proof than others. Bottle is our most resistant material, whilst Dapple (made from recycled chopping board plastic) will scratch in the same way that a chopping board will. In any case you will need to look after the surface.
– Heat resistance – It is fine to put a hot cup of tea directly onto our surfaces however you sustained heat +95 degrees may cause the material to denature (burn, warp etc). Avoid placing any of our materials close to a heat source, and in particular avoid any open flames as some of the materials are flammable.
What are your panels suitable for?
People use our materials for a wide range of applications from small scale products and furniture to large scale commercial interiors. The materials are very well suited to areas that get wet like in the bathroom as they are completely waterproof, rot resistant and resistant to most stains.
Is Smile Plastics suitable for flooring?
We do not recommend our Classics materials as flooring as they can get slippery when wet. You could investigate making small tiles, routing grooves in the material or applying a slip resistant coating to the surfaces but do this at your own risk. Alternatively we could create a bespoke material suitable for this application – contact us to discuss further.
What do you advise for making a table or shelving from Smile Plastics?
Our recommendation is to use our thickest material, 20mm for all tables and shelving as well as designing a good supporting substructure. A 2m x 1m table top with just 4 posts going directly into the panel underside is not going to be sufficient to support the material and the panel may warp over time with gravity and excess weight.
Do you have a showroom?
We are creating a showroom in Central London that will be open from March 2017. Please contact us when planning a visit to book an appointment with us. We hold samples of full sized panels but I’m afraid you will not be able to take away any panels directly from our showroom.
Can I visit your production facility?
We are not currently set up to receive visitors at our production and warehousing facilities however we do hope to be able to offer tours from 2018.
Do you send out free samples?
We are a very small business and as a general rule cannot send out free samples to design studios but we are happy to refund the cost of the samples upon purchasing full scale panels from us. If this is going to be difficult for you then please get in touch to discuss the project.
If you are a commercial materials library or university materials library we can send you a sample set FOC for your reference – please email us with your delivery address and we’ll send something out.
I am a student – can I have a free sample?
It’s great that Smile Plastics is inspiring your work and we want to make sure that you can see a physical set of samples for your reference. If your school/university does not already have a sample set in their materials library then please get in touch with them to request some samples from us and we will be delighted to send them some for reference for you and fellow students.
What are your lead times for bespoke materials?
Bespoke materials tend to take 3-4 months to make up once they have been approved by you.
What are the costs for making bespoke materials?
The costs of a bespoke material really depends on the material itself and the preparation work required as well as the number of sheets you need. There will also be significant economies of scale. Expect to pay between £300-£450 per 5mm panel for an order of 6-12 sheets.
What is the process for having a bespoke material made up?
We will kick things off by discussing your needs in terms of application, quantities, colours and patterns. If you have a mood board to share with us that will be really helpful.
The next step is for us to make a series of test tiles approx. 15cm x 15cm for us to test and refine your material idea. Once you have approved the material that we can work with we may want to test the idea at the scale of a full panel before going into production.
Costs: As part of the R&D we charge £100+VAT for each test tile we make up for you.
I have some waste plastic – are you able to recycle it into panels for me?
We can work with a range of different plastics and materials. For small scale production of 1-2 sheets this may not make commercial sense but we can certainly discuss the options.