Lucite Embedments: The Questions You Should Really be Asking

November 29, 2022 by David Parry
Custom Lucite Embedment with Drug Vial

The Lucite embedment process, as you’ve probably heard, offers an ideal way to preserve, showcase, and honor prized items and objects.

Unless you don’t know what you’re doing.

Because it also offers a great way to singe, tinge, melt, mangle, and fry those same beloved objects.

Too often, the expertise offered up about the embedment process is reduced to simple terms: yes or no.

Yes, this can safely be embedded; no, that won’t work.

Make no mistake: knowing what is and isn’t possible is a necessary starting point; and you should always have realistic expectations of whether something will hold up to the embedment process.

But embedding items in Lucite (acrylic) is actually a little more complicated than you might think.

First off, some things you’re likely to hear will seem completely counter-intuitive.

For instance, if the Lucite embedment involves extremely high heat (similar to baking something in a kiln) how is it that you can usually successfully embed a cookie, but most often, not a rock?

And why do even related objects produce different results?

How is it, for instance, that peanuts typically embed and almonds, on the other hand, typically do not?

But an answer to the question “Will this embed in Lucite?” is usually only part of the concern most people have, or should have, heading into the process.

So what is it about Lucite embedments that most people are missing?

Lucite Embedment of Coca-Cola Bottle

Will It Embed in Lucite? That’s Only Half the Question

When it comes to Lucite embedments, there’s a whole qualitative aspect that tends to get overlooked.

Yes, you want an answer to the question “Will this embed?”.

But the expertise necessary to answer that question only goes so far.

Because what you’re probably really asking is, “Will the embedment truly capture the effect I’m hoping for?”

Here’s an example.

Suppose you’re in the pharmaceutical industry and wanted to recognize a team for their contribution in the development of a new drug.

The exact occasion might be the first successful in-human trial, or FDA approval.

It would be great to hear that, yes, you can embed the vial in Lucite.

But is that really all that’s involved?

What if, as in often the case, you also want to make sure that the label on the drug vial is included in the embedment.

After all, for you this might be a crucial part of replicating the authentic look of the vial.

So what if, during a test embedment, the print on the vial fades or disappears? Or it slips off the vial?

Those are challenges that can be deal with but, again, you have to  be able to anticipate these kinds of problems.

And, again, you also need to know what you’re doing.

Disaster Recovery Memento PowerSouth

What You’re Really After with A Custom Lucite Embedment: Perceived Value

Here’s another example.

You might want to embed an oil drop, say to commemorate the “first” oil extracted from a site, or shipped from a port.

Yes, it’s possible to embed an oil drop; you can see them online all over the place.

But what if you want to embed “your” oil? Do you really have to use the same generic “oil” that’s been used for every other project (and will for all future projects)?

After all, this does commemorate something to do with a specific oil. Wouldn’t using some interchangeable inky substance (which often isn’t even oil) undercut the impact of the commemorative?

The goal of any recognition gift or award is pretty straightforward: perceived value.

You want the recipient or honoree to attach value to whatever it is that’s being given—to recognize that his or her contribution or achievement has truly been appreciated.

And yes, you can use your own oil; but you have to be aware of that the option exists, and that the vendor you choose has the capabilities to do exactly that.

It Successfully Embedded! (But It Looks Lousy)

There are other some considerations that can also figure in this “Will it embed?” question.

These involve aesthetic issues.

For instance, the chosen shape of the Lucite could either complement or undermine the embedment; and distortion could cause your drug vial. for instance, to end up looking more like a natural gas cannister.

Also, you may have a object that does successfully embeds in Lucite.

The only problem is that, when embedded, it looks terrible.

We once faced this issue an bank wanted to embed a aircraft component manufactured by its client.

The part, we were assured, was engineered to withstand temperature extremes, and would therefore have absolutely no issues withstanding the extremely high temperatures involved in the Lucite embedment process.

Which proved to be true.

The part fully stood up to the heat.

The only issue was that, once subjected to that high heat, it looked bad; this was, after all, an internal part not intended to be seen regularly.

So if your goal is to showcase one of your (or your client’s) cherished products, is showing something in this kind of tarnished condition really the best way to do that?

And if it isn’t, what do you do instead? What’s the Plan B?

Get a True Answer for Your Custom Lucite Embedment Project

Experience and expertise can go a long way. They can insure that you do, in fact, get a correct answer to the question “Can I embed X in Lucite?”

At The Corporate Presence, we draw on more than forty years of experience in embedding objects in Lucite.

But we can also point to two other, equally important things we additionally bring to any project: design insight and production knowledge.

When it comes to embedments, we know what works—both practically and aesthetically.

We also appreciate all the challenges—and the possibilities—of the embedment process, and are ready to share them with you.

Get your project started. Reach out to us today.