Author Topic: Text engraving on 3/8 thick clear acrylic  (Read 1827 times)

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Text engraving on 3/8 thick clear acrylic
« on: January 07, 2017, 05:24:50 PM »
It's still a work in progress, but I wanted to share early proof of concept testing!

I wanted to see if my 1.6 watt laser could engrave Text on 3/8 thick clear acrylic such that I could insert the acrylic plate into a white LED base and light up the text. I'm interested in making award plaques using 6x6 inch acrylic 3/8 thick. The LED strips are 3/8 inches thick.

I'm attaching my first test results. It's just test data to validate if the laser burning will light up at all by the LED white lights...and the answer is Yes indeed it certainly does...!!!

Software used was BCL.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2017, 05:26:09 PM by Administrator »
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http://www.BenCutLaser.us/BenCutLaserSetup2.5b.exe.zip
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wild.bill

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Re: Text engraving on 3/8 thick clear acrylic
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2017, 05:50:13 PM »
Don't know if you tried the method of etching glass, by putting some copy paper on top and wetting it down? I have used this on glass and had to de-focus the laser a little. It heats the surface rather than letting the light just go through.
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Re: Text engraving on 3/8 thick clear acrylic
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2017, 06:18:54 PM »
BCL doesn't do graphics engraving yet...it's on the to do list however...right now I'm just laser burning text onto this acrylic...BCL does beautiful text surface burning.
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wild.bill

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Re: Text engraving on 3/8 thick clear acrylic
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2017, 06:32:21 PM »
The image was very small which could make it look like a graphic imabe, but it was from a vector file.
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nottingham82

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Re: Text engraving on 3/8 thick clear acrylic
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2017, 06:59:37 PM »
nice work bill and ralph both good results.  I had given up on glass.  Maybe i'll give it another go with a defocus.
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Zax

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Re: Text engraving on 3/8 thick clear acrylic
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2017, 05:06:22 AM »
Both impressive results with a 445nm laser.

For the acrylic edge lighting, this is a pretty standard technique for signs and you can buy cheap bases to insert the panel.

jtice

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Re: Text engraving on 3/8 thick clear acrylic
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2017, 07:28:51 AM »
Very cool, this is something I have been wanting to do.
I did a quick test on some plexi, but my laser burned the table under the plexi and did nothing to the plexi. haha

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Re: Text engraving on 3/8 thick clear acrylic
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2017, 09:00:41 AM »
Very cool, this is something I have been wanting to do.
I did a quick test on some plexi, but my laser burned the table under the plexi and did nothing to the plexi. haha

Correct! That is what happens if you try to laser burn on the clear acrylic...the beam passes right through it and burns on your waste board!

However, there is a trick: leave the sticky protective paper on the acrylic and laser on that. Then you'll be able to burn onto the surface of the acrylic!
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ggallant571

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Re: Text engraving on 3/8 thick clear acrylic
« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2017, 09:44:09 AM »
Is the paper on the bottom or top?
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Re: Text engraving on 3/8 thick clear acrylic
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2017, 09:46:29 AM »
Is the paper on the bottom or top?

It's on both sides. Take your pick.
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ggallant571

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Re: Text engraving on 3/8 thick clear acrylic
« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2017, 10:31:05 AM »
When you etch do you remove any backing paper?
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Re: Text engraving on 3/8 thick clear acrylic
« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2017, 10:55:33 AM »
When you etch do you remove any backing paper?

No, laser burn right onto the paper (on the top)...then peel it away when finished...the paper is enough of a barrier to stop the beam from reaching the 'bottom' side of the acrylic and it just burns on the upper surface.

I wasn't sure how or if it would work but it did.

The other 'secret', if you want to call it that, is that the side you're burning on, becomes the back side of the plate when places into the LED light base. This means you have to mirror your text (BCL has this feature) when burning it in order to have it light up nicely when displayed. In other words, when sitting in the display, the burning is one the 'back side' of the acrylic.
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wild.bill

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Re: Text engraving on 3/8 thick clear acrylic
« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2017, 11:00:26 AM »
What you are describing is basically the same thing I was saying. When there is no backing paper (like with glass) you can put printer paper down and use that the same way. By spraying the paper with water will make it stick to the surface flat.
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Colka

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Re: Text engraving on 3/8 thick clear acrylic
« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2017, 11:22:47 AM »
I have also heard you can use masking tape over the area you wish to etch haven't tried it myself yet. it also supposed to help to stop the charring effect on the edges when cutting wood. still untested though myself

wild.bill

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Re: Text engraving on 3/8 thick clear acrylic
« Reply #14 on: January 08, 2017, 11:28:11 AM »
Just make sure its wide tape, you don't want a seam or overlap where the laser is cutting because it will become visible.
Hey Laser Lips, Your mother was a snowblower
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Laser: A3 2.0w TTL L6 Z axis
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