edge lit acrylic sign question

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KENYPETE
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edge lit acrylic sign question

Post by KENYPETE »

I want to make an edge lit acrylic sign approx 8 X12” that says
“ON AIR” In large block letters.
My question is, will A shallow pocket tool path of the entire letter with an end mill produce a quality result or would it
Look better using a profile v-bit cut on the vector?

Ken

Aussie
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Re: edge lit acrylic sign question

Post by Aussie »

Have you considered an engraving toolpath set to crosshatch using a diamond drag bit ? I did some "room booking" edge lit signs that turned out well.

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Tex_Lawrence
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Re: edge lit acrylic sign question

Post by Tex_Lawrence »

All you want on an edge-lit sign is an edge that extends "into" the plastic to catch the light. The plastic "can" be very thin and still show the same lit effect.
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jerry carney
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Re: edge lit acrylic sign question

Post by jerry carney »

20191216_181534-1.jpg
Used a 1/8 end mill, turned out well.
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Tex_Lawrence
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Re: edge lit acrylic sign question

Post by Tex_Lawrence »

Use the rule to cut shallower the closer you are to the light. You can find some examples where someone put two rows of two different color LEDs in the bottom. Then the intentionally deeper cut "intercepted" more of the deeper placement color LEDs giving a two color sign.
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Xxray
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Re: edge lit acrylic sign question

Post by Xxray »

Endmill is not the typical or ideal tool to use for plexi graphics, there may be some exceptions but not for lettering. Even with large letters, all the ends of the letters [except the O] will likely be clipped, do a preview and see. Also I could foresee excessive tool marks using an endmill, never used one on plexi so don't know for sure.
Keep in mind you are not really trying to cut into the acrylic but rather etch it, and the typical tools for this would be a drag bit, tapered ballnose or vbit - And don't forget to flip the graphics.

Profiling vs pocket is your choice, letters tend to look rather sparse only doing a profile, but maybe you are going for a sparse look.
Doug

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TomGB
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Re: edge lit acrylic sign question

Post by TomGB »

Agree with using the engraving toolpath and cross hatch, have had good success. Shallow depth, but make sure the Plexiglas is flat. I don't mean flat, I mean really FLAT. You etch so shallow you might miss spots otherwise.

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FixitMike
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Re: edge lit acrylic sign question

Post by FixitMike »

TomGB wrote:
Wed Sep 09, 2020 7:29 pm
Agree with using the engraving toolpath and cross hatch, have had good success. Shallow depth, but make sure the Plexiglas is flat. I don't mean flat, I mean really FLAT. You etch so shallow you might miss spots otherwise.
A diamond drag tool is usually spring loaded, so it can compensate for considerable out of flatness. I made a sample with different depths selected for the tool and there was not very much difference between them. Note that the depth for a diamond drag tool is how much the spring is compressed while marking. I've used anywhere between 25% and 50% of the total spring compression with good results.
The blocks in the bottom row are closest to the LEDs, thus brighter.
The blocks in the bottom row are closest to the LEDs, thus brighter.
Good judgement comes from experience.
Experience comes from bad judgement.

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TomGB
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Re: edge lit acrylic sign question

Post by TomGB »

Thank you Mike, could I get a suggestion for a diamond drag tool/bit?

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FixitMike
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Re: edge lit acrylic sign question

Post by FixitMike »

Mine was on E-bay. It has been years since I bought it.
Good judgement comes from experience.
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Re: edge lit acrylic sign question

Post by Aussie »

TomGB wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 12:38 pm
Thank you Mike, could I get a suggestion for a diamond drag tool/bit?
I have 60 & 90 deg drag bits... don't really see any difference in the etch, I set Z0 at no spring compression and set the depth to 3mm this works for me.

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Re: edge lit acrylic sign question

Post by Todd D »

TomGB wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 12:38 pm
Thank you Mike, could I get a suggestion for a diamond drag tool/bit?
http://www.widgetworksunlimited.com/CNC ... s_s/33.htm

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Re: edge lit acrylic sign question

Post by GEdward »

Here is another option. It is a little less expensive and the ability to " quick change " bits is pretty handy. Another nice feature is the ability to use it with the spindle on or off depending on the what bit you have in the holder.
http://cnc-aid.com/

Ed

KENYPETE
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Re: edge lit acrylic sign question

Post by KENYPETE »

Well, that was much easier than I thought.
Both were carved (engraved) at 10,000 rpm / 100 ipm.
Thanks for the advise / encouragement.

Ken
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TomGB
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Re: edge lit acrylic sign question

Post by TomGB »

OK, so I got my diamond drag bit. At this point only working on etching the Plexiglas. How much depth of cut do you use to get enough pressure, but not too much?

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