So ive wanted to do some kind of edge lit acrylic sign for a while. I love the light up stuff and I wanted to try to make it all myself (engrave/enclosure). The other goal was to hide the wires/control boxes as much as possible and maybe even run a battery pack but this attempt was made with a powered 12 volt led strip.
I bought a diamond drag bit off ebay a 90 Deg 1/4 spring loaded. This was my 1st attempt with some really really thin material off amazon that ended being PETG not even acrylic. It was so thin it was flexing while I was engraving it. I carved this with vectors flipped on the back as I read if you do it this way it looks better. I had a cheapo remote controlled led strip that had a smaller inline controller/driver from amazon. Did my best to pocket it and stuff everything in the frame. The wood was edge glued nothing fancy but big/flat. The results were not totally horrible.
- But without having anything behind the glass you couldnt see what it was when I hung it on our wall.
- I had no type of diffuser on the leds.
- The material was not cast acrylic and also really really thin.
- I also might of been overkill on the piece with 4 strips facing the engraved image.
- I really hate seeing the wire hanging down
- I noticed it looked alot better with a black background…note it sitting on my stove.
Just for the hell of it I tried spray painting the back of the thin acrylic black in hopes the engraved image would be more obvious but it backfired. Maybe it was because the image was engraved on the back or that it was too thin. But that ended up in a failure and ruined the whole thin petg anyways…
I grabbed some new 1/8 thick acrylic from Home Depot as I didnt want to wait to have something shipped, I believe this was a mistake as its always Extruded from the big box stores. I tried re using the same frame and just rattle canned it black because idk I felt like it lol. I went with a simple silhouette from a certain movie about Stepbrothers. This time I used my black wasted PETG piece as a background and it seemed to help. Its was still wicked bridge so I cut all but one LED strip on the bottom and then it was a bit too dark (My 2nd mistake not using some kind of diffuser instead).
Its not bad but a few things:
- I need to get real cast material
- Want to figure out a small compact battery setup that will last at least a few days of being left on
- I got to figure out some kind of easy to cut backing material so you can see that images being lit up.