To create the sign, I used CorelDraw to draw the outlines of the letters, surrounded them in a rectangular box and surrounded that box in a rectangular box with rounded corners. I used a laser cutter to cut out the pattern on black acrylic and a second time in white acrylic. I then swapped the various parts to create a sign with black letters against a white background in a black frame and a sign with white letters, against a black background, in a white frame.
You can use this technique to make create really nice desk signs with lots of interesting designs.
I made this at TechShop.
Step 1: Materials and Tools
- Black acrylic, 1/8" thick, 11" x 7"
- White acrylic, 1/8" thick, 11" x 7"
- Any color acrylic, 1/4" thick, 10" x 8"
- Acrylic cement (pictured above) - I used #16 Weldon Cement.
- Fine tip for the cement tube
- Laser cutter (I used a 45 watt Epilog Helix laser cutter). I assume in this instructable you know how to use a laser cutter.
Step 2: Cut the Acrylic
- Vector: Speed 10, Power 90, Frequency 2500
- Vector: Speed 6, Power 90, Frequency 5000
Step 3: Remove the Protective Paper
Step 4: Cement the Outer Frame
- Insert the black back into jig as shown in the first photo. Using the jig will help you align the pieces.
- Using the fine tip on the tube of cement, lay down a small line of cement on around the edge of the back piece as shown in yellow in the second photo.
- Place the black outer frame on top of the back piece as shown in the third photo and gently press down for about a minute. You should lower the frame onto the back piece - don't slide it in from the end.
Step 5: Attach the Letters Frame
- Apply the cement that will adhere the letters frame to the back piece as shown yellow in the first photo.
- Lower the letters frame onto the back piece as shown in the second photo and gently press down on it for about a minute.
Step 6: Cement the Letters
- Carefully put small amounts of cement on the back piece in the cutout for the letter as shown in the first photo. The cement chemically melts the acrylic, so be very careful not to get cement on the letters frame - if you do, you won't be able to remove it and if you try to rub it off, you'll ruin the surface.
- Carefully place the letter into cutout and gently press down for about a minute.
After cementing all the letters, remove the jig and you'll have a sign that looks like the second photo.
Repeat steps 4 - 6 for the white back, white outer frame, black letters frame, and white letters.
Wait 30 minutes to an hour before proceeding to the next step.