Instructables

How to etch into plexi glass

I made a tutorial on how to light up etches but not how to do the actual etching itself. I will have a few tie ins on how to light it up but if you want more info on how to light it up check out my other tutorial.
 
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Step 1: Design

Picture of design
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get a design I used the thundercats logo. then blew it up by drawing it myself!! then taped it to the piece of plexi glass. then I hand etched it using an cordless dremel tool. when etching alway try to go down and left this will get a cleaner and deeper cut. notice in the picture the logo in backwards?! this is because I want the cut into half on the back so when flipped around the logo is the right way.

Step 2: Cleaning up

now that the etching is done time to make the plexi glass look as good as possible to do this you will need WARM not hot water, rubbing alcohol, windex, dish soap, and simple green (not needed but this stuff is awesome!!) make sure that the protective plastic coat is taken off. as mentioned before make sure the water is warm not hot, if the water is to hot you will end up warping the plexi glass. now mix all those thinks in a big bowl the quantities aren't that important. now soak the plexi glass in you concoction of cleaners. get a rag and star rubbing both sides of the plexi glass after you think you have the plexi clean do a gentle rinse down with first warm then cold water.after that take some paper towels and lay them down then on top of that more paper towels and dry it off.

Step 3: Tie in with other tutorial

Picture of tie in with other tutorial
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read up on the other tutorial to gain a better understanding of how -to all I did was slide the plexi in the pvc and glued it then put the light in and glued it on both sides then glued the circuit board on top.
pooh14852 years ago
Great work, I have been in the sign industry for 25 years, and making these things for years, but instead of using a standard dremal tool try a dremal tool marking etcher it does not spin the bit it reciprocates in and out. Just dont press very hard and break the plex. I've found that 1/4" plex accepts the tool very well, without breakage, and recieves the lighting very good. I always used leds, 1 for every inch of lenght across the bottom of plex. I will follow and post some of my pictures soon. Still a great job!!!
goldedrago2 years ago
dude!you have the same exact ingraving tool as me!!!!lol
Ganoderma2 years ago
Now I'm wishing I had one of those mouses that work on glass/acrylic to make an awesome mouse pad ;)
Dr Qui3 years ago
Nice job, I modded my cheapo tape measure with a Thundercats logo. I figured that Panthor must have have had a tape measure when working on all those crazy machines of his.
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Tobita5 years ago
na na na na na na na, thunder cats are loose!!!
Belcher10355 years ago
As a general rule, mixing a "concoction of cleaners" is usually a bad idea unless you know what you're doing. An unexpected cloud of toxic fumes can ruin your weekend. That Thundercats logo looks pretty tight, though.
slimguy379 (author)  Belcher10355 years ago
well I've used that "concoction" before so thats why I put it in the tutorial BECAUSE i know that its safe!!
Now don't take this the wrong way, but you really shouldn't mix household chemical cleaners.. And I'm not saying your "concoction" doesn't work but, lots of household cleaners contain chemicals which will attack and damage acrylic plastic, whether it's hazing, pitting, scratching, cracking, discoloring, etc. (( And Windex is one of them that will affect and, haze acrylic over time )) For cleaning acrylic plastic just use warm / hot water and T.S.P. ((Tri-Sodium Phosphate (( it's in the paint section at wal-mart and most hardware stores, A box of TSP is also cheaper then a bottle of windex and it will make gallons of cleaner once mixed )) Just read the directions on the box, for glass cleaner, toss on some gloves and it'll clean Acrylic glass, Plexiglass, Lexan, Luicite, etc great.. Works good on walls and windows as well.. And if you have one of those microfiber clothes they work the best with this solution, but any clean rag will work..
wow I didn't know that!! great advice.
I didn't know about the windex/acrylic thing. Which chem in the windex is the culprit, if you know? I don't buy commercial window cleaners, make my own instead. Just curious 'tis all.
You bet I know... It's Ammonia, commonly found in most Glass cleaners and chicken poop.. And the effects can be noticed after the first time you use it, if your really looking for it... But after using it a few times it will be hazed and noticeable, especially when you edge light it...... I like TSP and water, but I often use a simple soap and warm water mix on plastic it works great, it's cheap, safe, environmentally friendly, you don't need gloves with the soap and water mix and it's effective..... You can also use windex to strip acrylic paint if you want....
darkmuskrat5 years ago
I did something similar and it was way simpler than this.
*using a CNC machine(u could do it by hand but it would be hard*
get 2 sheets of plexiglass and cut the logo into each side(mirror it) and sandwich them together.
when you shine light through it it should highlight the logo really well
(it just seems easier because my way took me under 10 minutes from beginning to end)
benthekahn5 years ago
May I use this idea to make an Instructable with smaller pieces of plexi-glass (about 1.5"/1.5") and a track to hold the pieces? I will give you credit for the idea.
Mr. Rig It5 years ago
I think this could use a little more work. You only actually have one step of etching the plexi and it is very vauge on how to do it. Can you add more steps like tools and safety equipment? Also how deep do you etch into the plexi etc. You may want to add a link to your other instructable to make it easier for your reader to find it. I like this but I think there is room for improvement. You have peaked my intrest and I may actaully make something like this.
just check out my ible on plexi etching; i posted the link in my earlier post.
i agree. this is more of a "look what i did" than an instructable
implaxis5 years ago
Also, if you are referencing another instructable you should include the link in the instructions rather than have people have to hunt for it.
tech-king5 years ago
good ible, but i already did an ible on the actual dremel-based etching process. here it is.
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