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IndustryArena Forum > General Manufacturing Processes > Milling > Filling Light up Plexi Pocket with something that glows/catches light
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  1. #1
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    Filling Light up Plexi Pocket with something that glows/catches light

    I am making a 2' square light up sign out of 1/2" plexiglass.
    The design is a Clemson 'paw' cut with a 6mm bit.
    The pocket floors are sloped so I can put LED's around the plexiglass edges which will allow light to hit all parts of the pockets.

    The cutting is done and the pockets look good except the floors... because the pockets are sloped, the bit left scars in places where it stepped over and also where it made sharp turns.
    Lighting it now would work, but I want to get rid of the floor scars so it doesnt look so rough.
    I already tried a 0.1mm cleaning pass, just not gonna get a uniform finish on a slope without a fine ball-mill... maybe.

    I tried painting it with a flat white latex paint, but it didnt have the effect of glowing like I had hoped... just not translucent enough.
    So I removed that and am looking for some help.

    What can I put in the pockets so that it glows/lights up with led's?
    I am thinking something like a table epoxy with a filler or anything similar to frosted glass that really catches the light.

  2. #2
    Community Moderator Jim Dawson's Avatar
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    Re: Filling Light up Plexi Pocket with something that glows/catches light

    Google ''edge lighting plexiglass'' lots of videos and techniques. Somewhere I saw acrylic casting resin with glass beads in it for doing something like this.
    Jim Dawson
    Sandy, Oregon, USA

  3. #3
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    Re: Filling Light up Plexi Pocket with something that glows/catches light

    Been through over 5-pages of search results... nadda

  4. #4
    Community Moderator Jim Dawson's Avatar
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    Re: Filling Light up Plexi Pocket with something that glows/catches light

    From what you describe, it sounds like you cut way too deep on the pattern. The best results would be with a V or small ball cutter and and maybe about 1mm max depth. Large flat areas could be done with a flat cutter, but to avoid step over marking the machine would need to be trammed in properly. Sounds like some experimenting would be needed to achieve the best result. Playing with speeds & feeds, as well as step overs would be how I would attack this problem.

    I'm not really sure you can fix the steps optically, they are just going to show up because of the refraction. Just guessing here, but it might be possible to flame polish if the steps are small enough then fill with castable acrylic with glass beads in it for the reflectiveness. Not sure how that would come out. Maybe just sanding out the steps would be possible, maybe sandblasting?

    Tap Plastics, and I'm sure others, sell acrylic sheets with glass beads cast in to it just for making side lighted displays.
    Jim Dawson
    Sandy, Oregon, USA

  5. #5
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    Re: Filling Light up Plexi Pocket with something that glows/catches light

    Well theres nothing really to fix... if anything I could use more scoring on the pocket floors.
    I want the acrylic to remain clear, and just the pockets to glow.
    Something like epoxy with microspheres

  6. #6
    Community Moderator Jim Dawson's Avatar
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    Re: Filling Light up Plexi Pocket with something that glows/catches light

    Ah, I understand now. I also forgot that the glass beads were called microspheres. So I think some castable acrylic with microspheres in it would do what you want.
    Jim Dawson
    Sandy, Oregon, USA

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