1" Acrylic award plaque



Tomorrow I have the director of the National Library of Medicine (a branch of the NIH) coming to speak in a named lectureship which is named for the founder of my lab. Decided to make one of those nice thick award plaques (1") acrylic from Johnson Plastics. So first had to do the “without the bed” thing (luckily I wrote the tutorial) and used some previous scrap :proofgrade: scraps to stack up a nice 1"ish stack and then squared the piece with a carpenter’s square. I then ran into the purple button of death (movement without lasing) repeatedly. And finally found I could do it if I engraved the file without the embedded image and then load that as separate artwork (already contacted support). I couldn’t add the png as a file to the original using the add-artwork button as that threw the unhelpful “sorry and error occurred” on loading. Worked fine as its own file though. There 3D engrave looks awesome and is very deep (maybe 1/8") while the letters are way less awesome. I had run a test on the :proofgrade: clear and it looked fantastic, so not sure why that didn’t engrave as well. I did remove the masking on the top as 3D engraves don’t do as well with the masking on the acrylic. Unfortunately hard to experiment on these as they are kind of pricey to keep blowing through them to get good engrave settings (and Patti is speaking tomorrow)…


That 3D engrave is awesome! :grinning:


Well it sure came out perfectly anyway! I do hope you will stop having these kinds of issues when you get your permanent machine.


Did you eyeball the bitmap or can we do a 12x20 thing for that too? It occurs to me I’ve never tried that.

It looks great, I’m sure he’ll love it


The 3D engrave looks amazing. It all looks a little off center though. I don’t have my Glowforge yet, but is this a problem with camera alignment? Is this an example of "it would be nice to have a coordinate system to aline (0,0) in the bottom left corner?


It was eyeballed. I worked hard to make sure the center of the plaque was directly under the camera, as I didn’t want alignment issues.


Very nice work. But… “inaugural” has only one ‘n.’ So if there’s time, you may want to make this over without the misspelling.

You said you had some issues with thin lines on the letters. Maybe try sans serif fonts, like Helvetica, Franklin Gothic or News Gothic, which will not have thin lines and might engrave without the issues you mentioned.

Awesome to know that awards work on the Glowforge. And I’m even more excited to know Johnson Plastics has the material. Like them so far.


That photo engrave is exemplary! Makes me feel a little better about myself that a man of your education can misspell too. It just happened to be chiseled in stone. That’s where it would happen in my world!


I am amazed at how nice the engraving came out. If you get some time, do you think you could give some details on how to do a photo engrave on acrylic? Beautiful work. :sunglasses:


Well to be honest, I spent a whole lot of time getting the image just right (this is from a black and white image, which required a lot of photoshopping to remove the background. Then I put it on a transparent background and inverted the image (so black is white and vice versa). that last step is the key. Then I lied to the GFUI that the big block of acrylic was proofgrade clear acrylic since I have no idea how 3D engraving would work via manual, and selected the 3D engrave option and to be honest magic occurred…

Why did the spelling check not pick this up before I engraved it???:tired_face:


Looks awesome to me!


My guess is because it was committed to an expensive material, and you are in a time crunch. :grimacing:

Either a word you didn’t misspell gets replaced with a totally unrelated word, or a genuine problem slips by. :unamused:

That inverting really does wonders!


I am lamenting for you. I know what I would feel like if that happened. It does look really great, though.


And of course for the person in charge of data science for the whole NIH…:roll_eyes:


Hahaha! Of course! How could it be otherwise… :rofl:


Okay, as always, very nice.

I have to admit, I feel terrible for you about that one pesky letter on the one hand, but on the other, I feel kind of vindicated that this can happen to even the super smart and talented.


so basically you’re saying. Aha… you really are a Human, Henry, not some mutant alien ultracreative cyborg type being from the future. :slight_smile: :slight_smile:


Yeah, pretty much. :smile:


Or his cover was in danger of being blown so he added the erroneous n so we’d all think he wasn’t a mutant alien ultracreative cyborg type :sunglasses:


Well NOW my cover is blown… :thinking: