Acrylic Suncatcher

acrylic
plywood

#1

Alright I’ve been away for a while creating non-glowforgey things but I just made this suncatcher and wanted to share.

I could have done a better job on the glue-up but all in all it came out pretty decent.

About 3,5 hours on GF in engraving as I used 2 layers of plywood, both with recessed (or rabbet joints) that is half the thickness of the plywood so that the acrylic would just be cut and laid between the 2 layers.

I didn’t leave enough room between some of the acrylic pieces for the glue to lay down so it ran over on the underside and ended up on some of the edges of the acrylic which could be seen. So I need to adjust those widths for next time. Mind you, I’m only talking a couple MM here.

The only thing with using the acrylic is that its flat… no texture to it like normal stained glass would have.

Question:
Anyone know of this is such a thing as textured acrylic?
If not, anyone tried cutter glass with the GF?

But it does reflect the light and the colors are visible in said reflection.

GF shop is very limited on their translucent or transparent color choices so I will be buying more from Inventables for future versions… and I know they have some glitter acrylic which might be a nice addition to these.

I’ve started a YouTube channel recently… only one video so far, but many more to come. A video of the making of this will be up at some point. I have a few videos I need to create first. I’ll comment when its published though. Or you could just subscribe (hint hint)! Thanks!


#2

Very perky! :grinning:
(Love the color choices!)


#3

The only colors GF shop has in transparent! :grin:


#4

This is beautiful …and inspiring. Spring is indeed coming!


#5

Could you engrave a texture on the acrylic with the glowforge?


#6

Not sure if kosher to make vendor recommendations, but Delvie’s I think is better than Inventables for acrylic except for some of the really niche, pricey styles.

BTW-- any way for you to take a shot of a closer view of your rabbet joint? I’m only familiar with it for connecting perpendicular corners.


#7

No because then it would stop the light from coming thru where the engraving is.

Only thing I think I could do would be to create my own texture and use a vacuum forming method to get the shape… but then this could lead to issues around the edges of the acrylic pieces that I cut out… as they would not be flat… unless I vacuum formed only the inner area of each part… which would just be a lot of work.


#8

Thanks for the vendor info… I will check them out.

As for the rabbet joint, here’s some screen caps from my video…

Basically I’m engraving half the thickness of the plywood

Its a very slight rabbet… just enough to hold the acrylic pieces up and not fall through the opening.

A piece before being inserted.

And after.

I engraved 2 layers of the plywood, one mirrored.

Flip over mirrored side and…

Lay on top of other side to sandwich the acrylic layers between them… as they lay in the rabbet joints (or recessed area). And glued together before sandwiching them.


#9

Why not add your own ?
Suggestion/thought experiment
Find a piece of textured glass, coat with a thin layer of release agent, pour over thin layer of colourless acrylic casting resin, then lay your cut out pieces, wherever you choose, on top.
You would have to clean up the edges, or possibly run the pieces through :glowforge: again using a jig you made, etc.

:upside_down_face:


#10

Love the final project!!! I wonder if you could use acetone (or Toluene, xylenes, n-butyl acetate, dichloromethane, methyl ethyl ketone, methyl isobutyl ketone) in drops or drops on acrylic to create any textures… ?) :thinking:


#11

I think I’d worry about crazing or clouding the surface using a solvent, but perhaps a viscous mix, as per diy acrylic glue might work.

:upside_down_face:


#12

Yeah I thought about this too… in fact, I have more non-laser projects that I will be working on that will use this method… using colored epoxy resin.

The purpose of this suncatcher project was to find the fastest and easiest method, using the GF to create these for selling at craft shows. As it stands the engraving time is at over 3 hours which I’m not too happy about but at least I can have the GF engrave one while I work on another.


#13

I haven’t thought about this… this may be something to look into… thanks for the suggestion!

@johnbrooker That is a good point about the clouding… but still I may look into the options available… including the acrylic glue.


#14

I should note that I do plan on making at least 3 more designs and multiples of each for selling at crafts shows… so I’m glad everyone is liking this project and making suggestions.

Thanks!


#15

May I make another suggestion re reducing the wood prep time.
Have you considered making the wood part from a sandwich of two layers of veneer outside a centre cut middle ?

:upside_down_face:


#16

Hmm… I have not… but my only concern with that is the thickness of the veneer not being enough… it may hold the pieces in place but if it was dropped on the ground I don’t see it lasting. Then again, some of my center lines between the acrylic are pretty thin too… so dropping it as is may break fairly easily too.

But damn, that would certainly cut time down to probably less than 15-20mins total cut time.


#17

I have made fan sticks in the past (and will continue to do so) from two layers of veneer that were glued to each other. The slight difference in the grain effectively gives you the strength of 2-ply, but being the same wood, you don’t get the appearance at the edges of different colours of normal plywood.

:upside_down_face:
EDIT In my previous post, I should have been a little clearer that there are two layers of veneer on each face.


#18

Gotcha… do you have any photos of these fan sticks?

But then with the veneer, while making things faster, would also up the cost of supplies used. But I guess if you factor in GF/machine time (usage price per hour $5-10 is what I’ve heard others may charge), it may come out the same.


#19

You did a wonderful job on this. You are very talented.


#20

Wow… thanks!