Beta Project: Racing Volunteer Awards



Here is the second project I did last week. One of my office-mates, who has generously listened to me lasering things for the last two months without complaint, asked if I would help him make some volunteer awards for a racing group he is active in. We decided to use 1/4" acrylic to give them a nice hefty feel. He then made a simple wood base for each and mounted two LED lights underneath. The lights give the awards an internal glow that really highlights the engraved areas.

This project went pretty smoothly. We had to take a couple of tries at getting the resolution right. At first I tried using a lower resolution (125 lpi) to speed the engrave time, but I found it looked a little too pixelated. We were happy with the smoother look of 195 lpi, which still let us shave a little time off of the default setting.

We were both thrilled with the results. My office mate said the awards looked better than the professionally made ones they gave to the racers. Next year maybe they should make them all with a Glowforge. :slight_smile:


Thanks @maryellen!

I can’t really tell which direction you took on these, but I’m wondering if you or anyone has experimented with engraving the front of something like this vs reverse engraving the back and then turning it around. Does either approach end up looking better or reacting better with the under lighting?


Those are awesome. One of my first projects is a trophy for the dept fantasy football pool. Which I’m sure will just be coming back to me for my desk, as soon as I start making my comeback, currently last place. Maybe I should make a last place winner trophy as well.


Hi @mheiselt. For these we engraved the front. I hadn’t really thought about the possibilities of engraving the back with a clear material. I am going to give that a try.


Those look great, @maryellen ! Just a question about one of them, though… the plaque for Jen Modjeska, is that a camera apparition along the “S” in CASCADIA, from the top to the bottom? It looks darker, not sure if it might be prior to cleaning it up…?


These are just wonderful and right up my alley for the types of things I will want to do, myself. Great job and thanks for sharing.


@Maryellen, I love these. It is nice to see some engraving from the GF, and the LEDs do really make the engraving stand out. Thank you for sharing this! - Rich


Depending on how deep you engrave, if you do it from the back, it gives the illusion of the image “floating” or punching forward within the acrylic if that makes sense.

I like shallow etch on the back so there arent any shadows and the frosted part lights up brightly.

Engraving the front looks flat (not glossy) in my opinion.


Well done! I think those all turned out very cool! :slight_smile:


Makes perfect sense. Plus, canted back at a slight angle would help keep dust out of the engraving.
Valuable input Laser Lady! Thank you!

Very nice @maryellen!
May I ask what battery powered LED units you/he chose to use?
The settings used will be very helpful! Thank you so much for sharing your efforts - and technique!


As a reminder, @maryellen and the beta team aren’t able to answer questions about quality, performance, etc - which is I believe what you’re getting at. (I have no idea if that’s an engraving artifact or shadow either).




I find that’s true as well. The other benefit is that the front doesn’t get marred and looks very cleanly polished. The back etches don’t seem to collect dust as much either vs a front etch although that could just be me seeing what I want to see for justification :slight_smile: I did 50 like this for a submariner’s reunion this summer but also did 100 challenge coins with the etch on the front. That provided a textural rub to it like a worry stone.


This is great! I never even thought of making awards.


I think if you look closely, you can see that the “stripe” appears to run down the entire sign (including the unengraved parts). That would lead me to believe this is some sort of shadow on the image rather than anything in the design. Just my opinion


What is the power source for the leds? ( I think I’m allowed to ask that…?).


I’m afraid I can’t answer that question because I didn’t put it together after printing. My friend just picked up small battery powered LED lights from the hardware that looked like they would fit, and doesn’t remember any specifics.


Thank you.
Looking forward to more inspiration from you!


So, this is just one example of a project that will save me time and money every year when it comes to community recognition. A gift card just isn’t enough.


If you look closely at all 3 there appears to be inconsistent laser power as several areas appear to have highs and lows. This could be incomplete cleaning of the acrylic post engraving, but it does look like inconsistencies. I wonder due to how this appears if it is related to the download of the design. Is it all at once and then engraved, or is it streamed to the printer during engraving? I know these questions can’t be answered by the GF team or beta testers, but wonder what others think.

For example examine the SH in Ashley and the R in Registration on Ashley’s plate, in addition to the other areas already mentioned.