Not at all. This was my process:
The entire piece consists of six layers of 1/8" acrylic sheeting (including the front and back clear full sheets) making it 3/4" thick in total. It is 4’ x 6’ after cutting down the full sheets which were originally 4’ x 8’.
It consists of (back to front):
- Back clear acrylic sheet layer
- Blue Transparent Cloud / smallest (background) balloon layer
- White Translucent Cloud layer (it intentionally appears a light blue from showing the color in the layer behind it)
- White Opaque Cloud / medium balloon layer
- Largest balloon / Logo w/text layer
- Front clear acrylic sheet layer
I wanted to show that the piece has depth, so I supported the balloons that overlap the layers behind the layer they sit on with small clear acrylic spacers that are in hidden locations, and the front acrylic piece with spacers to match the 3/4" dimension. The red vinyl finish not only covered the hardware used to attach the piece to the wall, but the spacers that keep the front full acrylic sheet from collapsing into a layer behind where I wanted it to sit.
The small balloons and typeface were able to be cut from single pieces of acrylic. The large balloon was too big to cut from a single piece, so I designed it in two pieces with dovetail attachment points, cut them using the bypass, and welded them together. This was the only piece I used using the bypass (I’m still not wholly comfortable using it yet.)
The white opaque cloud layer is three separate pieces cut (also with dovetail attachment points) and welded together side by side. The white translucent and blue transparent cloud layers are six separate pieces, also cut and welded 3 together side by side and then 3 below to support the layer that sits on top of it.
To cut down on the weight of the piece, the white translucent cloud layer and the blue transparent cloud layer have cut-outs hidden in the 3 supporting pieces below the layer above it. This allowed them to sit on something for attachment and alignment, but reduced the overall weight considerably. This ended up being a wise decision because the piece was a beast during installation.
I assembled the entire piece starting with the back layer, and then welded each layer on top, careful to sand/polish/clean each weld point before moving on to the next layer. Before adding the top layer, I added the spacer points around the outside edge to support it. I then finished the piece by welding acrylic strips to the outside edge. This provided additional support and enclosed the piece to keep out dust and dirt, which is really important in a clinical/hospital setting.
After letting the welds cure to full strength, the piece was installed and I followed up afterwards by trimming it with the red vinyl.
All in all, the piece took about four weeks. I wanted to make certain that each layer/ each welded section was at full strength before moving on to the next section. The cloud layers and large balloon were welded and at full strength before the final assembly.
I hope this helps. Let me know if there is anything else you would like to know.