I’ve wanted to mess around with edge lit acrylics and finally got the chance recently. I ordered this on amazon, just to have something to start with before building my own. The base is slightly wider then medium proofgrade acrylic. I just used some gorilla tape on either side to even it out.
I wanted to see how the brightness translated across the part. I was worried that the far ends might not be as bright, or that a closer feature could block light from a farther feature. So, I made a test part.
Here it is all lit up.
It all lit up great! I didn’t really have any issues with light fading or features blocking the light! The next thing I wanted to test was coloring in some of the engravings. I tried a few different options.
I tried several different types of markers. The ones that worked best were the ones that tended to bleed. This helped saturate the engraving to edges.
The ones I’ve circled were done with different types of markers. It works, and they look okay. But I wasn’t fully satisfied with them.
Next up was some acrylic paint.
I filled the engraving with paint. This would have probably been easier if I did this before I removed the masking. It looked great when it wasn’t lit up. Unfortunately, the paint blocked the light from coming through, reducing the effect.
My favorite, and what I think worked the best… Crayons. Yup, simple Crayola crayons.
I started with red first. It worked so well, I decided to try some other colors. I went with black, to see how this would look lit up, and green… because Christmas?
The colors really pop, and you can still see them when they are lit up. I basically just ran the crayons over the engravings until it was filled, then I wiped off any excess off the surface. It came off clean with a dry paper towel. This one looked the best, but I still wasn’t 100% satisfied.
I showed it to my wife. She said it looked okay. Then she asked me, “Did you melt it?” … … … …
Well, I took
a heat gun my wife’s hair dryer (I really need to get a heat gun one of these days) to it. There was a slight mishap with the T; a drop of molten crayon came out, because I had the speed too high. Otherwise, it looks fantastic!
The crayon melted, redistributed and evened out! I really like this effect, now I just need to find something to use it on!
Has anyone else tried to color fill there edge-lit acrylics? What worked for you?