Edge Lit Acrylic

Today’s edge-lit acrylic attempt was a great success with minimal failure. I ran the laser on proof grade acrylic on the recommended settings. The mistake here was leaving the paper backing on the acrylic. It was impossible to remove the paper from the fine detail portions of my engraving. It was almost as if the paper was melted into the acrylic. No matter what I tried I couldn’t get it off. I will try to soak that sheet in water overnight to see if the paper can be removed in the morning.

For my second attempt, I removed the paper from the front of the acrylic and kept it on the back. This was a success. In some places, the lines in the art were very thin and didn’t get engraved, but overall it looks awesome.

I look forward to making more edge-lit designs. My daughter has requested a portrait of our dog with a moon above. The bar has been raised.

I purchased my LED pucks with remote controls from Amazon:



There’s nothing in the PG masking paper that should melt, to my knowledge. I’d try a good scrub with an old toothbrush and some toothpaste. (Toothpaste is good for polishing off any foggy spots you get from cutting/engraving unmasked acrylic, too!)


Oh that’s a cool looking jellyfish! :sunglasses:


Love the detail in that one.


That’s really lovely! You have now joined the burgeoning ranks of LED edge lit creators. Nothing quite like it.


Wow, that’s gorgeous!!


Is that original art? wow. just wow. what an awesome piece of work.


The amazon ad says to buy 3/16th acrylic for those lamp bases. What size did you use?

No, unfortunately, it’s not original art work. But, now that I know what is possible I will try to make something original.

I’m using 1/8". There is an ever so slightl wiggle. But it still stands up straight on its own.

its still an awesome piece. not an artist myself, I’m always using someone else’s art. :slightly_frowning_face: :anguished: I’ve had the idea to make myself a edge lit cubicle sign to make me coworkers jealous or maybe to be obnoxious (probably). I can fit it with a couple less on the edge and a few coin batteries behind. The light won’t last log, but … it doesn’t need to. :smiley:



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Good looking jellyfish.


Thank you everyone for your positive comments and feedback. Much appreciated. You have given me the encouragement to do something cooler. :star_struck:


I wouldn’t doo too much now as it has no masking tape to it anymore! A quick advice would be just after it finishes the engraving/cutting, do what geek2nurse said with a toothbrush, gentle scrub to remove few pcs and bits that may still be there!

Then, remove the masking tape! Clear acrylic is very easy to scratch and you won’t want it to happen when you will lid it up and show all the scratches around the art! :slight_smile:
Well done!

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The photo posted above is my second attempt without the paper backing. Thank you for your advice.

What a perfect design for edge lighting!


Very nice! The glow is perfect for a jellyfish.

I almost always remove masking when engraving acrylic. The masking doesn’t melt, but the acrylic does and when you have detailed engraving close together the melted acrylic can grab onto the edges of the masking. FWIW, masking shouldn’t be needed anyway since it won’t stain. Just be careful in cleaning it as stuff like alcohol and other chemicals can cause crazing and ruin it.


Thank you for the insight. I used a cloth to wipe away the acrylic dust that was left over after the engraving.

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A method I use for removing small pieces of protective paper is using a piece of Gorilla Duct tape, the sticky side towards the work. Press it down on your work and peel up. Repeat as necessary.