Inventables Lucite

I’ve played with Proofgrade acrylic (clear, frosted, and opaque) and touched on their light-guided properties a little, but I had some Inventables lucite that I had purchased for playing with edge-lit designs. There are pros and cons.

It is thicker, so engraving the bottom to be thin enough for most edge-lighting bases is essential. This actually works very well.

Now I had absolutely no idea what I was doing with this. I just started playing with design ideas.

I worked out to try scoring my graphic, engraving the base to narrow it, then cutting the outline.

I loved watching the score detail come in.

So I finished the scoring, the engraves, and the cut. Enter light:

(Apparently, the videos are still converting, never used Vimeo before.)

Things I learned:

  • Try to make the cut outline perfectly symmetrical on the vertical axis,
  • Better 2-3 engrave passes to thin the base than to overdo it.
  • Always cut the outline after any engraves that touch the edge, even if it was cut out before. The engrave can melt some into the previous cut.
  • Full power score at 200-300 speed works pretty well.
  • Lucite is VERY clear and VERY dense. Multiple passes will probably be needed for the cut. Watch the cut until you can see backflash from the entire outline, then you know it is cut through.
  • Plastic razor blades are very helpful for removing masking. It peels very easily if you get an edge, and it has to be cut to tear. it leaves the resulting area VERY clear. (Especially in the video, you can see some areas that have masking still compared to areas that are peeled. It is very easy to see.)

You can avoid this by doing a two stage cut. Wrap your entire piece in a vertically symmetrical shape (rectangles work nicely).

Engrave side 1. Cut rectangle out.


Engrave side 2. Cut final shape out of the rectangle.

Tahdah, no need to have vertical symmetry in your final shape.


Good point. That is a lot of extra cut lines, of course, but potentially worthwhile.

Is that the Light Guiding stuff? I bought a sheet of that with my gift code and still have done nothing with it. How would you say it compares with Proofgrade for edge lighting?

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That’s the stuff. I haven’t done a side-by-side comparison, but I think the Lucite has less surface bleed on the light for non-engraved areas. Without a side-by-side, it’s an estimate.

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I also have a sheet of this and I also have not done anything with it. Such a fancy name…makes me curious if it’s got anything that Proofgrade doesn’t have.

I tried using some of the Light Guide acrylic for an edge lit project I haven’t shared yet. It has fine particles suspended that diffuse light across the entire surface. In practice, that seemed to decrease contrast between the panel and the engraved area. I ended up liking the effect with the Proofgrade better.

It would be good where you want a general glow of the whole panel surface, like in the lotus sculpture @hypher shared over the summer:


I appreciate seeing your results. I’ve enjoyed the results with the Proofgrade clear acrylic, so not compelled to buy yet another product. Still nice to learn about another product.