ProofGrade Projects and Pre-Release Glowforge :glowforge: Acrylic Pendant

One of the designs in the catalog that is available to me is the acrylic pendant. This would work with hardwood too. I chose the standard size and added a 300dpi bitmap of my initials using the darker engrave.

The acrylic is pristine. It’s an amazing material that just comes alive in the light. I thought I had cleaned it well enough but in the LEDs you can see the dust. This item would look good on a keychain.

The light score did an wonderful job in scoring the wavy lines around the circumference. The dance of the print head was mesmerizing.

After the whiffs of wood most of the day as I worked on kerf adjustments in tabbed boxes, the slight sweet smell of the acrylic was a surprise. Not at all like the usual burnt plastic

While I had the plastic in the bed, I whipped up a little 2" name tag that can be edge lit with some LEDs. I most likely will get some walnut blanks for the base, cut a slot for the base to insert into and route out a channel in the bottom for the lights.

This time I kept the text as outline font vectors to be able to score them. Chose the heavier score so it’s a bit deep, but from farther away it makes the text really jump out.

I didn’t take the time to jazz it up a bit like the pendant with the waves.

I would encourage everyone to work on a file such as this and have it ready to go. This will be one of those things that people will see on your desk and instantly get why you got a Glowforge.

As Dan mentioned they should still are dialing in the acrylic engrave and score. I’m pretty happy with it. Just the starts and stops have the slightest deeper score, you can see the effect in the ends of the lines under my name.

And finally, the first attempt. I was testing out resolution in the bitmaps I was going to use on the acrylic. This was a very low res jpeg of the Glowforge :glowforge:

I did a few of them and then cut a pendant. This is flipped over.

Just love the light coming through.


“The dance of the print head was mesmerizing.” Well said!


That turned out well. I know acrylic fumes are bad for you, but I love that smell. Has a lot of nostalgia in it for me. Can’t wait to have a laser that actually vents out most the harmful fumes lol


You probably did clean all the dust off, but these things will hold a static charge - and you’ll actually increase it by rubbing it clean with a cloth - so they’ll suck dust and detritus out of the air even after you’ve cleaned them.


So that could be a feature? Low-volume, passive air filtration?..

I once worked in an auto-parts warehouse as a dispatcher. One day one of the drivers comes up to the white board and snags one of those big black markers, pops the cap off, takes a huge whiff and then she says “I just love that smell.”

“Yeah, because it gets you high” I responded. She didn’t believe me.


Looks great! Gives me some ideas for a laser on warning sign with red leds…if we can hook it to to a power sensor, or easier same powers trip as GF, have it turn on when the GF is (or laser is on…)

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You joke, but this is the process by which those garbage scam ionic breeze air filters work.

bahaha. yeah for real. she must have spent a little too much time with Mr. Sketch when she was little. What an appropriate name. Mr. Sketch is the real gateway drug hahaha.

For me, I went to summer art school, and one of our classes was an acrylic workshop where we made sculptures out of it. We all spent our time making whatever we thought was meaningful, and at the end there would be a giant pile of scraps left over. I would always take whatever scraps I could get and make a giant scrap tower as big as I could make it. Somehow every year they decided to put it in the traveling show. That upset a lot of kids who spent a lot of time and thought to make theirs. My personal pieces never made it either. But those scrap monstrosities did. I never saw them again after the traveling show ended. I just assumed it fell apart somewhere along the way… haha


awesome work!

We use 99℅ alcohol at work to clean our plastics. Seems to get everything off.


It’s funny how you described it. I used to work with acrylic when I was considerably younger and as soon as you described that smell, I had a flashback.

  • Tom

Ummm really?? I hate that smell. Give me a nice hard wood laser burn smell any day…lol


Scent is powerful that way!

The smell of diesel exhaust on a cold morning brings me instant recollection of skiing as child, since all the resorts have diesel snowcats and they used to run all the lifts with big diesel generators.


Might be a good mod for future Glowforges to have a 15 amp relay that is activated when the Glowforge is on. One could hook it to an auxillary exhaust fan, indicator light etc.


A lot of people recommend against using alcohol on acrylic.

This is a video…

This is the Wikipedia entry on crazing…


that sheet breaking is mostly because of the tension, not a concern for a flat edge-lit piece like @marmak3261 has, but yeah, general rule as i know it is to never use any solvent-based cleaners on acrylic, including alcohol. Also avoid ammonia-based window cleaners like windex. Instead use mild dish-soap and a clean, wet, microfabric cloth.

There are anti-static, cleaning, and scratch-removal products available for acrylic, though. If you search youtube/google for Restoring An Acrylic Aquarium you will find plenty of technque videos and product recommendations.


I honestly don’t know what to tell you guys. We use 99℅ isopropyl alcohol day in and out on polypropylene, acrylic, and tons of others. Never had a bad reaction or any scuffing. Everytime before I weld I wipe down the area and the rod. Also all our acrylic and plexiglass units get wiped down to before shipping. No returns yet for the above reasons.

Not trying to be a dick, just my experience.


just like soldering lead tin solder…Fumes are bad for you, but I do enjoy them in moderation :slight_smile:


The “general rule” I mention above came from the “care for your product” pages of a variety of plexiglas-based-product manufacturers… also from the manufacturers of some of the cleaning products (who, let’s face it, are probably biased :slight_smile:)

It sounds like you have much more experience working with acrylic than I do. I’ve certainly never welded it. Maybe one of the chemist/material-science folk will step in with a more complete answer. I’m genuinley curious, because I like to always know “best practice” for stuff I’m doing, and I plan to work with acrylic when the GF arrives.

I use (lots of) 99% isopropyl when I prep a vehicle for being wrapped (after it has been washed and dried), and I used to have to supply large boxes of alcohol wipes for our trimmers, back when I worked for an MMJ warehouse, because it was the only good way to clean resinous deposits from the scissors they used, from their hands, from the lightswitch, from the stereo.


Bestine(rubber cement thinner) is what we use for acrylic, Alcohol can do bad stuff

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