ProofGrade Projects and Pre-Release Glowforge :glowforge: mini acrylic LED sign

Looks great! I appreciate all the detail you put into your project posts.


Very much enjoyed the detailed steps, concept references and intermediate pictures of the process.:sunglasses:


Awesome-sauce! Definitely one of the projects I’m interested in, so I greatly appreciate the detailed assembly instructions! Thank you sir! :smile:


That’s wonderful :grin: I’m thrilled that it was so easy to put a piece back in for a slight correction. The sign is gorgeous! Thanks again for all of your hard work and for sharing it with us.


I think this was number 4 or 5 on my list, but it may jump right to the top now after seeing yours! I know what your schedule right now is like, so thanks all the more for what you continue to do for this forum.


Edge-lit acrylic has been on the top of my list of want-to-dos since day one. I loved seeing the photos and reading the step by step. Thank you!



Nice work!

  • Tom

What is interesting is my 3D printer has a laser cut perspex (yes, Perspex brand, it’s a british printer) frame. So I had 3D printed a hook to attach my Raspberry pi to the frame, and it didn’t fit. Then using my calipers founds that different sheets of the frame had different thicknesses (subtle, but significant to friction fit joints). When I asked, it turns out the thickness is +/- 10% tolerance (that was way larger than I ever thought it would be) on cast acrylic. Extruded acrylic has tighter tolerances apparently…


It looks great! Good job!
I really appreciate you putting so much effort into keeping us in the loop and giving us great pictures and steps. Thanks again for letting us live vicariously.



so, when all the “u’s” are lowercase Duuuuuuud mean’s “groovy, man” but when the first few “u’s” are uppercase, that means “What you said really ticked me off.” :laughing:


So does this mean we need to sand laser cut edges of wood products and solids before gluing? Or is this just till the settings get more dialed in.

Since the ProofGrade has finished surfaces and I am sandwiching layers together, one gets a stronger bond if you can rough up the surface slightly. Not sure if it is necessary for this application, but since I do that for regular wood working if I have to glue a finished surface, I just figured it was appropriate.

I also sanded the edges to get the charring off so there was a better match with the top. Although the edges are pretty much perpendicular to the surface, there is a slight shaping to the beam, so the sanding can even it up better for a more standard finish look. I also thought about getting some black spraypaint and a clear seal coat and do the whole bottom black. Lots of differernt ways to do this.

Finallly, I didn’t have the best glue up and clamping so the layers weren’t quite in line. I needed to glue them to a reference surface. It is a challenge to glue things stacking like this without them sliding all over from the glue. I used binder clips that were just barely wide enough and that caused shifting in the layers.

Need to work on the technique.


Yeah, 1/8" isn’t usually .125" - often it’s .120 or even .118".

Another trick is to shave the base of the acrylic with a lightly (or more) engrave. I often use 1/4" acrylic shaved to fit a 4 mm slotted base. The extra thickness of the acrylic gives you more depth to do a deeper engrave. Deeper engraves will reflect light better than shallow engraves.


Yep. That’s the machining in action. But it’s more brittle. There are always trade-offs :slight_smile:

Fabulous. I’ve got LED strips and connectors and battery boxes in my Amazon cart. The day I get a ship message from GlowForge, a UPS truck will be delivering the LED goods.
That stuff may arrive earlier, even, because I want to play with LEDs; but it will be so much better on a laser.
I’m enjoying all the learning and discussion, here, too, about tips and tricks and how to do it better.


Woodworkers tip for you @marmak3261, If you don’t want the pieces to slide around on you after you’ve laid out the glue. Take your normal table salt shaker, and sprinkle some of the salt onto your glue before putting your pieces together. The salt doesn’t mess up the glue, but it helps to prevent the pieces from sliding around on you.


Thanks. They do slide around.

make sure that you put down a light, even spread across the surface, not just in one corner or one side. Too much salt can prevent the glue from a complete contact with the other surface, too little will not help the sliding thing of the pieces.

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Nice job. I have a lot of these layered projects ready to go for my first week of projects.


Made this sign for my buddy’s 50th birthday. He loves the St. Louis Cardinals. it’s 11 inches wide. I’ve been doing the engraving in reverse on the back and it always looks better.