Here’s an update on the project. First, @Rita reached out to me about the Proofgrade. While she echoed the fact that there is always some variance in cast acrylic, she is having me send a sample of each batch for them to look at. Very quick and considerate response from her.
Now on to the project. I took the advice of @hansepe via @marmak3261 and set up the project with slightly expanded slots to cut and engrave. Made sure to use 3 colors in the design, so I could turn on and off actions in the GUI. One for the outside base cuts, one for the full cut through slots, and one for the partial cuts that were originally deep engraves. Here’s the resulting cardboard template with just a few of the last pieces in place.
I put in the cardboard and held it down with super strong magnets and just cut the outside base cuts, setting the others to ignore. Then carefully removed the base cutouts and replaced them with the original Walnut ply. I set the outside cuts to ignore, and the fully cut through slot as a default cut. The engraved slot took a little fiddling. I ended up setting that up as a cut, but at reduced power so it wouldn’t cut through all the way. If I engraved the full groove like I had originally done, it would have widened the groove, but would have gone too deep in the area already engraved. Last bit to do was to knock loose the VERY thin pieces cut out of each side. I used a scrap of the acrylic to slide through and remove the small slivers. It worked like a charm and provided a test of the thickness before I went to assemble.
Here’s the finished batch of Trophies in their fancy transport/display tray:
Since I saved money by rescuing the hardwood bases, I “splurged” with a big sheet of cardstock to dress up the base and cut a golf bag and pin flag for the display. I was ready to toss the green cardstock cutouts/ Then realized they were a perfect fit to drop into each slot. It’ll even look nice when the trophies begin to be removed. I’ll deliver these ahead of time, then just have to wait for the winners’ names to engrave and cut on the night of the event.
Thanks to everyone for their comments and suggestions about this project.