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Acrylic Edge Lit LED Sign

by markp, published

Acrylic Edge Lit LED Sign by markp Jul 26, 2012

Description

Laser cut sign uses an inexpensive LED lighting strip and includes a base.

It's designed so the sign can be easily swapped.

Requires 3mm hardboard or other material, and 3mm acrylic.

The "lit" part is notched to fit the soft-rubber LED lighting strip, which better distributes the light through the acrylic.

LED strip used is: http://www.dealextreme.com/p/flexible-24-led-light-strip-for-car-dc-12v-103267

Recent Comments

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Thank you for sharing. I have learned to use the automotive LED strips sold in automotive repair stores. They come in differing lengths and colors, and very easily connect to a 12 volt adapter.
Thank you Mark. I made this last night. I could only find .220" acrylic at Home Depot so I modified the base to use that. I had to modify the hardboard base to accomodate the width but I was sloppy and the acrylic flops around too much. I'm waiting for the LED strip to come in and I'll post a picture once I have it. For some reason the parts of the design I added in AI ended up getting two passes on the cutter so the letters are cut really deep but worst case is I'll cut another piece of acrylic for the sign. For a first attempt I'm pretty happy with the result.

Thanks again for sharing this.
No. I planned to do this, but got distracted by other projects. If you look closely you'll notice that it looks slightly "blurry" due to the deep depth of the cut. Next time I won't cut so deep.

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Instructions

  1. Replace Kwartzlab Makerspace logo with your own signage and export to laser cutter.

  2. Separate parts to cut to the right material. Top is acrylic, bottom is hardboard or acrylic. Both are 3mm. If sizes other than 3mm are used then the width of the cutouts will have to be changed.

The "lit" part isn't cut all the way through so remember to use a lower power for those parts.

  1. Insert the strip into the base and glue all base pieces together.

  2. Insert the acrylic sign.
Thank you for sharing. I have learned to use the automotive LED strips sold in automotive repair stores. They come in differing lengths and colors, and very easily connect to a 12 volt adapter.
I'm not clear on what the power source is. It's not shown in any of your diagrams other than the fact that it splices into another cable. Are you just using a recycled brick of some kind with the barrel tip cut off?
Exactly. All led strips have different requirements so I didn't go into details. This one had internal resistors so just needed a 12V DC supply.
Did you experiment with the depth of the letter cuts with regard to readability when lit or when unlit?
No. I planned to do this, but got distracted by other projects. If you look closely you'll notice that it looks slightly "blurry" due to the deep depth of the cut. Next time I won't cut so deep.
Thank you Mark. I made this last night. I could only find .220" acrylic at Home Depot so I modified the base to use that. I had to modify the hardboard base to accomodate the width but I was sloppy and the acrylic flops around too much. I'm waiting for the LED strip to come in and I'll post a picture once I have it. For some reason the parts of the design I added in AI ended up getting two passes on the cutter so the letters are cut really deep but worst case is I'll cut another piece of acrylic for the sign. For a first attempt I'm pretty happy with the result.

Thanks again for sharing this.
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