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Making Designs in Plexiglass

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  • Making Designs in Plexiglass

    Myself and a couple of friends went up to a local car store to check out the latest products they were sellin and we noticed this very nice design make into plexiglass. Someone had incorperated an "Infinity" logo onto a thick sheet of plexiglass and then put it over two nice cathodes and two large subs, its kick-***, take my word for it.

    Now plexiglass is an absolute pain to cut if you dont have the right tools. So I've established that.

    Now I was wondering if anyone has tried to use sandpaper to rough-out designs in plexiglass, if so, how did you do it?

    I tried to rough-out a "Jeep" logo onto a sheet of plexiglass to mount over my subs, but I found it very difficult and my tape wouldn't cooperate. If you understand what I'm saying dont bother to read on, I'm about to explain what I did.

    Ok, I got about a two foot, by two foot sheet of about 1/8th in thick plexi and taped out the word, "Jeep", when I say taping, I outlined the letters. I first tried using masking tape, after a try by hand, and then with the automatic sander, the tape eaisly wore off before I could do any real designs. The parts that I did manage to sand turned out nice, I was wondering the following questions... What grit should I use, I tried, 60, 100, 150, and 200. Also, how should I go about doing this professionally, I'm looking to sand clean lines and edges, not faded ones. Anyone with any advice would be much appricated.

    thanks in advance.
    Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo
    Kenwood X790 x/ iP500 Ipod Interface
    Elemental Designs 13Kv.2 D2
    CDT ES-620 (omg yayay!!!1)
    NINe.2X, NINe.2

  • #2
    one word: router

    I've never used a router on plexiglass, but I'd imagine it'd accomplish what you want relatively easily

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    • #3
      Only thing I can think of would maybe be to get a dremmel with a sanding bit, which would offer you at least a little more control than sanding by hand or a power sander. Still not sure how clean a line you could really get with that tho

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      • #4
        you can have it laser etched pretty inexpensively for best results. router works, or dremels glass etching tool. do a search in www.bit-tech.net there are some great write ups
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        • #5
          Originally posted by scott_fx
          you can have it laser etched pretty inexpensively for best results. router works, or dremels glass etching tool. do a search in www.bit-tech.net there are some great write ups
          Wow thats exactly what I was looking for, the laser etching those guys at www.bit-tech.net do some really nice artwork on their plexiglass. Thanks for all the feedback guys.
          Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo
          Kenwood X790 x/ iP500 Ipod Interface
          Elemental Designs 13Kv.2 D2
          CDT ES-620 (omg yayay!!!1)
          NINe.2X, NINe.2

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          • #6
            another option is to use a beadblaster or sand blaster, cover the glass in a few layers of that blue masking tape then use an razor to cut out the design then blast it that would give that same effect

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            • #7
              You could go to your local sign shop and have them do a cut out of your letters and apply that, then bead blast it. Before you apply the vinyl, paint the back side of the plexiglass some hot color if you want, then apply the vinyl and blast or sand if you are so inclined. The effect should be pretty cool. Try it out on a scrap and see how you like it. Just remember to do everything in reverse order.

              Keep us posted on what you come up with. Pics to if you have them.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by bobs987
                another option is to use a beadblaster or sand blaster, cover the glass in a few layers of that blue masking tape then use an razor to cut out the design then blast it that would give that same effect
                The advantage of sand blasting is that it would give a more even effect than power sanding it or doing it manually. Sand blasting is a common practice for putting logos on transparant surfaces. It's even done with glass and mirrors.
                Why is it drug addicts and computer afficionados are both called users?

                Currently : Audi A6 - no install

                Second install : VW Passat '97 CarPC
                First install : '87 Audi 80 CarPC

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                • #9
                  I'm going to try using a dremmel, then the sand blasting see which can provide the most even, clean cut lines. I plan to put this piece of plexiglass over a small storage compartment in the back of my jeep, beneath the plexiglass will be some neon tubes, its the first step in making the cargo area of my jeep an entertainment center.
                  Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo
                  Kenwood X790 x/ iP500 Ipod Interface
                  Elemental Designs 13Kv.2 D2
                  CDT ES-620 (omg yayay!!!1)
                  NINe.2X, NINe.2

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                  • #10
                    I've done sandblasting on acrylic and it works out ok. I had never done it before so it didn't turn out too great. Make sure you sandblast enough, I thought it was hazy enough to stand out the first time, but when I peeled everything back it didn't look too good. Make sure you use enough tape or really strong tape, the sand will start penetrate it if you sandblast too long (this happened the 2nd time around b/c I wanted to make the logo come out cleaner). Also try and sandblast evenly - as if you were spraypainting. It is possible to have uneven areas still.
                    -GiZak-
                    Carputer Project: 98% Complete!! *tweakin'*
                    Xenarc 7TSV | Opus 150 | Biostar M7NCG400 | Athlon Mobile2200 | Seagate 160Gb | Kingston 2x256mb | BT Holux GR-231 GPS | LiteOn CD-R/DVD| Keyhole Rev. Cam | Zippy Mini-glow Keyboard

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by gizak
                      I've done sandblasting on acrylic and it works out ok. I had never done it before so it didn't turn out too great. Make sure you sandblast enough, I thought it was hazy enough to stand out the first time, but when I peeled everything back it didn't look too good. Make sure you use enough tape or really strong tape, the sand will start penetrate it if you sandblast too long (this happened the 2nd time around b/c I wanted to make the logo come out cleaner). Also try and sandblast evenly - as if you were spraypainting. It is possible to have uneven areas still.
                      The important thing when sandblasting is to consider hardness or stiffness of the material. Sandblasting on a harder surface, such as glass would require less sandblasting than a softer material such as plastics. Plastics and rubber absorb more power of a collision with a sandparticel than glass would.

                      And sanblasting would be the better choice if you have to do bigger surfaces.
                      Why is it drug addicts and computer afficionados are both called users?

                      Currently : Audi A6 - no install

                      Second install : VW Passat '97 CarPC
                      First install : '87 Audi 80 CarPC

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                      • #12
                        in the tests i've done, the deeper the better. a dremel will work the best if you can get it uniform. Sandblasting is a good method when putting logos in glass but your final application is meant to have light reflect off of the surface which is best achieved with a more aggressive (deeper) technique like the one you have choosen. if you are not happy with the results send it out to get laser etched.
                        New System in progress:
                        M10k
                        Phaze TD1500 ~> Dynaudio MD130
                        Phaze TD1500 ~> Seas g18rnx/p
                        Zapco Ref 500.1 ~ 12" tc-9
                        Behringer DCX2496 ~ Envision Electronics psu
                        Transflective Xenarc

                        My Car Pc Install
                        My Boat Pc worklog

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                        • #13
                          oh...if you aren't happy with the results you can maybe approach it in a completely different way. What i was planning to do was get a vinyl sticker printed in reverse then apply it to some plexi, paint the plexi black and then remove the sticker and apply some limo-tint to the back side. then mount some cathodes or leds behind it and when lit you'll see the image, when off it'll be black.
                          New System in progress:
                          M10k
                          Phaze TD1500 ~> Dynaudio MD130
                          Phaze TD1500 ~> Seas g18rnx/p
                          Zapco Ref 500.1 ~ 12" tc-9
                          Behringer DCX2496 ~ Envision Electronics psu
                          Transflective Xenarc

                          My Car Pc Install
                          My Boat Pc worklog

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                          • #14
                            Oh yea, I tried a similar technique. I headed over to home depot and picked up a hazy white window film adhesive (white tint). Just draw and cut out your design and stick it! This is the easiest thing to do, but doesn't give you the best effect since it's not etched in and the light doesn't penetrate it from the sides, but it works out ok if you a soft cathode-type light behind it.
                            -GiZak-
                            Carputer Project: 98% Complete!! *tweakin'*
                            Xenarc 7TSV | Opus 150 | Biostar M7NCG400 | Athlon Mobile2200 | Seagate 160Gb | Kingston 2x256mb | BT Holux GR-231 GPS | LiteOn CD-R/DVD| Keyhole Rev. Cam | Zippy Mini-glow Keyboard

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