Laser Cut Acrylic Sign with Raised Letters

Oct 04, 2010

If you’ve followed us long, you may have noticed that Absinthe Lounge has turned into a bit of a proving ground for some of our more exotic ideas. It’s been a good relationship for us, and so we recently set about replacing a piece of minor signage we did for them that we were never very satisfied with.

This example is about 8 inches long, and uses their stock logo. The background is 1/8″ black acrylic with the sign pieces cut out. We then cut the same pieces out of 1/4″ green acrylic, and fit them into the gaps in the black.

The sign is very detailed, and even when you adjust for the kerf of the laser, at sizes this small, you still get some minor distortion that can lead to tiny gaps when gluing. These are invisible under normal circumstances, but become visible under a strong backlight as small curves of white light. As you scale up, the problem should be minimized, but for this version, we solved it by laying a sheet of 1/8″ green across the back of the sign. This has the added benefit of decreasing the light coming through as the fixture is extremely bright. In future versions of signs containing colored acrylic, we’ll try a sheet of theater lighting gel across the back of the sign.

A more interesting variant that we’ll explore in future versions is using clear acrylic and adding an RGB Backlight and controller so it can display any color at any time.