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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all!
I am making an edge lit LED sign out of 1/2" acrylic.
I've done this many times before by using a V-bit for the pattern, which works great with edge lighting.
But this time I'm doing a 2'x2' "Clemson paw" sign... basically a cat footprint.
So this has huge pockets and they need to light up as well as a narrow cut would.
The floors on the pockets are too rough right now, looks bad and light doesnt cover all of it too well.
I tried sanding it, but I cannot get a good uniform result.

So I'm looking for something like an epoxy with a filler that 'glows'... something that really catches the light.
I'd like to nearly fill in all of the pockets for strength... it's an outdoor display sign.
I already tried a flat white paint... it ended up blocking more light than diffusing/glowing.
Any ideas?
 

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Hello all!
I am making an edge lit LED sign out of 1/2" acrylic.
I've done this many times before by using a V-bit for the pattern, which works great with edge lighting.
But this time I'm doing a 2'x2' "Clemson paw" sign... basically a cat footprint.
So this has huge pockets and they need to light up as well as a narrow cut would.
The floors on the pockets are too rough right now, looks bad and light doesnt cover all of it too well.
I tried sanding it, but I cannot get a good uniform result.

So I'm looking for something like an epoxy with a filler that 'glows'... something that really catches the light.
I'd like to nearly fill in all of the pockets for strength... it's an outdoor display sign.
I already tried a flat white paint... it ended up blocking more light than diffusing/glowing.
Any ideas?
Not sure if this applies but I've done work with acrylic display cases. The edges of acrylic sheets were polished by flaming them. This was done by passing an acelylene torch over the edge. We would cut the plastic with a fine tooth blade and pass the torch over the edge and it would immediately look like it was sanded with very fine sandpaper and buffed with polishing compound. If you have access to a torch and have some scrap you might give it a try.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I want the exact opposite of polishing.
The carved pockets are big, about 6" diameter.
I need something to fill those pockets and be not transparent, but rather catch the light and glow nicely
 

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I want the exact opposite of polishing.
The carved pockets are big, about 6" diameter.
I need something to fill those pockets and be not transparent, but rather catch the light and glow nicely
What about a casting epoxy like this. Amazing Clear Cast It could be used clear or could be tinted with a dye if you wanted some color to it.
 

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Sounds like a job for a two part epoxy resin. There are to many manufacturers of the stuff to start mentioning them. Almost all provide excellent optics, but if something more is required glitter can make the light pop and there are also any number of fluorescing dyes.
 

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Do you have a picture of something similar you are trying to create. I can't really visualize what you are doing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
No picture at the moment... but it is a 1/2" thick piece of plexiglass... I have cut a 6" diameter circle about .4" deep into it.
If I try to light it now, the leading edge of the circle closest to the LED's will look great, but the light will not be able to reach the other side of the circle.
But, if I were to fill the circle with an opaque/semi-transparent material, the light would refract throughout the entire circle.
The best idea proposed at the moment is to use an epoxy resin with microspheres (which is a very fine powder)... or instead, something like glitter... or maybe something that glows in the dark... or something I'm not aware of.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
ok, so now the edges are lit.... but what about the other 5.95"
I want something to transmit through the edges and light up the entire pocket
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Its such a simple concept to me, but it seems its not getting across too clearly so I'll try to give an exaggerated analogy.
Imagine a swimming pool with lights on the walls, we have all seen them... but the water doesnt light up (sure it bends the light a lil and has a slight bluish tint, but otherwise its transparent), the cement or whatever structure holding the water is what becomes visible... you can see a lil bug on the bottom of a 8ft deep pool.
I want the water to glow. I dont want to see the bottom or sides of the pool... I want the water to look like lava or a car taillight under red light, to glow green light a glow-stick cut open and poured into a cup.

The rest of the plexiglass is to be 100% transparent, as it is naturally and is now... sure I can get the egdes of the cuts I made light up.... but I want the hole/pocket/cup filled with something that glows all the way through, not just the edges.
Another analogy is... if I put green led's around the plexiglass, how do I make it look like I cut open a green glow-stick and poured it into that cut out area
 

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Light has no color, so the water will not glow red, blue, green, or any other color that is not in the water either as a paint on pool sides or as something introduced into the water. Same for acrylic - if the result is a glow, there must be something in the acrylic to cause the glow, something for the light - which has no color - to reflect off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Alright we are finally making a little headway!
Now that we have someone in this discussion that understands basic principles of light absorption and refraction (which is why the sky and bodies of water are blue and a sunset is reddish even thought the light source (the sun) emits from UV to Infrared which appears to the 3 cones in our eyes as white)...
Exactly what product should I introduce to epoxy/casting resin to refract light in a uniform pattern (think a flashlight hitting snow vs acrylic).
Thats what I want... to fill the cutouts with something that looks like illuminated snow when shone upon by led's
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Actually I am greatly disappointed with this forum.
I was hoping for at least some creative ideas... but instead, im getting so many return questions and pushback that it astonishes me nobody can grasp such a simple concept... on an artists forum!
I quickly received a solution from another forum which is to introduce micro-spheres to a UV resistant epoxy... which is available at low cost on ebay in flourescent, glow in the dark and basic white... which is what I am going to go with.
As david spade once said so eloquently.... Buh-Bye
 

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Actually I am greatly disappointed with this forum.
I was hoping for at least some creative ideas... but instead, im getting so many return questions and pushback that it astonishes me nobody can grasp such a simple concept... on an artists forum!
I quickly received a solution from another forum which is to introduce micro-spheres to a UV resistant epoxy... which is available at low cost on ebay in flourescent, glow in the dark and basic white... which is what I am going to go with.
As david spade once said so eloquently.... Buh-Bye
You received several suggestions including using micro-spheres and epoxies right here in this thread.

The questions you call push back were asked to better understand your problem in order to provide the assistance YOU asked for in a vague and desultory manner and which you refused to answer. You refused to post a photo of the project which would have answered just about any question.

Your post was derogatory and insulting to the members that tried to help you and the forums in general. You won't be missed. Please, let the door hit your ass on the way out.

:mad: :mad:
 
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