Engraving Perspex and colour fill it

Hi all. I have seen the Tile engraving and fill comments. Very interesting indeed! Does anyone have an idea how to fill engraved perspex/acrylic?

Is that what you’re after or something else?

Hi Squid
Thank you. I have tried that and few other methods, but I cannot seem to find something that is not so time consuming. I get batches of 600 x 100 length ruler orders - totally filled with lines and numbers in 1 cm iterations - so you can see these methods take forever :frowning: I was hoping someone could share an easier / quicker way to fill the engraved perspex?

The comments in the YouTube video notes a method I’ve used with what I would consider easier results. Leave the masking paper in place when engraving, then spray paint on the work piece. Some of the discards I have don’t have masking, but it’s easier to put it on than to go through the work of polishing off the overpaint as described in the video.

You would want to ensure that the masking is securely bonded to the plastic after it is engraved, to prevent overspray from getting under the masking, but it’s certainly a faster method.

Thank you Fred.u
I have tried that too, but is seems that the spray paint does not “fill” the engraved areas as it should - having to spray many coats - wasting a lot of paint.
The latest method that works for me is, taking acrylic paint and filling in the engraved areas (with the masking still in tact). I then have to do 2 coats - pull off the masking when dry and then scrape / clean the perspex. I just thought there should be an easier way…

Giving the matter a bit more thought, I am considering that there must be an out-of-the-laser-world option that can be applied to the acrylic, laser engraved through, then washed off. In my 3D printing, I use purple glue stick applied to the printer bed. It can be layered on too thickly (not good for 3D printing) but easily washed off.

If one applied the glue stick to the acrylic in layers, sufficient to block painting overspray or paint overload, it would prevent the non-engraved areas from taking hold, but once the paint application is dried, the glue stick washes off easily with warm water.

I’ll have to give it a shot just for the fun of it the next time I fire up the laser for a project.

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You can also use 2 color acryl. Than you engrave true the 1e layer and that will give the color.

I looked into that as well. Unfortunately I need to fill the engraved areas with black or yellow and the Perspex must be clear.

You made me lose sleep over this :slight_smile:
I never planned on painting engraved acrylic but now I have to try it - it’s a challenge. I wonder if waxing the Acrylic sheet before lasing it will vaporize the wax and allow the engraved parts to hold on to the paint and when the paint gets dry will easily be wiped off from the waxed area leaving the engraved painted parts intact.

Worth a try or this is a waste of time and material?

I don’t quite understand your process, but if it works please let us know :slight_smile:

I had to try.
I will wait an hour or two before wiping the paint off with a cloth but even now when the paint is still wet it dissolves where the wax is around the shape but grips well to the shape.

We’ll see.


Waxed Acrylic Engraved

Spray Painted

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What did you use to wax the perspex?

Honey Wax

First try.
I will try again later this week. looks promising but maybe i need to wax it better as the paint was easily removed from most of the acrylic and harder in some regions.

What I currently do is leave the protective layers on the perspex - engrave and “ink” - wait to dry and then remove the protective layer - then I do a cleanup and buff.

The problem I have is that the “inking” takes long. Spray painting it does not work so great as the grooves are very narrow (as is with a ruler markings) and the spray does not go into the grooves but accumulate around the groove forming a meniscus on either side of the groove.

I usually leave the paper on after doing the engraving and use spray paint. Anything that needs to be a different colour I just mask off with masking tape.This is the face plate on one of my 3D printers.

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Panted acrylic:

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