My first go at LED Edge Lit Acrylic... Meh

This is my first go at an LED Edge Lit Acrylic sign. A small one, 140mm diameter.

From a distance of 3ft (1 metre) it looks really good. But up close there is a weird thing happening.

Close up, weird lines:

Overall, I’m pretty much happy with the result. but that weird pattern annoys me.


I have a different machine than you do. My line interval is 0.25 and I cross-hatch. They turn out pretty good.

Thanks for that info Jeff. I used 0.08 interval which probably clashed with the dpi that I used. Cross hatch is something I never thought about. I’ll give it a try. Thanks.

Does anyone find this interesting these days, or is it just old school. That is, old sh*t that has been done before many times over?

Perhaps it’s all a bit “Twee”?


Other people’s experiences are always interesting and one can learn from them.

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It looks good. I was just telling you what settings I use.

Thanks for that Jeff, much appreciated.

I was just wondering two things:

  1. Is it worth the bother to create these types of edge lit signs anymore - or is it “old hat”?

  2. I think I know what caused the weird pattern. I used the “dish soap” method, and those lines certainly don’t align with the horizontal X axis in the way it was imaged. Therefore something else is at play. Maybe when the dish soap gets hot, it spreads out forming oil patterns which affected the burn-through power of the laser - maybe?

In any case, the dish soap method did get rid of the edge staining I was experiencing previously. I’ve got some app/transfer tape but haven’t tried that yet.

Happy to hear what other people do.


I make these as requested. I also just leave the paper on the acrylic and don’t add anything else.

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Ahh, I thought about trying it that way, as in leaving on the paper. But then I thought I would be lazy, and it would/could be a pain to remove it afterwards.

It doesn’t look like it will just wash off with water like paper transfer tape would. Or does it?

Peels right off with a fingernail


That looks good Jeff. Perhaps I shouldn’t watch too many you-tube “how-to” videos. What’s amusing is that “dish-soap” method is shown on Trotec’s website.

I’m a bit late to the party, but I get the weird lines on cheaper laser cutters. I’ve engraved acrylic on the Glowforge and a chinese laser - the epilog has the best accuracy. You can try testing different methods (I’ve gone crazy with trying to get better accuracy out of my glowforge), but sometimes it’s just up to the laser’s abilities. I do recommend cleaning the laser head since dust or buildup can decrease accuracy as I’ve seen in my own testing.

To get the best capture of color from the LEDs, I take off the top layer of paper where the engraving will happen and etch very lightly. In my experience, if you etch enough to barely scratch the surface, you shouldn’t have dust or edge staining.

If you want to try something more complex with acrylic light display designs, you can try etching designs on different layers and customizing the colors and patterns with etch glow’s hardware and light customizer tool:

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