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Mitchell Tutty
03-20-2014, 6:30 PM
A glass company I do a lot of work for wants me to engrave a large mural into glass squares, 500x500mm squares.
Keep in mind this Mural is going to be quite large, like 4 meters high.
my plan was to engrave a high quality image, something that was really going to wow people.
However, I understand achieving a high quality image on glass is going to be very difficult. I've engraved plenty onto glass before but only shapes that were solid fill clip art type images, not high quality photo's. I was hoping, because of the size of what I'm doing, I'm still going to be able to create something with alot of detail. Am I wrong? Should I give up now as it's simply impossible? All feedback is greatly appreciated.

I have a 60w Epilog fusion laser if that helps.

Matt Turner (physics)
03-20-2014, 6:44 PM
Since this isn't an object that is going to be handled (in which case paint would wear off), might it possibly work to mask, engrave, and paint the back side of the glass instead of engraving it directly?

Mitchell Tutty
03-20-2014, 6:53 PM
I probably should of added more information all the glass has the backside painted black, we will engrave through it, then paint white over the engraving.

Dan Hintz
03-20-2014, 7:54 PM
I probably should of added more information all the glass has the backside painted black, we will engrave through it, then paint white over the engraving.

If that's the case, then I would say this will work very well. In fact, it's my favorite way of working with glass as you're not limited by the resolution of the glass itself, but by the paint (which is quite high resolution).

Mitchell Tutty
03-20-2014, 8:22 PM
Should I be aiming to simply etch through the paint, and not the glass? I can see that being quite difficult given that the paint may be thicker in some places then others and needing more power to etch through it, will that same power at a spot with less paint etch the glass underneath? Or will I have plenty of room for error before it's going to be enough power to etch the glass?

Bert Kemp
03-20-2014, 9:01 PM
I've etched the back of a lot of Mirrors. It never seemed to hurt the glass even if it did etch into it as was painted over and the front of the glass is untouched. I would run a test piece first if you can get a piece for testing. or simply but a piece of 12 x 12 glass, paint the back then etch it. I don't think you will have a problem. Just remember to mirror all your images before etching:)

Bill Cunningham
03-20-2014, 9:20 PM
If I'm etching through Black paint on the back of glass, I have tried several paints, and find Krylon Fusion black works best.. I know it's supposed to be for plastics, but it works very well on glass, and gives very good detail. Just make sure the image your working with is truly high res. good contrast, well lit with no dark area. The one below has a lot of small detail, is 8x10 and done with Black Krylon Fusion on glass.
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Mitchell Tutty
03-20-2014, 9:29 PM
You're all legends! The owner of this business is also a close friend and we're going to do the engraving for nothing, great advertisement for the pair of us. The panels for the mural are going to have a 10mm gap between them and then edge lit with LED's. I'll be sure to post a finished product.

Dan Hintz
03-20-2014, 10:16 PM
If you're edge lighting, you generally don't want to colorfill (i.e., paint, laser, repaint). Once you colorfill, the light will not reflect the same way as if you had left the colorfill out. It can make for a nice effect if you plan for it, but I would highly suggest running a small test sample to see how the colorfill is going to affect light transmission and reflectance.

Mitchell Tutty
03-20-2014, 10:41 PM
I grabbed a sample panel which has been painted back and am engraving as we speak. I'm wrapped, considering the detail i'm getting at the size that it is, blowing it up 10x is going to be crazy. I'll edge light it before I paint it to see how it goes. The idea of the white paint was just to put a bit more pop into the frosted white look. We're looking into maybe getting glass panels that are a little more expensive, and will frost a pure white as opposed to the greenish whiteish frost cheap glass panels give.

Kev Williams
03-20-2014, 11:16 PM
any way to BACK light it? Then there's no need for white paint!

Glen Monaghan
03-21-2014, 1:19 AM
Since you're edge lighting, you might not need/want to repaint after engraving, but you will need to make sure you engrave INTO the glass, not just burn off the black paint, or there won't be anyplace for the edge lighting to scatter from. Also, are you lighting just one side, 2 sides, or all 4 sides? With a 500 mm panel, just lighting from one side will likely create a noticeable brightness gradient. You might want to consider countering the brightness gradient (which will also happen with 2- and 4-sided lighting, but to a lesser extent) by applying a gradient to the etching such that the part nearest the edge lighting is more shallow, with the etching gradually getting deeper as you get farther away from the lit edge.

Jon Sollee
03-21-2014, 2:48 PM
No need to color fill the glass at all if you are edge lighting. I did a huge piece for the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs and it was very highly detailed in glass all edge lit and multi-tiered.

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Chuck Stone
03-21-2014, 6:41 PM
Very nice, Jon.
What did you use to light it? That doesn't look like LED's

Keith Upton
03-22-2014, 12:55 AM
No need to color fill the glass at all if you are edge lighting. I did a huge piece for the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs and it was very highly detailed in glass all edge lit and multi-tiered.

285319285320

That looks seriously cool man. Great job on it!

Jiten Patel
03-22-2014, 7:04 AM
They look like LED stand-offs...normal sign stand-offs with LED built into them. I am playing around with these at the moment, but only really work if it's going to be wired into a new wall and not as a " I want to add this cool art piece to my wall" due to exposed wires. Not cheap in the UK though - small ones are around 30 for 2.

EDIT: Looking at the picture again - the first one has a metal/aluminium frame which seems to have LED strip lighting within it.

Rich Kruyer
03-22-2014, 8:52 AM
Could you please share the light source. It appears that is coming from the standoffs.

Thanks

Scott Shepherd
03-22-2014, 10:00 AM
http://www.displays2go.com/P-20772/Sign-Standoff-With-White-LEDs?gclid=CP_p2ImZpr0CFa1j7AodTCAABA

Standoffs with LED's in them.

Keith Upton
03-22-2014, 10:24 AM
Jon, this thing is so cool. I'm going to have to come up with something using this technique to decorate my garage (giving it a makeover this spring). Any chance you could do a little writeup on how you made it? It looks like the background map was done on glass that has a greenish tint to it and the front glass with the names was a clear/white type of glass?

Scott Shepherd
03-22-2014, 10:39 AM
I didn't look at the photos as closely as I should have. I don't think the LED's are in the standoffs and I listed above, I think the frames are LED frames. I couldn't see the in the photo that shows it close up, but if you look at the first photo, you'll see the frames around them.

Chuck Stone
03-22-2014, 5:09 PM
http://www.displays2go.com/P-20772/Sign-Standoff-With-White-LEDs?gclid=CP_p2ImZpr0CFa1j7AodTCAABA
Standoffs with LED's in them.

Woah.. a little beyond my price point for 'experiments'

David Somers
03-22-2014, 5:40 PM
Jon,

Beautiful memorial! I hope it had the desired effect on the agents and the public who visit their offices. Very nice. Thanks for sharing that.

Jit, Just curious how you like the LED standoffs? Any observations you can share about them?

Dave

Scott Shepherd
03-22-2014, 8:44 PM
Jon,

Beautiful memorial! I hope it had the desired effect on the agents and the public who visit their offices. Very nice. Thanks for sharing that.

Jit, Just curious how you like the LED standoffs? Any observations you can share about them?

Dave

Dave, I don't think he's using the LED standoffs. Look at photo #1. They all have a frame around them and it appears as the frame is the items with the LED's in it, not the standoffs.

Chuck, charge a little more on your next few jobs and pickup some to play with :)

David Somers
03-22-2014, 11:53 PM
Sorry Scott (Steve) I was checking with Jit? He had mentioned in post 16 about the LED posts and how he had a few he was trying and they were pricey?

Scott Shepherd
03-23-2014, 12:04 AM
Oh, sorry David, I missed the "Jit" reference. My mistake :) Carry on, nothing to see here....

Jiten Patel
03-23-2014, 8:33 AM
Yea, shoosh Scott...move along! ;)

They are great if you can factor in the price into the cost. Art pieces and large murals like the ones in this post make them worthwhile....but small things make the costs just too big to make commercial sense. They are great - and work well with pieces, but as I mentioned, they work well for new builds and not an existing wall, which makes them hard to market as an off-the-shelf product.

Mitchell Tutty
03-23-2014, 6:38 PM
I'm fairly confident they are LED standoffs, we have some here we've used to light cnc jobs. They look great!

Scott Shepherd
03-23-2014, 7:21 PM
I'm fairly confident they are LED standoffs, we have some here we've used to light cnc jobs. They look great!

I don't think so, you can see the LED strips in the edges....

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Mitchell Tutty
03-23-2014, 7:24 PM
I'm guessing it's using both the LED strips and standoff.

Keith Upton
03-23-2014, 7:56 PM
Yep, looks like both to me.

Jon Sollee
03-24-2014, 1:14 PM
Hey Chuck. I used Luminedge LEDs and lit all four sides of each piece. They were nested in metal picture frames held with 3M VHB Tape. They also are wired to a dimmer so the background can be toned down while the front names can stand out bright.

The back piece of glass is Starphire tempered glass, as well as the other three which are mounted with standoffs. The standoffs have no LEDs. We first etched the relief map of the world and the text for the bureau. After we received the final document of the fallen agents after the 28th revision we then lased the names on two of the 3 front panels so in case more names need to be added (I hope not), then all they need to do is ship it back and I can lase more names with no problem.

The frames were carefully planned in size and picked out metal brushed framing from Larson Juhl that match the standoff from CRL. We had to have enough clearance for the LEDs around the whole frame as well as a gap for the wiring. This took no time after the LEDs were taped in, because we could just slip the glass right in and put the top piece of the frame on and tighten it closed. I cannot show any specs because of the government agreement but in all was a great job! Ill attach more photos.

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Jon Sollee
03-24-2014, 3:28 PM
Just LEDs in the brushed metal frames.

Keith Upton
03-24-2014, 3:45 PM
Thanks for the additional details Jon! The bit about the dimmer on the rear panel was a nice tip.

Jon Sollee
03-24-2014, 3:52 PM
Hey Keith, we used a dimmer so we could have the names legible when it was up on their wall. Worked great! Any other inquiries let me know and Ill help you out.

Jon

Keith Upton
03-24-2014, 4:11 PM
Thanks a ton Jon. I just ordered some small basic strips from them to have a play with. I really want to try and incorperate something along these lines in my garage makeover. After I play around with edge lighting a bit, I'll shoot you a PM with any questions I have. Thanks again for share not only the photos, but the info as well. This piece has been very inspirational to me (a new laser owner).

Mike Chance in Iowa
03-24-2014, 4:21 PM
Beautiful work Jon. You created a very fitting memorial to honor those that were lost.

Jon Sollee
03-24-2014, 4:30 PM
Thanks Mike. It was a very moving piece.

Mark Ward
03-25-2014, 11:56 AM
That is superb Jon :cool: