View Full Version : laser etching pictures on Mirrored acrylic

Steven Wallace
11-23-2007, 9:10 PM
I have heard about people lasering photos onto mirrors. Has anyone tried with any success etching photos on mirrored acrylic. I am not having any issues with cutting or rastering text on the acrylic but would like to add photos to the inventory of things I can do. I have an epilog mini 18, 35 watt machine and have photograv software. Thanks in advance for any assistance you can provide such as setting suggestions and the like. Steve

Stephen Beckham
11-23-2007, 11:51 PM

I did one awhile back to see how it would turn out. I didn't have any issues. The best thing was to cover the back with black paint. It looked pretty good. I did actually did two, one in a negative. I wanted to see which would look better/right for the image.

It was a church for a pastor. I ended up doing it on blue cryo because it looked better than the mirror. Not sure which is the "best" for sales - but the customer chose to have it on the clear acrylic versus the mirror.

Bill Cunningham
11-24-2007, 11:47 AM
I usually use 'real' mirror rather than acrylic for two reasons.. 'real' mirror is often less money, and readily available, Even 'free' salvaged broken mirrors may offer enough area for a 5x7 or larger. Real mirror does not easily scratch, and can be cut with a basic, simple to use glass cutter.. The only draw back to real mirror, is it weighs more, and can break if not properly packed.. I find acrylic mirror works well for items that must be shape cut, such as display shelves, 'eye catchers' for P.O.P. displays, and for safety sake, mirrored images to be hung in kid's rooms..

As for colouring, this one was coloured using blue acrylic paint, rather than the standard black at the customers request.. Once colour filled, I then sprayed the entire back black over the blue, just so there would be no light show-through.. The mottled background seen in the mirror was the reflection from a piece of white styrofoam used for obliterating the 'real' reflection of a messy shop..:D

Sandra Force
11-26-2007, 1:32 PM
I engrave both acrylic mirror and glass mirror. In many ways acrylic is simpler because it is soft enough that I can get a good cut. The drawback being that is is soft enough to scratch when cleaning and draws dust even when you go over it with Novus. It is not the best thing for the customer unless it is going into an dust free enviorment. Glass is a little harder to get a good engraving on and all of the shards off, but the end result holds up much better. I have painted over the engraving with different paints and find that amost any color will work but you need to do a final coat of dense black or white to clean up the look. My advise would be to go to the local glass shop and get a couple of broken mirrors and practice with that and then try some of the acrylic. I think you will like the finish of the glass better.

Bill Cunningham
11-27-2007, 7:58 PM
I love working with mirror.. You can get so many nice effects, from even the weirdest pictures.. This one stares at the customers in my shop, I tell the kids not to touch anything cuz it's watching:eek:... Same mottled background reflection for the same reason as above :D

Richard McMahon
11-29-2007, 4:42 AM
This is one I tried this afternoon as I am new to this. probably not to everyones taste but it does appeal to some. The reflection is the ceiling in the kitchen. There are some striations in the engraving but I think if I engrave at 600 dpi instead of 300 then all will be ok. (just take twice as long)
I use a home made 32" x 54" x 9" table with a ULS 30 watt laser with Linkmotion software from Solustan and Corel Draw X3
Speed 7 in/sec
power 100%

Mirror was from Ikea at $20 for packet of 4 with rounded edges 300mm x 300mm (made in China but good)
The background was a couple of black bamboo place mats to simulate black paint .....which I will do when I find some.

Zeev Goldin
11-29-2007, 4:20 PM
So in order to engrave on a miror you do not need to use any material just laser engrave on it?
What speed and power?


Brian Robison
11-29-2007, 4:48 PM
You'll reverse engrave from the back side and color fill.
For acrylic I recommend the acrylic paints from a hobby store, I've not had any luck with a spray can, I use the paint in the bottles. To cut the acrylic have Mike Null make you a vector table from acrylic grid. Again, cut mirror side down.

Sandra Force
11-29-2007, 6:00 PM
Or if you want a really cool look replace the front glass in a shadow box with the mirror and put lights along the edge behind the mirror. Green led lights are great in a forest scene. Use your imagination on combinations.:D

Richard McMahon
12-09-2007, 6:07 AM
Another couple engraved on the back of a mirror.

100%power (30 watt)
100% speed (5ips)
Shame I can't sell these without a license.