View Full Version : Color Fill Plexiglas??

Pete Simmons
12-06-2008, 11:47 AM
Anybody ever try to color fill plexiglas?

I am making a world map with a travel route on it.

Map is small 5x7 so route line does not stand out or even show up much at all.

If I could etch the route line and fill it with a translucent color that might work well.

What is out there that will fill the etch line yet rub off the non etched areas that will be engraved with a second pass?

Deane Shepard
12-06-2008, 1:28 PM
Pete - I tried a fairly blocky logo with some acrylic paint from Wally World craft department and it worked fine. I painted carefully and just wiped away the excess while it was still wet.

If I was doing something more intricate, it would be hard to wipe off the excess so I would mask it, etch the route, fill it with the paint, remove the mask and then hit the rest. I've gotten some real nice results doing multiple colors on acrylic mirror, only on those, I have done the first color, painted, then etched for the second color right through the paint of the first color.

Use water based paints, someone posted a tip recently about using the Krylon H20 rattle cans. Solvent based paints can craze the acrylic. Although if you reverse engraved, the crazing can be an interesting effect with the paint color in the background. It kind of makes the acrylic sparkle.

One other tip I have found is that if I want the etching to be fairly deep, I do it in two passes. One at a higher power to get the depth, then a second at low power to "clean it up." The higher power turns the cast acrylic white and the white can hide/frost the paint. The second low power pass is just enough to burn off the white and leave the acrylic closer to a clear state.

I definitely think it looks better when mirrored and done on the back side.

Hope this helps.


John Noell
12-06-2008, 1:30 PM
I don't know much about doing it with front engraving but with reverse engraving, you can paint the entire back a solid color (e.g., white), then engrave the route line, paint it red, then engrave the rest of the map and paint another color, such as black. That makes all the map lines black except the red route line. (You also can do multiple steps wit multiple colors in the same manner.) My limited experience with color-filling front engraved acrylic is based on the many threads here about color-filling. Best to search for those.

Pete Simmons
12-06-2008, 1:36 PM
This will be reverse engraved on the back.

It is also a very thin line ( just a little wider than hairline so it rasters) so any application of color will get more on the clear surface that needs to be cleaned up.

I should add that this is a frame that is 2 pieces of 3/8s plexi

1 piece of translucent blue for the back and a piece of clear for the front that a magnet holds together. These were meant to be a picture frame but I engrave them.

Here is a picture of a red one I did.

All good ideas so far - thanks

Sandra Force
12-06-2008, 1:59 PM
This is slightly off the subject. If the route is only going to be slightly wider than a vector cut why not make it one and make the focus slightly off to make it wider and speed up the job.;)

Pete Simmons
12-06-2008, 2:47 PM
The width of the route line is more a function of what will fit in between some on the countries. It shows fine where it crosses the oceans but making it any wider and it just runs together with some of the country lines.

The real problem is trying to fit the whole world into 6 x 8 inches and then putting any type of marker at any specific location.

What I need is a 6 x 8 foot map then I could make this work nice but then it would not fit in the laser.

Given I am using the blue translucent backing maybe the idea of a color filled line is NOT a good idea.