Forums/Tutorials/Laser Cutting Tutorials & Tips

Etched mirror acrylic examples

Josh Reuss
posted this on July 07, 2011 15:05

Now that we have several hubs carrying the mirror acrylic I thought it might be helpful to show some additional examples of what the mirror acrylic looks like with raster etching.

Quick mirror acrylic notes:
-All etching is done on the back of the mirror through the reflective layer.
-Be sure to reverse shapes and text so that it will read correctly when viewed from the other side of the sheet.

blueetchsmall.jpg

Top circles are medium etch, the bottom three are heavy etch. Filled with blue acrylic paint.
I found flooding the larger areas with the paint produced a better result and helped avoid brush marks showing.
For a larger version that shows much more detail see the attached blueetchedlarge.jpg at the bottom of this article.

mirrorblue2.jpg

A slightly different angle, notice the small chip at the bottom of the sample. The mirror coating is pretty durable but should
be handled with care to avoid that sort of thing.

blacksprayetch.jpg

blackangle.jpg

Another view of the black spray paint test.

 

backsidemirror.jpg

Back of an unfilled acrylic mirror sample.

goldsprayetch.jpg

Gold metallic spray paint. Much of the metallic look of the paint is dulled when seen through the etched acrylic.

goldangle.jpg

goldcloseup.jpg

Here's an example of crazing. You can see vertical cracks in the center and small cracks developing on the edges of the etched
areas. When acrylic is laser cut and etched it introduces stress into the material, some paints and solvents will then make things worse and
cause small stress cracks. If you have your heart set to use a certain spray paint I would suggest putting an etch on an unused section of your sheet and test the paint you want to use, let it dry and give it a day to see if any crazing develops.

mirrorinhand.jpg

Here you can see that the etch leaves the acrylic with a frosted look; just like plain clear acrylic. Cleaning with water
will remove some of the white powder left over from etching, this helps somewhat.

patternslit.jpg

 

dotsback.jpg

greendotsbacklit.jpg

I decided to fill the dots with a green oil pastel. Shown here backlit. Some fills that might not wear well when placed
into front etching can do ok when sealed on the backside.

vectorlines.jpg

Black acrylic paint fill; using vector lines. Light ( bottom), Medium (upper left), Heavy (upper right) The black fill is pretty subtle,
depending on viewing angle it might not even look filled.

vectorheavyblack.jpg

Close up of heavy vector lines filled with black acrylic.

vectorlinesnofill.jpg

No fill. Vector lines same as above.

vectorlinesfront.jpg

Same vector lines from a slightly different angle.

vectorlight.jpg

As you can see all three vector types allow light to pass through. Etched mirror might make an interesting light fixture.

Check out the Ponoko blog for some great examples of projects using mirror acrylic.

You can also dig around Flickr to see what others have done with laser cut acrylic mirror.

 

Comments

User photo
N8 McD

How wide are the different vector etch lines?

March 19, 2012 20:22
User photo
Josh Reuss
Ponoko

As far as the actual line left on the material it ranges from .2mm to .3mm wide. They all made it through the mirror backing with the heavy vector option making it further into the clear acrylic.

March 19, 2012 23:34
User photo
Liudr

Is this mirror surface conductive? I'm trying to cut a shape with it and use the shape as a capacitive sensor so the surface needs to be a good conductor. any ideas? Thank you!

September 24, 2012 13:46