Forums/Tutorials/Finishing Techniques

The finishing touch: filled laser engraving tutorial

Rich Decibels
posted this on October 24, 2011 14:14

A simple technique for making your laser engraving stand out

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This week I finished a project I’ve been developing for a while: the Rich Decibels Exenterator. Sound samples and technical details and so on are available on my blog but for this post I just wanted to demonstrate my engraving-filling technique. For me it is the ideal way to add labels to my DIY electronics gadgets.

The process begins with a 3D mockup, using the method described in my earlier tutorial.

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Then I add the engraving details in Illustrator, send the file off to my Personal Factory and a couple of days later I’ve got this in my hands:

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This photo shows the acrylic pieces with their protective paper backing still attached. Where the laser has engraved the labels, you can see it has cut through this paper. To fill these engravings, I chose a slightly metallic enamel paint designed for model aircraft, and just painted a liberal coat over the top of the protective paper.

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Then once the paint has dried it’s a simple case of lifting the paper off to reveal the perfectly masked paint-job below.

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This technique is super simple and apparently fool-proof. It’s an easy way to give a professional finish to your project. There’s a lot more details and variations of the process over here in Yana's post on the topic and of course here on the forums.