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Tinted film for a clear acrylic panel

post #1 of 2
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I am getting a design laser engraved into an Acrylic panel. This is going to be edge lit with LED's. The effect im after is the design to be glowing red through a dark tinted panel. The engraver is hesitant to use dark tinted stock for the piece, because the LED's won't work very well.

So we have decided that a clear panel would work best, then face it with a tinted film. Easy as - you'd think. Except -
- Car window tinters wont touch Acrylic - the bond deteriates over time - bubbling then failing. And using glass for the engrave (etching) wont give me as good a result as acrylic would
- Signage and display suppliers - vinyl film - only avail as clear or diffuser (white)
- Get a piece of acrylic cast 5mm clear then <1mm tinted - Every plastics "manufacturer" in Australia is actually an importer - and the only panels available are clear OR tinted and no sorry we dont cast.

workaround solutions -
- use 6mm clear, paint rear face black then engrave out;
- clear 6 mm panel (engraved) and faced with a 3mm tinted panel - screw in each corner rather than bonding the two together.
- clear 6 mm panel faced with an X-ray type film - not bonded - screwed as above

Currently researching -
- Dyes- using RiT(?) or similar to stain the faces of the panel before engraving
- bonding agents - i dont believe its impossible to adhere a tinted film to clear acrylic.
- vinyl films - there has to be dark tints available. I've seen headlight tint strips on Ebay, but not available locally - importing is a possibility.

Question for the community: Does anybody have experience bonding a tinted film to Acrylic? What did you use for film and bonding agent?

Also if anyone could recommend a good voltage controller that i can program such that the intensity fades from feint -> bold -> feint over 10 - 12 seconds and repeats (slow "throb"). Looking to see if Aqua Computers Multiswitch can do this - i have Aquero already and hope its possible to set something like this up in the aquasuite software. Could also be possible to ghetto rig something off my motherboard here as the ROG badge (Asus Max IV E - z68) does something very similar to what i want my LED's to do


Want to get this image

laser engraved out of clear acrylic, red LED edge lighting "throbbing" through dark tinted or smokey film.
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post #2 of 2
The "engraver" is actually using CNC, right?
Then the 1st workaround with the painted clear sheet should work - minor retouching with a fine paintbrush might be required (use the same spray can and spray some paint in a plastic cup and use it with a 00 or so fine brush).

The dual sheet option would be interesting but it is hard to work it out. Screwing the 2x sheets together is one thing, but you will have that many almost-loose parts of the dragon itself that you will have to make sure will be receiving enough support from at least 1-2 anchoring points. Maybe your design will have to be modified a bit to ensure that nothing will break off - fall off when laser cutting the tinted portion.
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