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Discussion Starter #1
What do I need to have to etch? How hard is it?<br><br>
I have a Dremel and acrylic. The dremel has an assortment of bits, which ones should I be using? Do I need to buy the bits seperate?<br><br>
Thanks!
 

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Are you trying to etch the plastic or glass? If it's just the plastic, then the dremel will do just fine. Another alternative is to tape off your design and just sand it into the plastic. This techniques is a little easier to control and doesn't remove as much material. It all depends upon the effect that you want for the finished product.
 
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Discussion Starter #3
Yup, it's acrylic. The sanding method sounds cool, but this is going to be a very small design, about 1X2"<br><br>
Rep for the help, but I would still like to know more about Dremel etching. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Unfortunately, I don't have a sandblaster. Thanks anyway.
 

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No not really a sandblaster. i had one of those. I got it at a hobby shop for likr $20. But the tape off sand down method seems more feasable
 

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Well etching with Dremel bits requires some practice--so you might want to get familiar with it on some scrap. The bits you want to use all look like "dentists" bits but on a larger scale. The shapes you might find useful are the cone, bullet, and ball bits--the really tiny ones are great for minute detail but the larger ones are like using a broad marker instead of a fine tip pen. You can tape your design to the back of the acrylic and work the top to match your design. Like drawing with pen or pencil it is really a matter of artistry more than mechanical skill. Use the dremel like a pen to get the detail of the pattern--then enhance that with deeper etching as you go along.<br><br>
Unlike drawing there is no eraser so it is best to etch lightly--as the only way to alter it is to etch deep or wider to hide /enhance it.<br><br>
I suppose you could use the flap sander and other sanding/cutting wheels too, but mostly I use a few of the smaller "dentist" type bits.<br><br>
You might try a more "pointilist" style of "stippling" dot by dot to make your pattern emerge--it is very painstaking but extremely accurate and cangive a more "realistic" look.
 
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With the dremel, you need to be very artistically inclined. The people that I've seen do it use a pointy bit (small and shaped like a cone) to do the outlines and they went back with a ball shaped bit to finish it off. In your case, the first bit might be just the ticket.
 
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Discussion Starter #9
This is very interesting to me. So the recommended bits are the fine pointed ones in my set, correct?<br><br>
I'd like to hear more about this "pointiklist" method you speak of hehe.<br><br>
I do understand this is artistry, yes.
 

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I likw Wax's suggestion for sandblasting--that is how the pros do it in the glass business.
 

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I attached a sample of my work. It is done dot by dot with a drafting pen. I then added some graphite shading and little wash.<br><br>
Pointilist simply means converting your artwork into a a series of fine points. This works well in acrylic and black and white art because you can simulate shading by clustering the points or spreading them out.<br><a href="http://assets.overclock.net.s3.amazonaws.com/7/7e/7ed3abf9_vbattach32476.jpeg"><img alt="LL" src="http://cdn.overclock.net/7/7e/525x525px-LL-7ed3abf9_vbattach32476.jpeg" style="width:413px;height:525px;"></a>
 

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Discussion Starter #12
WOW!<br><br>
That must have taken hours man, great job! What I am doing is just text, so I suppose it does not require such a method hehe.
 

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For text something like what Wax suggested would be perfect. But it's basically like drawing. The cone bit will be easy to control the little ball next easiest. Big bits will jump around a lot--so the smaller ones are better for control.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Alright, I'll keep that in mind.<br><br>
What do these ball bits look like?
 

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Like a very small bb attached to a tapered shaft--maybe an1/8" to a 1/16" around. But the BB has a ridged sawtooth cutting edge milled onto it.<br><br>
If you are willing to spend som e money take a look at structured carbide bits--they will last forever and rather than having a toothlike scutting surface they are impregnated with little tiny spikes of tungsten carbide--they will cut anything--even stainless. By not having a sawtooth design they cut very smooth. Not to mention never wearing out (on acrylic anyway).
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Alright cool. I don't seem to have any of those special bits. You gave me something to think about, thanks.
 

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Lowes or Home Depot stock them--thje Dremel ones I mean. Structured Carbide would have to come from a tool specialists.
 

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don't take my word on this,but if it's just text could you use a chemical etch bath for this?<br><br>
i know for certian this works on glass,not sure about acrylic though
 

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Discussion Starter #20
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>ztec</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">don't take my word on this,but if it's just text could you use a chemical etch bath for this?<br><br>
i know for certian this works on glass,not sure about acrylic though</div>
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</tr></table></div>
I heard about that method as well, but I'd rather not purchase a kit just for this small task. Rep for the help though.
 
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