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Case Smithing: Personalized Acrylic Etching and Engraving

By: John Williamson | Guides | Posted: Apr 15, 2013 2:05 pm

Shading

 

After establishing your guidelines, it's time to start shading in. For the TweakTown logo I am going to just shade in the front face of the design. For the initial shading I set the rotary tool down to the lowest speed and worked from the left edge to the right edge fairly lightly at first, which of course would be reversed for left handers.

 

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After reaching the far side, turn the piece 90 degrees and go over the shaded areas again, only this time we will be working across the piece from the opposite angle. Following this pattern means all the sections, except for the very edges, have been gone over twice. Carefully wipe away the debris and decide whether another once over is needed to thicken the highlights up. Once satisfied with the larger areas, we can now slowly shade our way into any sharp corners or remaining un-etched areas.

 

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After satisfied with the shading, we can go back and make the outlines a bit bolder and add some thicker highlighting lines.

 

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Shading in will take time so take a break, if need be grab a bite to eat, or play some Battlefield 3 - patience is the key, so don't rush no matter what! Once the etching is finished, give the acrylic a good polish with some soft material to remove any fingerprints or scuff marks, and admire your own handy work.

 

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Final Thoughts

 

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Engraving can be used for a huge array of projects and is not only limited to clear acrylic windows. Give it a try on some coloured acrylic or maybe with a combination using Di-Noc vinyl to make a custom name plate. For an even more stunning finish, the addition of some UV LEDs or CCFL lighting will really make your engraving come to life.

 

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Window etching is an excellent way to add another layer of personalization to your pre-existing or newly installed case window, with endless possibilities from massive full panel battle scenes to screen names or company logos.

 

Why not unleash your artistic side and give it a try?

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