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Guide Engraving FAQ

Discussion in 'Modding' started by Acid Burn, 16 Aug 2004.

  1. Acid Burn

    Acid Burn ..look but don't touch..

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    Engraving FAQ

    Hi guys, [WP@]Wolverine has made a very good engraving FAQ in Swedish. Since that FAQ helped me a lot, I now translate it to English so it can help more people :)

    I will write the FAQ based on [WP@]Wolverine's FAQ and some of the answers will be just directly translated into english. I have also added some things myself.. :thumb:
    OK here we go..


    Where can I get plexi for my engravings?
    You can buy Plexi in many hardware shops, and where you buy windows etc. Plexi is quite expensive though. But if you just need small pieces of plexi, it's possible to buy the leftovers from when they cut the plexi, and that's quite cheap.

    What kind of tool should I buy?
    The eternal question is to buy a Dremel or a copy. This depends on how much you're planning to use it. [WP@]Wolverine's experience is that the original Dremel is the best, but it is quite expensive especially if you're just going to use it for a couple of engravings. I (Acid Burn) use a copy, and it has worked for me, but I'm sure there is a pretty large difference in quality... If you're going to use the dremel a lot, then you should throw in some extra euros and buy the original Dremel.
    But whatever you do, don't buy a cordless one... Simply because you can't work for a long period at a time, because of the battery capacity. It's also heavier than the ones with cords.

    You can also buy some accessories that will make the engraving easier. Like the flexible arm as showed underneath. [WP@]Wolverine use just the Dremel with a steady hand, but I use a flexible arm like this one.
    [​IMG]

    How do I get my design over to the Plexi?
    If you have a picture or design printed out, you can just put it underneath the plexi and draw the edges with a water resistant marker. But if your design has text, then you have to mirror it, or else you'll get a surprise when you're done and flip the plexi to install it :thumb:. Always place the side you have engraved, inside your case.

    What bits should i use for the engraving?
    It depends on what effect you want. You could just buy an engraving set, for example like this one.
    [​IMG]
    The two bits to the left are great for engraving small patterns, and the two bits to the right are nice for frosting small areas of the window.

    These bits are great for detailed patters.
    [​IMG]
    These bits, [WP@]Wolverine use for 99% of his work. I only use #105 and #106.

    One thing to have in mind is that it's very easy to run these bits too deep into the plexi, making the depth uneven (which will result in different streght on the light when you light it up, but more about that later). The easiest way to avoid making the bit run too deep, is to always push the bit away from you, not towards you. With the bits shown above, you can make different textures in the plexi.

    Like:
    Dots made with #107
    [​IMG]

    Circle movements with #107
    [​IMG]

    Other cool effects are to make patterns with different sizes side by side in the designs.
    [​IMG]

    Or you can rub the bits (preferably small bits like #105 or #106) to get this effect.
    [​IMG]

    You can even use clear lacquer to get the "bathroom window" effect. With this you can experiment with different colors or uv lacquer :)

    To frost a larger area of the plexi, it's smart to use larger bits to save time.
    To frost you just use the dremel like when you're coloring a large area with a marker :thumb:
    These bits are perfect for frosting. Just find one that best suits the area you're going to frost.
    [​IMG]

    It's also possible to engrave, and light it up with different colors. You do this by first engraving one design, and then on another piece of plexi you engrave the second part of the design. That way you can for instance make a green dragon breathing red fire.
    It works like this
    [​IMG]

    Some facts and tips on engraving... By using different textures in the design or picture, you add more life to it. It simply looks better with different textures. If you're engraving a color picture or a design that originally has colors, you can change the colors with different textures, like Red=dots Blue=lines Green=frost. If you're going to light the Plexi up, the depth of the engravings has a lot to say. The deaper the engravings are, the more light they'll catch.

    Ok, there are different types of Plexi. Plexi is actually just a brand but many use it as the name of the actual plastic (just like Rollerblades is used for inline skates).
    I (Acid Burn) don't know too much about the types but I thought it was worth mentioning.
    The material most people use for windows in their mods is Acryl. It is light but not very strong and gets scratched more easily.
    The better verson is Lexan, which is stronger and don't get scratched that easily, but it's more expencive.

    A really good tip is: the more comfortable you sit when you engrave, the better the result. Stress is the engravers enemy nr 1, since one mistake can destroy many hours of work.


    If the master of engraving ([WP@]Wolverine) has anything to add, then I'll edit it into the FAQ :thumb:
     
  2. [WP@]WOLVERINE

    [WP@]WOLVERINE What's a Dremel?

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    Very nice work indeed :) It would have taken me forever to get the time to translate the faq, since i am kinda busy with the Dremel theese days :D
     
  3. Lovah

    Lovah Apple and Canon fanboy

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    Hi

    thank you for the FAQ.
    Can I use the same bits to engrave in glass? Coper? Aluminium ?..

    thanks
    L
     
  4. Acid Burn

    Acid Burn ..look but don't touch..

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    glass works fine, but coper and aluminium I'm not sure about... :worried:
     
  5. birdie

    birdie What's a Dremel?

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    what speed settings do you use for each bit?
     
  6. Acid Burn

    Acid Burn ..look but don't touch..

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    I use setting 2 on my copy.
     
  7. nosmo

    nosmo What's a Dremel?

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    rpm ?
     
  8. KayinBlack

    KayinBlack Unrepentant Savage

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  9. diskreet

    diskreet What's a Dremel?

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    here is the quick start guide to etching:

    1. put etching bit in dremel.
    2. turn on dremel to any speed you are comfortable with.
    3. etch.

    its extremley simple
     
  10. Acid Burn

    Acid Burn ..look but don't touch..

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    of course that's easy to say.. but some hints and tips are good to have when you're all new to engraving
     
  11. diskreet

    diskreet What's a Dremel?

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    i know but after 20 minutes of practice, with a steady hand you can do anything really easily.
    just pick up a piece of scrap plexi and mess around for a few minutes tracing patterns from papers under the plastic. its really fun and easy.
     
  12. Acid Burn

    Acid Burn ..look but don't touch..

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    true true
     
  13. Emon

    Emon What's a Dremel?

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    Glass is like, a really hard material. If you can etch glass with your bits, you can etch just about any soft, non-ferrous metal. Every try to scratch a glass sheet? It's not easy. :/
     
  14. Atarax

    Atarax What's a Dremel?

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    OK, this is as good as any place to ask this question. let's say u etch a design in plexi then paint the side u just etched to match your case (or for what ever reason) when LED's are put to it will it still have the same lighting effect or will the paint destroy the effect? :confused:
     
    Last edited: 18 Oct 2004
  15. r3Q

    r3Q Minimodder

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    i think if you etched the inside, then painted the inside, flipped it round and looked at the back, the 'frosted' parts would be filled with paint, and would not refract light anymore you could try etching -> painting -> taking out that little bit of paint in the first etch though.

    that would be cool.

    give it a try, hell, it might work still. :thumb:
     
  16. diskreet

    diskreet What's a Dremel?

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    if you are on the side of the paint there should be little/no glow. on the other side there is no reason for the plexi not to reflect, just now there is something behind it.
     
  17. Dark Wizard

    Dark Wizard What's a Dremel?

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    Thank you Acid Burn for taking the time to translate the FAQ and the link to the guide as extra help. :thumb:

    Also thanks to [WP@]Wolverine for taking the time to create the FAQ in the first place. :thumb:

    :dremel: ON
     
  18. DJFatben

    DJFatben What's a Dremel?

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    The best way to do this is to sandwich the design. have the design etch side touch the painted side of another sheet. Basically, like
    |<P| where |< is the plex with etching and P| is the plex that's painted. That way it retains the etch effect and you get a painted background. Alternatively, if you use a translucent/tinted plexi, you can put the tint on the outside window and have the etch on the inside panel. That's pretty confusing but I hope you get the jist.

    Ok and now the reason to have the tinted/translucent panel is this -> your etch is invisible until you light it up. Forgot to mention that at first.
     
  19. Acid Burn

    Acid Burn ..look but don't touch..

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    that's correct. if you paint the side you have engraved, the light won't get to where you have engraved, do to the paint lying in the groove. got to think of it, it will only light up one side of the groove, since the paint is stopping it from getting to the other side...

    you might do what djfatben suggests, to paint another plexi plate and mount it behind it. or if you don't have the space or plexi required, you can do what r3Q suggests; to paint the engraved side and then engrave it one more time, this time only through the paint. or you could paint one side of the plexi, then engrave the pattern directly through paint. this might be harder though, since you can't lay the design underneath, so you can just follow the lines.

    another thing you could do, is to apply a tint on the backside. but be sure, not to let the tint get into the groves ;) i think this is what the master himself, wolverine, did on his last computer. :thumb:
     
  20. SoylentGreen

    SoylentGreen What's a Dremel?

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    do you know how to engrave on a curved edge? say...a plexi tube?
     
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