Noisebridge recently installed some edge-lit signs throughout their hackerspace (they’ll have to dismantle the signs in 2018 when they’re forced to move but that’s another story). They’ve got a blog up about the making of those signs – including thoughts on costs, pointers, and tips & tricks for making edge-lit signs (using 3/8″ clear acrylic for the display). The signs look great and I’m sure add an immediate visual *pop* to their hackerspace.
In case you’ve been wondering about those new signs in our space…
I’ve received a few requests for how we put together the signs that now identify the different workshop areas of our space.
Here is how they were made and installed:
The designs of the signs went from sketchbook to AutoCAD. Then from AutoCAD to RDworks (The laser cutter software that came with our laser cutter).
The important thing is to note that RDworks imports .dxf files and will separate linework by its color. It doesn’t care about CAD layers (I think it behaves similarly with other programs like Illustrator and Inkscape). I used 3 or 4 line colors: one that was intended to cut through the acrylic, one for cutting halfway through the acrylic, and one that defined the bounds of the sign but was not cut at all. On a few sings I used a fourth color to create a shallower hatch across the letters to help them pick up more light.
Read more here – and watch it in action below: