HackBeanpot 2014

I was in charge of making the award plaques for HackBeanpot 2014, a Bostonian hackathon for college students.

Here's my first attempt at lasering 1/4" thick mirrored acrylic.

Yes, I take photos of laser-etched prototypes while at the grocery store. Also, yes, there's a scratch on the front of the acrylic because this was cut on a scrap piece of acrylic at Fab Lab Boston.

Laser-cutting in progress in this next version in the final shots.

Laser Cutting in progress

For anyone else wanting to try this at home with mirrored acrylic, it might be helpful to note a few things. First of all, see how the text is backwards in the above shot? We lasered the graphic with the shiny side down, so my vector graphic needed to be flipped horizontally before we sent it to the laser engraver. The laser is essentially burning off the reflective backing in certain areas, leaving plain clear acrylic behind.

The following settings were used on a 25 Watt laser cutter. Maybe you'll find this useful.

Settings for Cutting Acrylic

Speed: .4%
Power: 100%
600 PPI

Settings for Etching Acrylic

Speed: 50%
Power: 50%
400 PPI

And here's how the plaques turned out:

Final Plaques