Highlighting Etching on Dark Laser Cut Parts

highlighted laser etchingWith a lot of people ordering Raspberry Pi enclosures from me, I decided to revisit trying to color etching on darker plastics. I found that cheap correction fluid works great! You'll want to make sure it's pretty thin so it wicks into the etching nicely. Add a nice thin layer over the etched areas of your parts and let it dry:

Adding color to dark laser etched parts

After letting it dry use a paper towel or a nice non-abrasive cloth and rub off the excess dried marking fluid to reveal the crisp text and graphics underneath:


7 Responses to “Highlighting Etching on Dark Laser Cut Parts”

  1. Mike Halverson says:

    Back in the ’70s and ’80s we used Crayons on D&D dice for the same effect. It also works well for the stamped lettering in Lian Li pc cases. Since it is just colored wax, it can be wiped down with water without needing to reapply afterwards.

  2. Craig says:

    I tried wax pencil but it didn’t turn out particularly well. I’ll give straight up crayon a go and see if they work any better…

  3. Sascha says:

    Love the correction fluid idea! It would then be pretty easy to colour with a texta or similar.

    In the past I have used hobby shop spray cans. Before I remove the protective paper, I mask off the areas I want to colour then spray – first with a plastic primer and then with the colour of choice.

    I’ve got an example of a switch panel on my flickr page – http://www.flickr.com/photos/oflittleinterest/7027596207/in/set-72157629236846925

    This has 3 different colours.

    Once the paint is dry, I can then peel off the paper and it’s done!

  4. John says:

    Used Bic Wite-Out and I was finding it very difficult to completely remove everything. I found that the sides of other pieces of plastic/case (spare light pipe?) worked REALLY well!

  5. Ryan says:

    I used water based model paint.

    Looks epic.

  6. […] 7-13-12 – Highlighting Etching on Dark Laser Cut Parts – Built To Spec – If you are into laser engraving (and who isn’t…) here is an interesting way to add color to dark plastic engraving, using correction fluid or White Out.  Creative idea although I’m not sure how durable it will be, even deep into the engravings.  I need to do a few tests…. […]

  7. Silvia says:

    Forget photo paper. GLOSSY MAGAZINE PAPER rocks! Transfers perfectly in less than one mtinue of ironing, and super easy to remove! The whole transfer can be done in less than five mtinues.Also: sponge method to etch. Instead of dipping the board in a big tub of etchant, I load etchant into a small sponge and wipe away the copper. This also takes five mtinues, using only a small quantity of fresh FeCl.From laser printing to the first hole being drilled in a pad in less than 10 min!

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