Printable materials for backlighting?

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Supe

New Member
I am building a one-sided replica to keep on my desk to commemorate the closing of the Palm Beach Kennel Club (three of my four dogs raced there). I have the housing modeled, and am planning on using a series of either 3mm or 5mm LED's to light up the text and greyhound with a white styrene backing. I will likely use some translucent acrylic to diffuse the light for the face of the signs, though I'm flexible in this regard.

Where I'm torn is what to use for the print itself. Is there a recommended material that's readily available in 8.5x11 sheets that works well with a standard inkjet printer? I'm not concerned about it being too terribly bright, I just don't want it to appear washed out when backlit. The few dedicated products I've seen wanted mirror printing on the reverse side, which won't work for me, as that's the side I need to have adhere to the backing board. If inkjet is a lost cause, I'm fine having a local Kinkos, etc. run something off for me, but I'd appreciate any and all suggestions as to where to steer my search!

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Antsnest

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
You could certainly do the caps-text with a hobby vinyl cut machine. You _might_ be able to do the other text too, depending on how big it is cos it looks quite spindly...
 

star-art

Sr Member
A decal should be transparent enough for the red to light up, but the black might appear washed out when backlit. If so, you might be able to make it work with a custom decal for the red letters and a custom dry transfer for the black letters.
 

Supe

New Member
Thanks for the responses. I don't know why it never dawned on me to split it up. I have a Silhouette machine that will certainly work for the black lettering, but I think it would be marginal on the red. I'm pretty sure I have some decal paper hanging around so it's worth a shot. I've ordered some .015 yellow styrene off ebay, and I'm hoping that it doesn't make the red lettering come off too orangey. If it does, I'll try printing the yellow part on decal paper as well and try it over some white styrene instead.
 

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