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How to make acrylic neon sign letters

Table of Contents

What is acrylic neon signs?

Acrylic neon signs are also called faux neon signs or fake neon signs. They are neon-looking face-lit letters and are usually made of round-shaped acrylic faces, stainless steel sides, and inner LED light.

The primary materials are CNC engraved round shape acrylic faces, metal returns, and LED modules.

Compared with traditional glass tube neon signs, it has the same round face, but more advantages are highly energy LED lights, safe transportation, and lower maintenance cost.

What’s the difference between acrylic neon signs and flexi neon signs?

Flexi neon signs have only a one-word difference, but their production process is entirely different from acrylic neon signs.

Flexi Neon signs use flexible LED strips. They are usually mounted onto the clear acrylic base panel, engrave a shape line, and seal the LED strips into it.

Both of them were lighted by inner LED illuminated, and they have the advantages below.

  • Various colors option
  • Highly energy savings
  • Safety to use
  • Easy installation
  • Low maintenance cost

Also, they have some differences in the below chart.

Acrylic neon signsFlexi neon signs
Cost Expensive (engraved kits + labor cost for polish)Affordable
FlexibilityIt is limited at the stroke and fontsMore flexibility (it is soft, and can be bent into various shapes
AppearanceMore stereoscopic / 3D effectAcrylic backer can be seen obvious when it is not lit
LightingInner LEDFlexi LED strips
LifetimeEnerage-efficient,longer lifetimeLong lifetime
TransportEasy transport,not the risk of fragileMore lightweight for saving the shipping cost
Difference between Flexi neon signs and Faux neon signs

The steps to make acrylic neon signs

The process of making acrylic neon signs

Step 1: engraved the acrylic face

CNC machine engraved the round shape acrylic face according to the font of the letters.

The font and strokes of letters or symbols are challenging for CNC engraved. The ideal stroke is between 12 and 20mm. If it is too thin, it will quickly become fragile. Otherwise, it is not like a neon strip.

It is a time-consuming process. CNC engraving has to travel over the entire distance of the strokes, and their speed is limited to a reasonable rate to make the cutting details perfect.

Step 2: Polish

This process is time-consuming too. It uses 100% hand-make grinding or machine grinding, depending on the raw acrylic being frosted or glossed.

For most acrylic neon signs, we tend to use glossy cast acrylic, which gives a more shiny look, and it needs 100% handmade polish.

Before getting the ideal coats of varnish on the signage, the polish process should be done at least two times by using different levels of coarse sandpaper. At first, it uses coarse sandpaper to sand all edges round enough. Then it uses extra fine sandpaper to get the best suited for polishing jobs.

Step 3: Painting

Same as other channel letters, this step is painting. The polished acrylic surface is rough and dull. We spray the transparent varnish on the surface to make it shine.

Step 4: assembling and LED lighting

Various acrylic colors and LED colors are available, like green, orange, red, blue, white, etc. Different color options made our letters more attractive.

This video introduces how to make acrylic neon signs.

Takeaway

Elegant appearance, long life, easy after-sale installation and maintenance make acrylic neon lights very popular. But flexi neon signs and glass neon are also widely used in custom signage projects.

What works for us is the best, we list the top tips for choosing the correct neon signs below.

  • Install application
  • Project budget
  • Replacement cycle
  • Turnaround time

As a team of signage specialists, we understand well the neon signs making process and export rules worldwide.

Welcome to take advantage of our custom neon signs supply service, and discuss further with us.

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