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I've been researching how manufacturers create custom LED-illuminated symbols such as those seen on the router in the image below: led_indicator_router

I haven't been able to find any information online from custom enclosure manufacturer websites or discussion websites such as this. I found a somewhat related thread in the 3dprinting Stack Exchange but it never led to any real conclusion on the generally accepted method of creating these LED effects (LED Indicators with 3D Printer).

Based on my observations of these physical products, my best guess is that they are using some type of translucent material, possibly tinted acrylic, and using some method to print the negative symbol shape on the back side of the acrylic. Then a light pipe or direct LED lighting can be used to illuminate each symbol.

Could anyone confirm if this is the method that is used? If so does anyone have more details on specific materials, printing processes, and manufacturers which can provide this service?

Thank you all for your consideration.

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closed as off-topic by Andy aka, brhans, Maple, RoyC, Sparky256 Sep 3 '18 at 3:44

  • This question does not appear to be about electronics design within the scope defined in the help center.
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    \$\begingroup\$ In my limited expereince we've always printed on some transparent plastic with some opaque ink, leaving the symbol for the light to shine through. Then, depending on various mechanical requirements, we either have the LED behind the screen directly or use a light pipe. \$\endgroup\$ – Puffafish Aug 24 '18 at 12:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ Awesome, that was more or less what I suspected was the case. Do you know what method you used for printing? Was it screenprinted or directly printed onto the material? Thanks! \$\endgroup\$ – K.P Aug 24 '18 at 14:00
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    \$\begingroup\$ "How do I print opaque ink on transparent plastic?" probably should be asked somewhere else. Your new question doesn't have anything to do with electronics design. \$\endgroup\$ – Elliot Alderson Aug 24 '18 at 14:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ having busted lots of devices apart, these shadow mask look to be printed on an overhead transparency, or something akin to it. \$\endgroup\$ – dandavis Aug 24 '18 at 19:19
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    \$\begingroup\$ I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because its not about electrical engineering. \$\endgroup\$ – brhans Aug 25 '18 at 13:54
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Based on my observations of these physical products, my best guess is that they are using some type of translucent material, possibly tinted acrylic, and using some method to print the negative symbol shape on the back side of the acrylic. Then a light pipe or direct LED lighting can be used to illuminate each symbol.

Could anyone confirm if this is the method that is used? If so does anyone have more details on specific materials, printing processes, and manufacturers which can provide this service?

Yes, the light is fed in through a tube and the area where the light is desired to be emitted is clear, while the area where light is not desired to emit is opaque.

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