Moon Phase Acrylic Photo Frame

The acrylic materials come in varying thicknesses which allows some interesting effects.  As an experiment, I created a 4×6 inch Moon Phase photo frame using multiple layers of acrylic.  I think it turned out quite well.

Assembly has to be done in order:  Glue the moon slices together, Paint the copyright on the back,  Glue the assembled moons onto the blue frame, Sandwich the three layers together and add the acrylic stand.  To help with the assembly alignment, I added a guide line to the moon slices and a matching line to the back of the blue frame.

Of course, there are always issues:

1) Thickness of the half moons isn’t the same even when cut from the same 5.6 mm thick material.  There is always some variance in the thickness each acrylic sheet.  You can see this here:

Laser cut acrylic Moon Phase photo frame. Close up on one of the acrylic two color moon.

2) Laser cutting is a subtractive process.  The amount of material removed by the laser is called the kerf width.  I didn’t take this into account when I created the moon phase half’s.  After gluing the slices together, then gluing the completed moons onto the blue frame top, there is a visible gap.  You can see this here:

Another close up of the moons. Note the gap between the black moon slice and the blue frame.

Note the gap between the black moon slice and the blue frame.







3) Assembly, Assembly, Assembly!  Trying to glue the moon phases on the top layer, get the alignment right AND hold it into place while it sets is a near impossible task.  I need extra arms or some evil henchmen.  I’ll be creating assembly guides from bamboo to address this for future projects.

Overall I would say the design looks great.  I’m very pleased with the blue color for the frame.  Its got a pleasant dark shade.  You can’t quite tell its supposed to be moons, I’ll have to give some thought to adding craters to the white slice and filling it in with paint.

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