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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
The material I ended up with was a small leftover clear acrylic sheet, about 1/8" thick, plus a small leftover aluminum sheet metal.

For the experiment, I wanted to make a "road trip" badge. I combined 2 concepts:
(1) Connecting the LED DRL headlight "Thor's hammer" to norse mythology, we get to the concept of the "shimmering path" (milky way?) Bifröst as a gateway between worlds
(2) With the convenient abbreviation of polestar into "p*", take "bi" and "frost" into "b*"

The badge will have some color changing element for the shimmering path, and "b" and "*".

For the color changing element, I used a small leftover piece of dichroic film sold for building interior applications (link here; I think this one is the closest one to the product I got 5+ years ago; it was labeled "SXWF-Bahama").

The film produces interesting results depending on whether the light source is on the same side as the viewing side or not. Here are some examples from my past projects to give you an idea of how it changes color:



On aluminum sheet metal:

 

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Discussion Starter #3
Step 1: cardstock template

The first step is crucial. I chose a thick cardstock to copy the outer dimensions of an existing badge. Getting this as accurately as possible affects how close the end product will be compared to other OE badges around it.


Test cut the opening to make sure it fits an OE badge:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Step 2: cut the acrylic piece to match OE shape

Using the cardstock template, mark the edges of the acrylic, and cut carefully. If the acrylic sheet comes with a liner (the blue plastic as shown in the picture below), it is best to leave it on for the moment.


Since the OE badge has a bit of a gradual prismatic taper at the top edge, and a slightly shorter taper at the bottom edge, the clear acrylic piece needs to be sanded down to match:


This picture shows the extent of the upper (left) and lower (right) portions that need to be rounded.


The sanded surface as seen from the edge. If we didn't do this, it appears different enough when placed near other OE badges in the SPA xc90.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Step 3: polishing the acrylic piece

This step is simple but can be time consuming.

After sanding down the upper and lower surfaces to match the curvature of the OE badge, the acrylic piece needs to be polished to regain its optical clarity. Placing a buffing tool on a drill press is a convenient way to do this:


As a gauge on whether or not the polishing is sufficient, I simply placed the acrylic piece on top of things to see if it appears clear enough. Here it is on top of the dichroic sheet, on top of a piece of paper.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Step 4: metal base

Most OE badges are made of clear plastic (either acrylic or polycarbonate), with embossed patterns on the back side to facilitate for the chrome lettering and painted base color. The molded plastic piece also has built-in recess so that automotive grade double-sided tape can be placed on the back but no adhesive edge shows on the sides of the badge.

With a DIY, I wasn't sure if placing the dichroic coating plus base spray paint would make it durable enough not to peel off over time.

My solution is to let a piece of sheet metal hold onto the double-sided tape by adhesion, and then have it also hold onto the acrylic piece by mechanical means (i.e. having the metal "clamp" onto the acrylic piece). Then, all decorations will be done on the inner surface of the acrylic.

There's a type of aluminum sheet metal that is readily available in most hardware stores in north america; it is sold for roof flashing by the roll. Household scissors can easily trim it with reasonable accuracy. While aluminum is relatively more brittle than steel, this particular product isn't too bad unless you make too many erroneous bends... after which it will fail at the bend. A piece is cut, shown next to the acrylic piece.


Using a pair of pliers, gradually bend each side to increasing angle up to 90 degrees. This will serve as the metal frame that will keep the acrylic piece in place.


In this step, the cardstock template also plays an important role. The folded edge of the sheet aluminum should conform to the template opening:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Step 5: a test of old eyes, hand-eye coordination, and sharp knife edge

For the "b" and "*" icons, I used a small leftover vinyl wrap (3M 1080 gloss black), which incidentally is also black on the inner side. As the icons will be affixed on the inner surface of the acrylic piece, the icons need to be made in its mirror image.

Here is the "b". I decided to go with lowercase to echo the "p" in "p*":


It looks more or less like this when adhered to the back of the acrylic piece:


Now the "*". This proved to be harder than I had hoped.


And then the dichroic film is applied afterwards. I thought an offset layout can nicely expose the brushed metal surface of the aluminum. It turned out to be too small to notice. And yes, the "*" ended up not being symmetrical. As it was supposed to symbolize the organic many paths one can take on a road trip, I suppose it can't be all symmetrical and predictable...
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Step 6: affixing the metal and acrylic together

Now that the visual decorations ("b*" icons and the dichroic background) have been affixed to the acrylic piece on the inside, the lips of the sheet metal can be used to clamp the acrylic piece. Because the acrylic has this prismatic rounded shape, it isn't convenient to clamp the left and right edges. The top and bottom edges, however, can be clamped by folding the lip into 2 successive 90 degree bends. One side is shown with the 2 90 degree bends pre-made, and the other one folded back to allow the acrylic piece to slide in:


To prevent any gaps from accumulating moisture and dirt over time, and possibly affecting the appearance of the inner acrylic surface where the icon and dichroic coating sits, I used acrylic adhesive to fill the edges. Not too much, as it can overflow and ruin the acrylic surface.


Here's how it looks after both 2-90-degree bends are fully closed, and the sharp metal edges are sanded using a metal file.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Step 7: Double sided tape and side frame

Cutting double-sided tape to match the wedge shape is easy; just apply tape on the back of the sheet metal, and trim off excess material. But at this point, this leaves the edge of the tape visible:


One solution is to use aluminum tape and cut a small sliver to cover the perimeter of the badge, including the edge of the double-sided tape. I didn't take a picture of the process. Either way, the edge of the tape is no longer visible. In addition, extra aluminum tape material can be left over the sides to the front surface, and then trimmed to match the curved surface. This also helps prevent dirt and moisture from entering the area between the sheet metal and acrylic piece.


 
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