Week 3: Laser Cutter

For this week in Introduction to Fabrication, I laser cut a gift for my mom. Her birthday is this Saturday. I created coasters in the shape of puzzle pieces.

Scrap wood

I visited the Makerspace to buy wood. Unfortunately they were out, but I found some spare wood in their junk shelf. I cut the unused pieces with the miter saw.

The design

I first tested my design on a piece of cardboard. I chose a unique design that emphasizes nature and harmony. I desired my finished product to be about 10×10 inches.

Testing the cutting feature

I cut my piece of cardboard into my puzzle pieces. I had to redo the engraving twice in order to cut the cardboard. For some reason, the cuts did not align perfectly. After this test, I felt more comfortable to move onto wood.

Small test on a piece of wood

I tested my design on a very small piece of wood in order to become more comfortable with the settings. In the picture above, I dislike how my design is too wide. I changed the dimensions in my next iteration. I really enjoy the color of the tree.

Editing my design
The next version

I edited my design and moved on to the final product. I chose to leave some space in between the puzzle pieces in order to create an enclosure/frame. I imagined connecting the thin middle to four borders. While I initially liked the idea, I realized that creating real puzzle pieces felt more practical.

The finished product

I created new puzzle pieces in Illustrator. I would first etch and then engrave the wood. I overlaid the two separate designs in order to identify their placement. I’m happy with the finished product! The image and message is very meaningful. I’m excited to give my present. My only complaint is that two dots appeared in the top right corner, but I’m not sure why my design in Illustrator specified that.

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