Thursday, June 30, 2016

I MADE A LASER ENGRAVING & ALSO A 3-D PRINT

So my place of work has a Makerspace now, which means I get to make stuff at work, which is pretty cool. To get ready for Con, I thought I'd make some stuff to add to my steampunk costume.

The watch is a pattern I downloaded from Thingiverse. The hands didn't come out, but it still looks cool. The hardest part was scraping out the "raft" - the temporary support part - out of everything. I found I'm not good at scraping the inside of a circle with a utility knife without getting my fingers cut, but luckily I didn't lose any.

The cameo was based on a project I saw on Instructables, but unfortunately it wasn't complete, because they were waiting on a Kickstarter or something which never happened. So, I just found a clip art of a Victorian-looking cameo and imported it into CorelDraw, which is what we use with our laser engraver (you can create the designs in other programs and import it as a JPG or PDF into Corel, but I needed the practice).

Corel is not the most intuitive drawing program in the world, so it would've been ideal to take a class first, but I fiddled with it based on my knowledge of other drawing programs, from Illustrator to good old ClarisWorks. The tricky part is making red outlines to indicate everything you want to cut though, but only those parts (black lines mean engraving).

My first attempt was too small, and just left a pile of dust. Finally, though, I got a size and pattern that would work. It's really neat to see the laser cut through the felt super-fast without somehow burning it up.

So, if you like to make stuff and are bad like me at cutting a straight line, give the laser engraver a try. 3-D prints tend to look to unfinished to me, maybe the watch needs a patina or something to make it look old.