Intro to Laser Cutting!
Today I tried using a laser cutter for the first time. :D I’ve been wanting a custom name necklace for quite awhile now, especially like those made by Cicily Margo and Di Depux. The only problem is that I’m a student trying to make rent and can’t currently afford to purchase such lovely work (I still would like to get a custom order from them in the future though!). :c
I’m going to walk you through the steps it took me to make these today! :]
Where to find a Laser Cutter
For this project I used the laser cutter at the Art and Design building of my university. There are many places you can find them outside of schools though!
Hackerspaces often have laser cutters available for use. For those of you that aren’t familiar with them, the definition of a hackerspace is:
A hackerspace or hackspace (also referred to as a hacklab, makerspace or creative space) is a location where people with common interests, usually in computers, technology, or digital or electronic art can meet, socialise and/or collaborate. …
Many many cities have hackerspaces, here’s a list of them from all around the world. :]
If you’re unable to find a laser cutter near you, you can always have designs cut online at sites like Ponoko~
Preparation of the Design
Each laser cutter may be set up slightly differently in terms of how you need to create your layout. Some have you use specific sized outlines, fill in designs with certain colors for different options (engraving, cutting, etc)
I created the layout for the pieces I needed to cut in Adobe Illustrator. Inkscape (which is free) and Corel Draw are able to make the correct vector files as well~
Cutting the Design
I chose to cut my pieces out of wood sheets because I wasn’t able to find acrylic sheets today. Here is what they looked like cut out. :D (My school charges $2 for 10 minutes of cutting. These took around 1 minnute to cut out)
Painting and Gluing
Since I used wood instead of acrylic sheets and still wanted my pieces to be colorful, I had to paint them. I used some plain acrylic and some glitter paints (as well as Krylon Clear Gloss spray paint) and painted the pieces before I glued them together.
Here’s a photo of the mess of paint I used, haha:
And here’s a photo after I put a chain on the necklace. :D
I’m excited to keep tweaking my method, and also experimenting with acrylic sheets and engraving eventually~~ :D