San Juan Is. Coasters
Posted by
koos42
Seattle, WA 
Joined Oct 1, '15 

I know, more coasters; but I’m going up to see my folks in Friday Harbor and I figured I’d make them something quick to show off the new laser cutter. This was my first attempt at combining rasters and vectors, and really my first time using Inkscape. It went surprisingly smooth!

Thanks to @takitus for the suggestions on the unsharp mask from that tutorial! In all of my Photoshop experience, I have never used that tool.

I am seriously overjoyed with how incredibly easy everything has been (thanks @glowforge). All of my random proof-of-concept tests have just worked out, first try. And now I even got my first finished pieces in one try!

Workflow:

  • Cut outline: Solvespace |> PDF |> Inkscape
  • Raster work: OpenCPN |> Screenshot |> Photoshop |> BMP |> Inkscape (same file as the cut!)

Laser time: 31min

Lessons learned:

  • I need to create for myself a repository of patterns in Photoshop to tile behind cuts to make them pop-out.
  • Engraving takes time, engraving gradients is costly, and while I’m very satisfied with the outcome here, I could see how results could vary.
  • I need to explore the different engraving settings more. Perhaps 3D engrave next time? Though I don’t know what that means for laser time.
  • Maybe I’ll try 3D engrave with a line-work background pattern, so a pattern of individual cuts get shallower to create the gradient effect?

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