M.C. Escher Mosaic Puzzle
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Joined Feb 9, '18 

I made a jigsaw puzzle of M.C. Escher’s Mosaic I out of maple and walnut.


My wife wanted me to make some Christmas presents on the Glowforge. Specifically something Escher related for her uncle. I searched through Escher’s portfolio and settled on this non-repeating mosaic. I think it makes a great puzzle–harder than you’d think for only having 36 pieces.


The walnut case/sleeve came about as an afterthought, i.e. how am I going to keep all the pieces from falling out? I made the cases the by hand but used the Glowforge to customize each case for the intended recipient.


The puzzle pieces are 1/4" thick and 3D engraved. If I were to make more of these, I’d probably make the pieces a little thinner, say 3/16", to reduce the amount of cleanup I have to do afterwards. Even making two passes, there were a few places where the Glowforge wasn’t quite able to cut all the through the 1/4" hardwood. I thought I had my settings pretty well dialed in after making some test pieces. I probably could have dialed the speed back a little bit more to account for the imperfections and variations in the wood, but I think a 1/4" cut is really pushing the limits of the laser’s focal range.

BTW, this is all just standard hardwood that I sliced up into veneers–no proof-grade materials. In fact, the walnut came from a tree in our back yard that had to be taken down.

I ended up making two puzzles since I had to cut a complete set of pieces out of both walnut and maple. Each print took about 1 hour and 45 minutes. Luckily the other recipient didn’t notice/care that the light/dark pieces were inverted!

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