I’m a little hesitant to post this because it’s literally my first attempt with a little success and there are so many well-polished projects here, but I’m excited about the potential and wanted to share.
I ordered my Glowforge at the beginning of the year because I wanted to make 3d topographic maps with it. I’ve had a 3D printer for awhile and made maps with that as well, but I don’t really find the medium aesthetically appealing. Since then, I’ve spent a ton of time trying to get my map imagery to engrave clearly without any great results.
I got tired of burning through wood trying to get maps to work, so I started learning how to use Inkscape and tried a few different styles of wall art for projects that we have at work:
A couple of nights ago, I made my daughter a Moana puzzle by converting an image from the movie with a sketch filter. It turned out decent, but the engraving was tough for her to see in some lighting so I figured I’d try a lazy man’s photo transfer (just gluing an image to the wood instead of transferring the ink/pigment) and ended up with this:
Seeing how easy that process was with some 3M Super77, I wanted to try 3D maps again. I ended up making a quick & dirty test map with Global Mapper over this area of the Columbia River Gorge (mainly because a surveyor friend lives here and I thought it would make a cool gift)
I cut out 7 9inx10in sheets first and glued a (way too dark) printout to each before loading it back into the laser and cutting out the contour lines. There’s quite a few things that I will change before the next attempt, like masking the imagery and making the contour lines almost invisible instead of white, but overall I’m happy with the process and how easy it was to maintain an accurate scale when moving between global mapper, inkscape and the glowforge interface.