Beta Project: Coasters for a home-brewer



This weekend I went to a birthday party of a friend who likes to brew his own beer. The morning of the party I decided to quickly design and print some custom beer coasters out of 1/4" acrylic with a plywood stand. After a little time playing around in illustrator I had a design I was happy with, and started cutting. I engraved the coasters from the bottom so that the top stays smooth and clean.

The full set of 8 coasters was ready to go well before the afternoon party. Often the design process takes a lot longer than actually cutting the pieces. It was fun to do a project that came together so quickly, and it was a hit at the party.


so elegant! How does the base fit together?


I just did some coasters too - but I really like the reverse acrylic engrave for it. Hm.


What a great gift!! :gift: All my friends and family better be ready to receive laser-made presents for every major holiday/birthday/anniversary for a long time coming haha. I love the way these look when all stacked up- and engraving the underside is such a cool idea! Almost looks like etched glass, super neat.


What a great idea. They turned out awesome. I like the reverse etch.


Very good job, they look great, have a couple of friends that do their own brew. Guess what they will be getting for Christmas.
I can’t wait to try that in glass.


Looks very nice with the reversed engraving. :grinning:




Even on random days! There’s a woman in my new office who keeps honeybees, so I know I totally want to make her a 3D puzzle bee, just 'cuz :smiley:


Oh yeah, that’s on my list as well. :sunglasses:


The reverse etch seems like a good call. Being able to make quick gifts like this is so exciting.


For clear acrylic coasters without a cork or felt backing, the reverse etch is my preferred method. Did a pile of them for a submariner’s reunion this summer with the boat’s logo. Etching from the back keeps condensation from pooling in the etch and if it’s a complex etch the glass may get wobbles depending on where the glass is placed on it.

I did Challenge Coins as well with the same design (2" dia vs 4" for the coasters) but etched from the front - provides more tactile feedback for someone playing with it in their pocket like a worry stone.

Always good to consider how a user will actually use the things we make :slightly_smiling_face:


Lol so true. Those turned out awesome. Love the holder


I guess what I really am is envious. My drink coasters, without benefit of laser cutter/engraver or mill took a day and a half and they are not quite finished. You finished the design and GF work in a morning? That is so cool what you did for your friend. Hey, you want to be my friend? :grinning: - Rich


The base is cut out of 1/4" plywood and it just notches together, no glue needed. It took me a couple of tries to get the sizes of the notches just right, but the final one has a tight fit that makes it surprisingly sturdy.


This is one of the things that worries me. I’ve been trying to utilize parametrics in all of my designs, at least when dealing with material thickness (and therefore the notches), but I can just imagine that all of my designs are off by .1mm or something and then I have to redesign everything! Not very confident in my parametric design abilities.


If you know what material you’re planning on making your project out of, then you can do a quick test-cut to measure the kerf before designing all of your slots :smiley: Deferring to the awesome @smcgathyfay for her words of wisdom:


Yeah, future designs will be fine, but I’ve got a bunch of completed designs that I’m just waiting to cut once I get the Forge.


yeeeeeeeeah totally forgot about existing designs :sweat_smile:


Notches are a booger parametrically. (I’ve limited myself to a couple of files, that might need to be completely reworked if I have it wrong.)

And i need to rework all of those Free Sample files one of these days - to make them parametric as well. They just aren’t gonna work without glue.

So hard to do this without being able to test it.