[Originally posted in Made on a Glowforge, but others suggested that I should remove non-Proofgrade specifics from that post. See the original thread for subsequent discussion of pattern sources, as well as a copy of my SVG file.]
I just finished up these coasters, as a gift for the founders/co-hosts of our local board gaming group:
(I’m sorry for the phone photo / lighting quality. The background colors are more vibrant that the photos would suggest. Also, the last one isn’t an etch; it’s a cut backed by black foam.)
- 3mm Baltic Birch ply
- 2mm EVA foam
I also considered cork backs, but I preferred the ability to mix & match the background colors.
I don’t suspect I learned much that others don’t already know…
It was a lot of work to get the cut patterns just right within the meeple shapes, but ultimately a fun learning project. I certainly got plenty of practice with the path manipulation tools!
I’m sure it’s material-specific, but there was definitely a threshold level of detail to dial in, both in terms of extremely thin lines being too fragile and thicker lines hiding too much background.
One tip for EVA foam: while it can be cut at very high speeds, I found that a slower approach yielded a smoother, more consistent edge. (My final cut settings for 2mm EVA were 130 speed at just 5 power.)
For the 3mm Baltic Birch Ply, I just used the default settings for Proofgrade Maple Ply. They seem to work fine.
Coasters get wet, so make sure the finish and glue/adhesive can handle it.