I foolishly signed myself up to do two shows this weekend in different towns. And a lot of my inventory is already tied up sittings on the shelf on consignment at a large event (The Big E for you New Englanders). But I have a laser now! No more taped-on signs printed on paper.
No, @Jules, I haven’t had time to design the ideal decal holder yet. So, for now, I engraved my logo on the Baltic Birch holder I bought a few months ago.
The main sign pretty much took all day today to print (as well as most of last week to attempt to print). It’s PG maple plywood. The finished size is 18" x 10.5". I still need to clean up some glue residue from the masking around bitmap image. Once I get rid of that, the photo will fade away at the edges.
This design was too complex/large to be handled as a single job at this time. I resized it down about 1/4 of the size and that would have worked. Instead, I broke the job up into multiple “prints”. I did the text first. Then I did the bitmap. Then the border. Then the cutout. It took roughly three hours total for all four parts.
Just the border would have taken 3 hours if I processed it as shown. Instead, I broke it up into two horizontal bars and two vertical bars (with the scallops). I overlapped about 0.05". This “only” took 1 hour. The difference is the laser head did not have to scroll back and forth over the whole bed for every line. After doing the horizontal bars, it went up one side (going back and forth 1/4") and then repeated for the other side.
Here’s a good reminder about something I believe has been discussed on the forums. Watch out for overlapping vectors. This is especially important with script fonts where one letter overlaps the next. If you are not careful, you may get some unexpected results as I did below. I should have converted to object and combined the vectors (in CorelDraw language). It’s consistent enough across the whole tag line that I can say I did it on purpose to add some texture. I should be smart enough to know better. This is an issue on vinyl cutters, too.
These projects were frustrating when it came to the visual alignment. I have sent an email to support to see if perhaps there is an issue with my camera. If you carefully analyzed the decal stand, you will see the text is not perfectly aligned. Similarly, in the photo below, you can see the live preview of the cut in progress (red line) makes it look like the cutout will be too far to the left. But it was (almost) perfect because I aligned it with the border vector on-screen rather than trusting the bed image.