Since this project involved a lot of issues with resolving design size, complexity and the impact that settings have on the ability of the GF to complete the engrave, this post is short and the detail is over in the Beyond the Manual category.
Some background is needed to start. I’ve been a tech geek for decades (yes I owned an Apple II that I added a 10mb hard drive that was bigger than the rest of the computer). If a cool technology came out, I likely have an early version in my basement.
A few years ago I bought my first 3D printer. It was about $2,500 and I bought it “for the family” one Christmas. (Santa Claus has permission dispensations at my house that permit ridiculously expensive, impractical or even downright dangerous things - the only result is a “what was Santa thinking” comment).
We did the obligatory little plastic figurines, found Thingiverse and downloaded & printed the lamp from the Christmas Story movie ️ and then I settled down looking for uses. I’m pretty sure you need to experience technologies in person to properly fit them into your world view of what’s doable. My kids benefited enormously from this.
My wife scratches her head about all of these. She’s more inclined to bring home a new kitten than a new tech toy.
One day her crockpot’s lid handle broke off. I designed a replacement, printed it and screwed it on and she was able to use it to cook dinner. She was thrilled. “Whatever that thing cost it was worth it for that handle.” Honestly that’s what she said. Really, most expensive plastic handle ever but it was a practical thing she needed and I could make.
Fast forward several years and I’ve got a GF PRU in the basement. I’ve made a bunch of stuff. Have made a ton of things on its predecessors as well. Things she’s appreciated but not yet something she knew she needed before I made it. Never anything where she said “could you make this…”
She has a small ottoman/footstool. It’s basically a wood box with a removable top that she can store needlework magazines or projects in. It’s covered with a basket weave of some thin reeds or something.
The top takes the abuse of feet on it. The basket weave has been breaking up and coming off. It was looking sad. Replacement time. Unless, “could you make me a new top with one of the laser?”
Yep. Here it is in PG Maple plywood with a personalized design of some hawks (she’s really captivated by raptors in general and a family of sharp shinned hawks that have taken up residence in a tree near us) and lavender (also a favorite - we’re doing some micro-farming of it now as a possible retirement gig).
Some great engraving relief detail with the GF now.
So now the GF has achieved “justified purchase” status - I saved her ottoman from the trash
And, no the irony of a $2500 tool being justified by not having to buy a new $40 Crock-Pot or a $5000 one saving a $100 footstool is not lost on me
Nor is the more than 20 hours of time spent trying to get the GF to engrave the thing lost on me. That story is over in BTM though.