Elegant Reindeers 4.5" *Free Design*

Good Morning guys!

Just want to first give a huge thanks to @cynd11 for her Illustrator tips, and to @chris1 for his AMAZING Illustrator Glowforge {laser cutting} tutorials. If you haven’t checked him out, go give him a subscribe, you will not be let down. He posts regularly, and the content is top notch. Couldn’t have done this project without him.

Without further adieu, here is my first project. Made entirely from scratch in illustrator.
File is made for 1/8" material. Fitment is snug using my 1/8" BB plywood stock. So your results may very in the fitment category.

I’m releasing this under the Creative Commons - Attribution - Non-Commercial license to all Glowforge fans. May your holidays be filled with love and peace. Merry Christmas all!


Here is a pic of the completed project. Forgive the paint job, it was a rush job last night once I got the file completed, and the paint was old…and NOT good. (Valspar Rattlecan, do not suggest…poor quality paint)


Awesome ungulates! Thanks for sharing. I’ll be adding this to my menagerie!


Which brings me to a question Chris. Maybe a topic for another video??

How would you go about making this file with parametric connection points? Meaning…where the connection points don’t increase when you scale the rest of the file…say you wanted 10inch Reindeer?

Is there a way to make a file that does that?


Oh how cute! I really like your design touches–these are so much better than the run-of-the-mill reindeer. Thanks so much for the file!


You can thank the wife. LOL She had a certain look in mind, and it had to meet her specifications of cuteness. haha


I’ve been enjoying the Valspar Laquer paints. Enamel paints have almost totally dominated the spray can world now, and it’s getting hard to find good lacquers.

Lacquers dry in about 20 min, and can be recoated at any time (enamels need a setting time of a day or so or they will craze when fresh paint is applied over partially cured.) Lacqers are easily wetsanded (sometimes within 20 min of application.


Cute reindeer! :slightly_smiling_face::+1:


Yeah, these weren’t lacquers. Water based I think. Where do you find the lacquers?

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I would make it in Fusion 360.

I’m told that there are plugins for Illustrator that give it more CAD-like mechanical drawing features (actually the whole reason I went with Illustrator in the first place was to use one of these, but I never got around to trying it). In the end though, it’s the wrong tool for the job and my preference is to invest in learning a better tool instead of workarounds.

One workaround, I suppose, would be to leave subtracting the connection points for the last step, and ensure you have saved a version of the file where everything is separate. Then you could go back and scale the artwork before repositioning and knocking out new slots.


Gotcha. That’s exactly what I have in my .AI…My knockouts on a separate layer. I’ve done parametric modeling in Fusion 360 for 3D printing…not sure I want to add Fusion to a 2D workflow at the moment though. But seriously, keep up the excellent Illustrator videos. I considered myself a “fiddler” of Illustrator previously, but your tutorials have really given me the tools and confidence to feel like I’m really understanding it finally and can do anything.


Once you have the file set up in Fusion360 it’s a snap to get 2D output. You can use the drawing feature to produce the laser paths and it will automatically scale when you update the model size. Then you output a PDF file from the drawing which the GF app can read natively, or import into Illustrator, Inkscape, CorelDRAW, etc for enhancements like engraving if desired.


That sounds excellent. Are you aware of any good tutorials that covers this procedure?

I’m sure there are some tutorials on youtube covering the drawing setup process but I don’t know of any particular one off the top of my head at the moment.

I think the best/easiest way to show it, is if I work directly from your file and kick out some screenshots and a Fusion file. Do you mind if I do that?

Otherwise I did write a brief run-through a little ways back. It’s buried in a Parametric Box thread I shared here but here’s a link to the jump if you want to see it: Parametric Box with Finger Joints - Fusion 360 file


Noice! I’ll check that out. Feel free to mess around with file!

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It is almost a sure thing that @mpipes tutorial is best practices but a quick and simple way to handle small adjustments to kerf is to install and use the laser dfx plug in. Just search those terms in the F360 store.


OK cool! I’ll see what I can come up with, and if I can do it in 2D without needing to build a full model.

Or put the slots on a different layer. Then you can resize them all at once. If you scale them the same as the overall drawing they’ll be in the right place. Then just reset the width back to what you need for the material thickness. It’s a hacker’s version of parametric design (for tabs & slots anyway) :slight_smile:


Ha! That’s exactly what I did!


Very nice Will!
Best looking reindeer I have seen. Your wife has a good eye!
Thank you for sharing the file, and I hope your holiday season is bright as well! :sunglasses:


I LOVE these guys…and thank you for sharing the file. My youngest grandson will really get a kick out of making these with me.