First project finished

Ive had my Chinese laser for about a month now and after learning all the qwerks, fiddling with settings, learning the awkward software and almost burning the house down. Ive finally managed to make something useful.

It might just be a fridge magnet. BUT its my wife’s handwriting. So she loved it, and i get to keep my laser a little longer :wink: She has lots of little saying posted around the house that she has written and i think the eventual goal is to transfer them to wood and stop taping things to the wall.

The process for this sucked and goes something like this: Scan picture in with Paint> Clean image static out in photoshop > Crop in AI (because i’m Photoshop illiterate) > Trace in CorelTrace > delete out 436 of 442 extra object from trace > Input clean trace into CorelDraw > Add outline and holes for magnet > engrave > change setting and pray i dont jiggle the wood > cut > cheer when finished

I now have a deep appreciation for what the GF scan feature offers and i hope its as cool as they say :wink:

The magnets are just held in with a press fit. I found the natural taper of the laser cut lends itself beautifully to this. The holes have a slight clearance at the top to help get the press started, and have a good snug fit by the time they are flush with the wood. I really like it.


I just fell off of the fence I was sitting on regarding buying a K40 to play with until December! I’ve been reading your posts about it and just haven’t decided yet.

Although it sounds like it was a chore - it is neat to see what you made, and where it came from. Thanks for sharing!


So, in my opinion, they are well worth the 300$ IF you acknowledge that it is gonna take some work.
The best analogy I’ve come up with, is that getting a K40 is basically having someone mail you a small baby dragon. It comes with no instructions, doesn’t speak English, its messy, smells like smoke, should definitely change by the time it (you) grow, there is a chance it will burn your house down, but its also pretty sweet.

I haven’t regretted it.


Nice looking magnet…and a cute saying, to boot. So much fun to see a finished project materialize from an intangible idea. Thanks for sharing it with us.


Awwww… baby dragons. <3


Best analogy ever XD


I would have destroyed something in frustration so hats off to you :wink:
Makes the wait for the GF bit easier.


Could you have uploaded the image into Inkscape and used the trace option to convert it into a SVG or DXF to run through your laser? Tons less work than you described what you had to go through. Hats off to you for sticking it out. It turned out nice.


Corel trace can do the same. Tweaking the trace settings can radically change the number of points and smooth lines. It’s faster to do that then take the default and then mess with hundreds of points. Then you only have to deal with a much smaller set of trace points to clean it up.

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Trace vs hand-plotting is always such a dilemma for me. I can spend so much time reworking the computer’s points that it’s just not worth it… Or it can be fine. Or I can be too nit-picky. Or, or, or…

Anymore I trace first to see if I have to redraw. And I’m getting really focused on clean paper drawings. But I’m convinced that someday I’m going to be laying down bezier curves and they’ll just switch over into making sense to me on a fundamental level. :four_leaf_clover:


Also I love your wife’s handwriting. And her household notes. Fistbump her for me?


fistbump passed on :slight_smile:


Love the analogy! Curious if it speaks Mandarin or High Valyrian lol


I’ve been faced with that predicament several times. I have learned that the trace function usually gets me to a foundation pass, then refinement soon follows. It is a process, no doubt. Trace is a tool, not an agent. At least, that’s how I use it.


Yes, I would have also used Inkscape as a first option unless you already had invested in other products. Key is vector drawings and converting to paths if your software needs it.
I’ve managed many projects with opensource tools and recommend trying them first.

Oh, I love the “baby dragon” metaphor!


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