I got Butterflies!.....in the garden

Good day. I know that I am not alone when it comes to seeing where Glowforge can provide a little embellishment into daily life that would otherwise have been more difficult, impractical or impossible. I’ve got some very cool neighbors. We live in a neighborhood where the town decided to put an island on our street, to provide a little greenery and (primarily) provide a place to dump the snow in the winter time. Like some projects conceived by government institutions large and small, the intent is not closely maintained for long (at least to the neighborhood’s satisfaction). 4 of my wonderful neighbors rehabbed the island to form a butterfly park. They planted native flora in an area shaped like a butterfly. The plants are meant to, and do attract butterflies. Pretty cool! They cared for it, loved it…and it grows and looks wonderful! I felt I should do something.
So what can guy armed with Glowforge who probably scores a “C” in art and a B in everything else do to help bring a little extra sumtin/sumtin to the butterfly park? I did say Glowforge, so the answer was “sumtin”. I cut 9 identical butterfly shapes out of translucent medium acrylic for each of the types of plants I wanted to provide information about. These included holes for mounting them to stakes later. I sprayed each with a complimentary color paint. I engraved (HD) each butterfly with information about a single type of plant and engraved (3d) a drawing of that plant on the right corner of the butterfly The then coated them with poly before mounting them to stakes that I had also put metal leaf on. I attached the butterflies to the stakes with brass screws and finishing (#10 x 3/4" not that it matters much). Just an FYI, I ruined a good handful of the finished product by blasting the painted, engraved butterflies with lacquer instead of acrylic poly or water based spray poly. The paint puckered up worse than a stone fish on a bad face day. Life is trial and error, and nothing teaches like error. The paint seemed to make the lenses dirtier than “normal” cutting/engraving, so I had to clean after every 7 Flutterbys or so. Your mileage…and their’s…may vary!
Tx Rich

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Thank you sharing this project. You made a great contribution to the neighborhood butterfly park that will enhance and educate simultaneously. Now that your neighbors know what a guy with a Glowforge can do I suspect their will be quite a few requests made for your talents.

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What a cool project and great contribution to the neighborhood!

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That’s a creative and lovely way to add to the butterfly park - well done!

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What a lovely contribution to the neighborhood! :butterfly:

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How nice! And very cool you were able to paint to get the two-layer effect going on. It clearly worked very nicely! Before I read your post I thought for sure you’d gotten a bunch of 2-layer acrylic. The colors you chose were excellent! Great job on the whole thing!

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Those are so great! What a cool way to educate!

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Very nice addition and a perfect idea to educate with beauty.

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THAT. IS. AWESOME. Cool idea. Cool execution. Community-minded and clever.

Nice.

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Thanks Tom. Should look even better back lit with daylight. The sun should come through the translucent engraved acrylic, but not the un-engraved painted surface. Thanks for the encouragement

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I bet your neighbors were thrilled! It’s so nice to hear about a neighborhood working together to make such a beautiful addition come to life!

Thanks much! They were very well received, and are actually in place now. I’ll have to get a few pics. Of course, the plants, I missed will also require some notice. :crazy_face:

Rich

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If that’s a “C”, then I’m definitely not getting out of kindergarten!

LOL, Chris. Thanks. I just look at some of the work done by folks with Glowforge, especially assembly work that has to be made as components and has to be put together. The detail and composition frequently blows me away, and frankly, humbles me. But that also sets the bar high. Its better to have to jump and reach to challenge yourself than to hop over a low set bar. Keep inspiring!
Tx
Rich

These are fantastic! What a beautiful idea! Thanks for the inspiration!

Welcome to the forum.

Yes, welcome! And thank you. Have fun making!

Rich

Here are some pictures of the “butterflies” in their intended habitat…

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Even better than I imagined. Thanks for the photos.