I’d like to share another one of my Glowforge projects with the community. An underwater photographer friend of mine challenged me to make a laser cut project based on one of her photos (http://bit.ly/2TboryZ). I thought that one of her photos of some clownfish nestled in an anemone was interesting enough to attempt.
The clownfish were cut in maple plywood, inlaid in a cherry wood background. I wanted to get the inlay to seat as snug as possible. However, the laser effectively cuts at an angle, making this a challenge. To word around this, I cut the hole for the inlay from the back of the cherry piece, then flipped it over and continued with the engrave pass on the other side.
Turning the photo into an engrave was interesting too. I chose the maple plywood for the clownfish inlay, as the scorched wood looked orange, while the normal finish on the plywood matched the whites in the image. For the background, I used an edge-detection filter in Photoshop to trace the outlines of the tentacles. Since cherry is such a soft wood, everything else was forced to white, to avoid scorching anything that wasn’t part of the image.
Close ups of the magnet: