I’d like to share this laser-cut nautical chart of the upper Lynn Canal near Haines, AK (NOAA chart 17317, if you’re curious). I wanted to create something similar to the other oceanic charts you may have seen online, but much more personalized. Growing up, I spent countless hours studying this chart while on my dad’s fishing boat. It’s half the reason why I have such an interest in maps.
I created this using Adobe Illustrator, both to engrave the design on the draft board, and to cut the various layers of water. I then used watercolor paint to paint the different shades of blue for the different different depths of water. I also had to glue a few islands into place with superglue. Apart from that, everything else is bolted together.
This project really pushed the boundaries of what’s possible with a Glowforge. I ran into problems with the files being too large for the web interface. I also ran into problems with the DPI being too high to process. I also ran into issues with Illustrator losing resolution with its rasterize process. Fortunately, I was able to find a workaround for each problem.
I have even more photos at this album, including several steps along the way. http://bit.ly/2UMetUB