Among the several hobbies I enjoy is Easter egg decoration (Pysanky style). I decided on a whim to Google “laser etched egg” and found to my delight there were tons of really cool examples. I’m thinking a small chicken egg would just fit in the 1 1/2" depth of the Glowforge. I’d love to see the team try this one, especially as there is so much curvature. Why not try it for your next Laser Thursday? (Oh, and be sure to empty out and clean/dry the egg first!).
Aaaaaannd, here’s an example:
You should look up the Eggbot.
Just ordered this one, there’s an eggbot configuration in the kit
Of course I should have known that such a thing existed, but this is the first I’ve heard of it. Thanks!
I wonder what my chickens would think of this
I have been following http://makezine.com/ RSS feed for a few years now. It has really fed my interest in handmade things. It is where I learned about 3D printing in the first place, but I never pulled the trigger on one. Started with the computer control aspect of making a home made one via a Raspberry Pi and steppers, but never assembled them because I needed that laser cutter to make the parts for the case. So with a Glowforge, I would be interested in other parts like gears and such that I can print perhaps for a 3D extruder printer. That is one Glowforge specific project I am sure someone will have fairly quickly available.
Not sure if the laser will be able to make gears suitable for an end product 3D printer. But I have been surprised before. My own current laser is still running on 3D printed gears which we made as a last resort (and now 6 months later have not upgraded with real gears, nor even had to re-print)
My intuition is that laser cut gears in 4.5-6 mm acrylic will be plenty strong and hard wearing for the job. I intend to make clocks. When Glowforge is up and running, all my plans will be made available.
Hesitation about precision or durability?
Precision. You can probably do a gearing ratio or something to ensure you still have high precision, or just make the gears huge. Or I am completely mistaken about how fine of detail you can resolve on materials thick/strong enough to last for at least long enough to print replacements.
The printed gears typically have a large depth to them, spreading out the stress and avoiding any issue with grinding the gear smooth. Not sure how a thin slab of laser cut material will handle life as a gear. Most cut gears I have seen are large beasts, and most printers I have seen use small fine toothed gears. But neither means the opposite is impossible.
You should be able to make them with the backlash as tight as you want
Here is a great program to get the idea.
Not sure if those are or not, but a lot of egg shell art is incorrectly shared as being laser cut when they are hand/drill cut. I am an eggshells carver myself, though an extreme novice compared to the likes of http://www.theeggshellsculptor.com/carved-eggs/, Gary LeMaster and many others. There’s quite a community of carvers though, with some pretty amazing designs under their belt. I am quite interested in seeing what we can do with shells in the glowforge too, though, and it will be an awesome test of it’s abilities over curvature as you said
I’ve got one of those. They are a bit fiddly to get working consistently but quite rewarding when they’re up and running.