Movin' on up

Photo engraving - check.
So easy to drop a file and print to you know what. :sunglasses:

Looking at all the talent on display here, I began to feel humbled by the works of all the other PRU’s.
Since housing one in my shop, with a mass of materials at my disposal by the grace of glowforge - I find myself waking up at 5:00 AM. (she’s like - “Are you OK?”)
The education has been continuous, and I find myself filled with impatient optimism. I satisfied a long standing desire to throw away an eyesore today.

The builder grade doorbell cover.

Stickin’ out in the middle of my half million dollar home was this POS.

That blank canvas of cherry ply… oooh. @rpegg’s demo of an inlay… a laser knife sittin’ there calling my name… (“Are you OK?”).

Each model is a wee puzzle in itself (for me). Calipers in hand, I modeled that thing down. The idea was a living hinge to wrap the existing base. OK, how do I do that?
A search yielded This. Read up. There are two files you have to drop into the Inkscape “Extensions” category, it’s there, you just have to dig for it. Works like a charm.

So this is what I had…

…and this is what I made…

I wanted to try a combination of techniques. The living hinge face is an Inkscape file, but I modeled an end out of thin cardboard and traced it and printed. The laser still shows the completed file when your finished, so I printed it again. Cake.

Press-fit Sun out of florescent yellow 1/8" acrylic.

The product is a double score of the bamboo stalks and a default dark engrave of the leaves - to accommodate a black walnut veneer inlay. (the sun is backed by white paper. I thought about edge lit since the doorbell transformer provides 3 volts, but perhaps another time).

This is from someone who has no previous CNC or laser experience.
I can hardly wait to see how this forum blooms when we all have our machines!

So, the founders have given me a chance to own this machine at a greatly reduced price, graced me with a prerelease glowforge delivered at their expense, along with a generous supply of proofgrade materials to use and learn on their dime.
That tells me all I need to know about this company… except maybe how to get in on their stock. That’s what the venture capitalists saw.

Drinking the Koolaid? Actually none was being served. Cheerleader? Absolutely.

(A post I worked up for my G+ collection)


^^^this is awesome.


What you gentlemen have accomplished here is awesome. A true innovation, enabling everyone like me to wield a blade of light. :sunglasses


Epic post! So true how the functional items of everyday life have no good form in many cases. In this case a real bad case of case blahs.

Taking an everyday item and giving it the Glowforge treatment. The list is endless. Thanks.

So you printed the front and then wrapped it around cardboard to get the size and did the trace? Brilliant.

Inkscape has a nice dimensioning tool extension that you can use to find the length of any path. So you can begin with the side profile and measure the top path that goes around in the C shape. That will give you your length of the rectangle for the cover.


Sorry, did I shout?:grin:


That hits the nail right between the eyes.


Great post!


Oh man, this is gorgeous! Can’t wait to see it finished with the inlay. I do believe my doorbell cover is in for a serious upgrade (along with all the other cheap plastic things around here).


lol, I just added the same type of thing to my “must build” list this past weekend.
I never realized how bad our doorbell cover looked until i was painting our entryway over the weekend.
It really pained me to hang it back up after we finished.


Yep, I agree with you that things that are just accepted as normal (around the home) need this type of inspiration.

Nice Job!! Go GF :glowforge: GO!!!


And I’ve never liked a lot of the plastic light switch covers in my house either. Just a little too plain. Hum, maybe do the outlet covers after that.


Every time I see a living hinge I just automatically think to myself, “damn that is so rad!” Really cool work, and even more exciting to see project like this come from folks with no direct background in technologies like this. As you eluded to, GF has done it right if nearly anyone can come up with complex projects like this and have a quality outcome.

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Well done. I’m now scanning my entire house for any builder-grade P’sOS that I can replace with living hinge enclosures.
Also I kind of hate you but thats just pathetic jealousy talking so just ignore me. I’ll be right as rain when mine is delivered and we can be friends again.

Please keep posting!


That’s really nice. Would love to see a picture of it installed.


I LOVE THIS TOO! (I hate generic doorbell covers!) :smile:


Thank you all. :grin:
Maple may have been a better choice for contrast against the cherry. My inlay isn’t as tight as rpegg’s, but it’s like a score that accentuates the design. I also broke two of the leaves weeding them.

A sweet spot is the file stands ready to print again, so I may recut the leaves in maple to decide which I like best. Of course casting a color fill is also an option. I would like to tighten up the inlay, so this project is not finished teaching me.
In lost wax casting, to reproduce a design required wax injecting a rubber mold, pouring a plaster around it, burning out the wax in a kiln and centrifugal casting the metal. Then the finishing work starts.
Being able to drop a file and push a button to make another is magical to me. A new world.

@marmak3261, that measurement tool is a function I haven’t stumbled on yet, thanks!
The better I learn Inkscape the more impressed I am with it.
Armed with a fundamental grasp of vector drawing, the road forks to either Fusion 360 for 3D or Gimp for image manipulation. The education has been a challenge, but the reward is a joy.

@AhnoldZ, yes! My eye lingers on those covers when I walk by. They are soon to follow the doorbell plastic. :sunglasses:

The ability to resize in the UI is killer, and the rulers there are very helpful, but the design resizes on both height and width proportionally regardless of which handle you are dragging. The ability to manipulate one or the other as well would greatly enhance that function. Hopperized?


That is such a beautiful job. I really like the inlay that you put on the front of the box. Of course anything with a living hinge is awesome. :grinning:


You just dropped this project onto my to-do list. Very cool!


Absolutely beautiful piece!

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That was exactly when the absurdity of that cover was seared into my mind.[quote=“UrJac, post:13, topic:7325”]
Also I kind of hate you but thats just pathetic jealousy talking so just ignore me. I’ll be right as rain when mine is delivered and we can be friends again

I won’t hold that against you - I was having the same feelings. Interesting that those emotions have now morphed into empathy for the rest of you… and a slight sense of guilt. (it passes quickly) :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

When you open the big box, there is a sheet of paper taped to the glass door; “You are about to make something Amazing”.
I taped that to the wall above my monitor, and it greets me every day. :grin:
These guys are working hard with their initial goal in sight. You too are about to make something Amazing. :sunglasses: